Disabled cooking: an exercise in creative problem-solving.


Disabled cooking: an exercise in creative problem-solving.

Kristen has been on the show for the third season of the fox TV show.

Although the final plating of her dishes doesn’t fit in the dining room, the steps to prepare them are markedly different. For starters, ha – also known as the blind chef – USES guides and canes to move around the stage. When evaluating the quality of her ingredients, she has to rely on her other senses, not what most chefs do. Still, her skills – and her Vietnamese catfish dish – surprised the judges, and she won the entire show.

But more than 38 million americans have serious physical disabilities, and not everyone is a chef. So how do the rest of the population find a way to navigate the kitchen?

Nicolas Steenhout, a spokesman and consultant for disability issues, is a graduate of a culinary school and has been a cook for many years. Twenty years ago, after a rock climbing accident paralyzed him, Steenhout had to learn how to do everyday tasks from a wheelchair. Life has changed, but his interest in cooking continues. “I realize that many people with disabilities don’t really know what to do or what they can offer,” he said. So he started using the Internet to share his skills.

Laura Martinez may be the only blind chef in the country running her own restaurant. La Diosa opened in January. Martinez was hired directly out of culinary school by acclaimed Chicago chef Charlie Trotter and worked for him until his restaurant closed in 2012.

In a perfect world, everyone would have a perfectly adapted kitchen, Steenhout says. This means that different things depend on someone’s disability, but it may involve reducing the height of a table or new equipment. But with many people struggling to reinvent themselves for basic necessities such as wheelchairs, the kitchen overhaul is often financially unattainable.

Instead, he focused on small changes that could have a big impact. For example, “if you are a wheelchair user and you can’t see your basin, you can install a small bathroom mirror on a pole,” he said. The mirror can be used to easily check whether the water is boiling or scrambled.

“You can do a lot of tricks, so you don’t hurt yourself, and to be honest, those of us who have the vision need to learn — the blind or the visually impaired are trained and not harmed.”

Executive producer Renee Rentmeester, “ignoring cooking”

Many companies now sell kitchen equipment aimed at solving a variety of disabilities, from reducing grip to visual impairment. But in many cases, there is a cheap hack for anyone inclined to do-it-yourself. One example: instead of buying a big piece of equipment for someone with a problem, people can foam rubber around the handle. If someone is having trouble using a traditional two-handed rolling pin, the painted roller handle with a wooden dowel is a simple homemade variant. “This is not a generic solution,” Steenhout said. “It’s a question of using the imagination to figure out how to do that.”

For those with visual impairments, using braille or a measuring cup written in braille can help. There are barcode scanners that help people buy groceries.

“There are a lot of tricks you can do, so you won’t hurt you, to be honest, for those of us who have a vision, you need to learn – the blind or visual impaired trained don’t hurt yourself,” renee lemay said, TV Cooking Without & creator and executive producer. Cooking shows for chefs and blind or visually impaired guests are now transiting to its new host, Foody TV, an online lifestyle network found on services like Roku or GuGe TV.

Here are some rules about blinds: use sharp knives to reduce the risk of sliding blades. This may sound counter-intuitive, but a dull knife can make anyone – regardless of your vision or physical ability – potentially reduce yourself. Wear shoes to protect your feet from falling objects. Do not wear sleeves that may accidentally catch fire. Do not preheat the oven – otherwise, Rentmeester says, “when you open it, you will burn your arm.” Instead, put the food in a cold oven and assume that you need some extra cooking time.

For patients with new disabilities, occupational therapy programs may try to add cooking skills to training. Earlier this year, when 19-year-old jerry degerer was paralyzed from the chest, he went to a program to pull the pizza out of the grocery store from shopping to the oven.

But everyone has different challenges, and for some people, even a simple pasta night can be an experiment. In addition to the so-called “passive grip,” grier explains, his fingers can’t move, and the tendons on his wrist are tight and loose. “It makes a lot of things more difficult, and some things are almost impossible,” he said.

At home, greer now has a “more microwave oven” oven, which makes it easier to get into and into the pot. He can also machete and cut, thanks to a rotary knife: a knife that is permanently fixed on the cutting board through the tip of the knife; This keeps it in place, while the small spikes on the cutting board are in place without the need for extra hands. The handle has been modified so greer can move the knife up and down with the back of the hand.

“I personally didn’t consider or consider what I had to go through in my position,” greer said of life after dropping a tree from a tree 12 feet below. But he describes adaptive technology as a relief. “I’m not the first person – I’ve had years of people figuring out what works.”

In addition to occasional meals and high school cooking classes, grier didn’t spend much time in the kitchen before the accident. But cooking is “an important life skill,” says greer, who doesn’t want to rely on microwave meals.

“Everyone, even if you are disabled, should know how to cook for yourself,” he said.


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