Reality cooking shows have seen their fair share of Texas talent this past year. Earlier this spring, Austin’s Paul Qui was named the winner of Top Chef Texas. Now, Houston has its own culinary reality star: Christine Ha, a blind graduate student at the University of Houston. Last night on the finale of FOX’s hit cooking show, MasterChef, Ha was awarded the title of MasterChef and walked away with $250,000 and a cookbook deal.
During the final challenge, Ha and Josh Marks, a U.S. Army contract specialist, were told to each prepare an appetizer, entrée, and dessert in a two-hour window of time. Ha prepared a Thai papaya salad with crab and mixed vegetables, a braised pork belly with rice, crispy kale, and maitake mushrooms underneath a quail egg, and a coconut lime sorbet with a ginger tuile for dessert.
“This has been the most amazing experience,” Ha said after being announced the winner. ”After all the obstacles I’ve been through… I’m living proof that dreams come true against all odds.”