Baking Blind comes to Seven Mile Beach on a cooking adventure

International prize winner, Penny Melville-Brown from Hampshire in the UK, has been busy this week while she was based in Kiama.

During her week cooking adventure, Penny made her way to Seven Mile Beach to cook using bush tucker ingredients with Fred from ‘Fred’s Bush Tucker’ on Friday.

Fred and Penny cooked traditional bush tucker by preparing fish wrapped in paperbark and cooked on hot coals. Other delicacies the pair created included a lemon myrtle cheese cake.

Penny was fortunate enough to have been selected from over 200 candidates from 27 countries as one of the inaugural winners of the Holman prize, run by San Francisco’s LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired organisation.  

The key is to demonstrate through my activities and all the interactions I have with so many generous professional and home cooks, that just because I’m blind doesn’t mean I can’t do all sorts of exciting things in life.

Penny Melville-Brown

“It means I represent all the other people in the world who are blind,” Penny said.

Fred and Penny cooked traditional bush tucker by preparing fish wrapped in paperbark and cooked on hot coals. Other delicacies the pair created included a lemon myrtle cheese cake.

“It is absolutely exciting and Fred has been utterly charming,” she said.

“He’s explained to me about this lily leaf I am holding and about the paperbark and how we are going to prepare the fish, so it is just fabulous.”

Penny used the $25,000 prize to fund the travel of her and her videographer through six continents, including America, Costa Rica, China, Australia and Malawi, cooking alongside professional and home-cooks, sighted or not.   

Throughout the tour, Penny has published blogs, recipes and videos through her website and her Baking Blind YouTube channel. She then has many further activities planned in England and Europe, where she will create 12-months of videos, blogs and recipes to share worldwide.

About Penny

James Holman, after whom the prize was named, and Penny both lost their sight while serving in the Royal Navy - albeit nearly 200 years apart.  

She reached the rank of commander and served in NATO Intelligence, war planning, public relations and other roles and also became the first woman barrister in the Royal Navy.  

Subsequently she established Disability Dynamics in 2000 – supporting other disabled people to get back to work.  

Penny received a medal as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her services to disabled and other disadvantaged people in 2009.  

She started Baking Blind in late 2016 as an alternative way of demonstrating that blind and other disabled people still have many ambitions, capabilities and a zest for life regardless of their impairments.   

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