East Perth: Blind and low vision community combines with chefs for culinary creations

Jordan Bruno from My Kitchen Rules with Aleshia Anderson and Norman Anderson, both from Ballajura, at the Vision Australia Low Vision Feast.
Jordan Bruno from My Kitchen Rules with Aleshia Anderson and Norman Anderson, both from Ballajura, at the Vision Australia Low Vision Feast.

CULINARY vision has little to do with sight.

Members of Perth’s blindness and low vision community came together with some of Perth’s top chefs at Co-Op Dining in East Perth on Friday to create a gourmet luncheon.

Alishia Anderson from Ballajura was one of the Vision Australia participants at the Low Vision Feast.

“It’s really cool, getting my hands all messy,” she said while kneading meringue batter.

Chu Bakery pastry chef Zie Zillah formed the meringue into small spheres, with Ms Anderson taking them into her hands to feel and mimic the shape.

The Vision Australia Low Vision Feast was the brainchild of chef Vincent Lim, with Co-op Dining’s Kiren Mainwaring and My Kitchen Rules contestants Anna and Jordan Bruno lending a hand.

Mr Bruno said he loved getting more people involved with cooking.

“We did a cooking class a while ago with these guys, they have so much life and energy,” he said.

Vision Australia regional business manager Donna Fahie said the event was an example to the wider community of what people who are blind or have low vision can achieve every day.

“Some of our clients have goals around cooking and preparing food independently; the Low Vision Feast gives them the chance to hone their skills while being supported by professionals in the industry,” she said.

At the end of the cooking session, the chefs joined the group to sample their collective handiwork blindfolded.

“Every day, we hear some of the frustrations our clients experience when eating out; simple things like the need for waiting staff to tell them when their food has been served, or waiting staff addressing them when they approach or leave the table,” Ms Fahie said.

“We hope the chefs can take from their experience and educate their staff on how they can make dining experiences more enjoyable and accessible to all.”