Christine Ha is the first-ever blind contestant and season 3 winner of the competitive amateur cooking television show “MasterChef” with Gordon Ramsay. She defeated over 30,000 home cooks across America to secure the coveted MasterChef title, a $250,000 cash prize, and a cookbook deal.
“The lady has an extraordinary palate, a palate of incredible finesse. She picks up hot ingredients, touches them, and she thinks about this image on the plate. She has the most disciplined execution on a plate that we’ve ever seen. But the palate is where it’s just extraordinary. And honestly, I know chefs with Michelin stars that don’t have palates like hers.” –Chef Gordon Ramsay, MasterChef judge
Ha holds a Master of Fine Arts from the nationally acclaimed Creative Writing Program at University of Houston, where she served as Fiction Editor for Gulf Coast literary journal, and a Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin. Ha’s first cookbook, Recipes From My Home Kitchen: Asian and American Comfort Food, was a New York Times best-seller. She has done several TEDx Talks, spoken about disability advocacy at the United Nations, and served as a culinary envoy overseas for the American Embassy as part of cultural diplomacy programs in Jordan, Serbia, Bosnia/Herzegovina, and Croatia. Ha was a co-host on the Canadian cooking show “Four Senses” and a judge on “MasterChef” Vietnam.
Ha received the 2014 Helen Keller Personal Achievement Award from the American Foundation for the Blind, a recognition formerly bestowed upon Ray Charles, Patty Duke, and Stevie Wonder among others. Ha’s first restaurant in Houston, The Blind Goat, was named a semi-finalist for 2020 Best New Restaurant in America by the James Beard Foundation. Her second restaurant, Xin Chào, opened in September 2020, and Ha has again been named one of the James Beard Award 2022 finalists for Best Chef, Texas region.