"Real cooking is more about following your heart than following recipes," goes a quote on the internet.

This could very well apply to Rukentiran Rajarathanam, who's capable of cooking up a storm in his home-based kitchen despite having his eyesight taken from him six years ago.

News portal Free Malaysia Today recently (FMT) spoke to the inspiring 33-year-old, who runs the Puchong-based Blind Chefs Kitchen.

According to the report, Rukenthiran has always been a food lover, who was willing to travel to different states and back, just to get a "bowl of curry mee, or durian". He also started cooking as a hobby when he was younger.

Six years ago, tragedy struck. He lost his vision to glaucoma, and with it, also lost his job as a fibre optics splicer.

The sudden turn of events devastated Rukenthiran, but he eventually steered himself out of despair with the support of his family.

It was then Rukenthiran decided to pour himself into one thing he was passionate about - cooking.

Starting from scratch

It wasn't easy without sight, as he had relearn everything from scratch, including boiling water and using the knife.

"I attended a course that taught me how to handle the tools needed while cooking, like the knives and the pans.

"It was very difficult to relearn everything, and I did get hurt a few times, but it helped me learn how to cook again," Rukenthiran told the portal.

He started the Blind Chefs Kitchen from the kitchen at his home in Puchong in mid-July, and besides cooking delicious meals, the head chef also has his hands full training the others in his team all about running the kitchen, and the business.

Two other members of the team - Moagan Danapal, 21, and Murugan Kumar, 27, are blind since birth, while the fourth man, Saravanan Krishnan, 43, is the only one with the gift of sight. His main role involves preparing the items for cooking, and packing the cooked meals.



Rukenthiran told FMT that he uses his sense of hearing, taste and smell to determine how well his food is cooked.

"I use my palm to feel the heat, it helps me to adjust the flame accordingly. The sound of the water sizzling in the pan also helps me determine if the food is cooked," he said.

With his business flourishing, Rukenthiran plans to open up the Blind Chefs Bakery in the future.

As if cooking while being visually challenged is not outstanding enough, Rukenthiran also tries to make his offerings more special by cooking exotic meats, like wild boar, rabbit, ostrich, and even monitor lizard.

Blind Chefs Kitchen is currently open for self pick-up and deliveries from Tuesday to Sunday, while the wild boar briyani is served every Fridays.

You can check out their menu and find out the contact number to place orders at their Facebook page here.


Source & Photo source: FMT