Sydney’s professional Blind chef, Martin, gave me an expert lesson with fish – so straightforward that anyone can do it as you can see at https://youtu.be/R-JqsTefRf0
Already a highly experienced chef, Martin had lost his sight in his middle years but still has a very successful career teaching his skills to aspiring cooks and chefs at a local college in Sydney. He goes further: keen to encourage anyone with limited sight or other difficulties to keep on cooking. His website (www.enabledcooking.com) is a treasure trove of recipes, hints and tips – anyone can find great dishes and new ideas.
He welcomed me in to his own home kitchen where we made fish to be baked in a paper parcel (en papilotte if you want the posh French version). With many stunning Asian flavours, this is perfect for entertaining: just make up the parcels earlier in the day and whack them in to the oven when your guests are arriving. Just slide the cooked parcels on to plates so that everyone can open their own to experience the wonderful fragrances – and easy on the washing-up too!
Martin’s dish was a lesson in the organisational care that makes a good professional chef: everything ready beforehand so that adding each ingredient is easy and fast. I’ve learned that it works for visually impaired cooks too. In the past, there have been too many times when I’ve wandered around the kitchen part-way through a recipe, hunting for an ingredient and leaving a sticky, messy trail behind me. Getting every ingredeient and utensil out first seems a chore at the time but saves on clearing up later.
Our ever-supportive hosts, Ken and rosemary, had driven us the two hours from their seaside home in sleepy Kiama to the thrusting energy of Sydney and threw in a short tour so Toby could catch some of those familiar skylines. Even if I couldn’t see them, the distinctive image of the Opera House lives on in my head.