Penny Melville-Brown has been on her international prize-winning cooking tour with the aim of promoting her new book – A cook’s tour: Baking Blind goes global.
The book contains over 100 recipes that cover 6 continents (with links to over 50 demonstration videos) as well as practical insights into what living with disability is really like.
On her tour of the world, Penny stopped off in China where she was treated exceptionally well by members of the Chongqing Rotary Club.
Many of the chefs and cooks were nervous about a blind cook but having a little knowledge, some basic skills and bags of enthusiasm broke through their fears.”
The members organised her visit and accommodation, provided translation, hosted a dinner and arranged her speaking events at the International School and British Consulate.
On her visit to China, Penny said: “I’m so lucky to have had amazing experiences. The Rotary Club was already running a project supporting local blind people and I hope my activities added an extra dimension.
“I was impressed to learn about the education and employment prospects available for blind people, of their independence and ambitions. The cooking and recipes were outshone by those people I met: their courage and generosity, their determination to succeed and face life with a smile.
“There are recipes for everyone and, if this blind cook can do it, so can you.”
The new book doesn’t just cover authentic cooking recipes though, as it also details Penny’s journey of recovery after a near-fatal car crash and the lessons she learned along the way.
One of Penny’s previous visits to China to meet two blind women.
Penny explained: “From the start, my goal was to showcase the capabilities and achievements of disabled people world-wide.
“Cooking was the perfect medium: its central to life for everyone, everywhere. Many of the chefs and cooks were nervous about a blind cook but having a little knowledge, some basic skills and bags of enthusiasm broke through their fears.
“We became colleagues doing a job together and there was no stopping us. If only we could do the same in every walk of life and work.
“I hadn’t anticipated that, by the end, I’d be coping with more disabilities but my naval training helped and I’m still alive and kicking.”
You can now purchase Penny’s book on Amazon either in Kindle format or as a physical paperback.