Blind baker awarded US$25,000 for ambitious worldwide project

Post date: 
Monday, 24 July 2017
Photo of Penny cooking in her kitchen

Penny Melville-Brown wants to use the award money to challenge people’s perceptions about being a blind chef while travelling the world connecting people through food.

British Royal Navy Veteran Penny Melville-Brown is not your average chef. First of all, she is blind. But beyond that, Penny has a deep and unique understanding of food’s ability to break down cultural barriers and to connect people – blind and sighted alike – across the globe.
 
LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired in San Francisco announced Penny as one of three winners of the 2017 Holman Prize for Blind Ambition, a brand new award for blind adventurers of all kinds.
 

“While food is a mainstay across the media and popular culture, it is almost impossible to find any inclusion of visually impaired people,” Penny says.  With her Holman Prize project, Penny hopes to change that.

Watch Penny’s video below about winning the prize and her next steps:

 

With the $25,000 Holman Prize, Penny will travel to Costa Rica, Malawi, Australia, China and the United States, all over the course of a year. Along the way, she will meet chefs, teach blind people and community leaders the techniques and panache of blind baking, and film these encounters to ensure that people change their assumptions about the capabilities of blind chefs.
 
Penny is one of three inaugural winners of the Holman Prize. Her fellow prizewinners, Ahmet Ustunel and Ojok Simon, hail from the US and Uganda respectively, and also have ambitious adventures planned over a range of geographies and subjects.
 
Penny began hosting and producing regular video segments this year for a program she calls “Baking Blind”. She takes pride in her collaborations, which will only grow with the help of The Holman Prize. She can be seen in her videos making everything from apple tarts to lamb tajines and quail eggs in soy sauce.
 

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