There are blind cooks everywhere like Gary
but few have the additional complications of his rare condition. I learnt more as he showed me his paella-risotto -combi.
Back in my home kitchen, I was keen to hear from other local people with different levels of visual impairment. There were tips to share and new recipes to test. The common theme was that limitations of sight needn’t limit life.
First up is Gary who has the incredibly rare Bardet-Biedl Syndrome that can result in extra fingers and toes, other physical drawbacks and, commonly, gradually deteriorating sight. Gary was typical in having had a busy and successful early career but found it increasingly difficult to work as his condition became more evident and was eventually diagnosed.
His enthusiasm and motivation remain undiminished: he’s active across the local community of blind people, led one organisation and actively supports others. His frequent gym work-outs help him keep active and counter other consequences of his condition. And, of course, he is an enthusiastic cook with a great repertoire of recipes including his “roadkill”.
This is definitely not a name for a dish that is inviting or sets one drooling with anticipation. But ignore the name and remember it as a one-pot wonder of a warmer as autumn draws in: chicken, herbs and spices made colourful with tomatoes. With rice included in the pot as it cooks in the oven, it is easy on both the cook and washing-up.
Next time, I’ll show Gary my equally easy crumble recipe inspired by him.