Cooking Competitions Dominate Food TV but Offer Limited Opportunity for Disabled Contestants

Blind chef Christine Ha won the third season of Fox’s MasterChef in 2012; earlier this year, 11-year-old Ivy Angst, a Little Person with achondroplasia, was runner up on “MasterChef Junior.” Season 1 of the Food Network’s “Guy’s Grocery Games” included wheelchair user Chris Bales among its competitors.

The BBC’s “Great British Baking Show” saw chef Briony Williams, born with a limb difference, make it to the 2018 semi-finals; the current season includes Marc Elliott, who started baking as a kind of therapy after he lost a leg in a 2016 motorcycle accident.Great, right? Until you consider this: Competitive cooking shows dominate the food-tv landscape, with more than 40 series across a spectrum of networks; there are 61 million adults in the U.S.

living with a disability.

With thousands of episodes, and only a handful of handicapped people, it might suggest that a handicapped, professional chef is something of a unicorn.“It’s a load of bollocks,

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