Christine Ha has been busy since the third season of MasterChef, where she defied odds by taking home the title — along with a book deal and a $250,000 prize — despite severe vision impairment caused by neuromyelitis optica.
Between finishing work on her MasterChef cookbook (which is slated for a May release) and finishing up her master's thesis for the University of Houston Creative Writing Program (which she defends in April 2013), the Houston-based blind cook tells CultureMap that she's drafting a business plan for a possible future restaurant and traveling to speak at conferences and cook in public demonstrations.
Ha will be at it again Friday night at CultureMap's Most Eligible Bachelor and Bachelorette Party, serving up the apple pie that made notoriously critical chef and MasterChef co-host Gordon Ramsay go soft during her run on the show.
Ha will be at it again at CultureMap's Most Eligible Bachelor and Bachelorette Party at Mr. Peeples, serving up apple pie.
It's the quintessentially American ending to a gourmet three-course meal from Pop-Up Pantry, which works with renowned chefs to bring masterfully-prepared dishes to your doorstep. Ha has been whipping up an exclusive line with the LA-based company to debut in the new year.
Pop-Up Pantry co-founder David Hauslaib tells CultureMap that, beyond being convenient for working moms and rural residents with refined pallets, the subscription meals are an easy way to impress a hot date and share an intimate meal at home with minimal fuss — just pop the frozen dish in the oven, uncork a bottle of wine and enjoy quiet time with your lover before dinner.
As for the bachelorettes? Ha is off of the table herself, married now for two and a half years to her husband, John Suh.
"It's not that creative how we met," says Ha, who explains that a mutual friend introduced them. The moment she knew that Suh really liked her? When he tried to purchase a full serving tub of Jamoca Almond Fudge Ice Cream from Baskin-Robbins. The price was exorbitant, Ha laughs, but the gesture was clear.
Now her ideal date destinations are places where they can share small plates — like Uchi on the high end, Hay Merchant or new Garden Oaks gem Cottonwood on for a more casual feel. Eating from the same plate, she says, is always an intimate act and a good conversation starter.
The Most Eligible Bachelor and Bachelorette Party takes place at Mr. Peeples from 8 p.m. to midnight Friday. Purchase your tickets here.