The Cooking Without Looking TV Show, Quarantine Cuisine Edition!


Friday, September 18, 2020 - 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm CDT


Zoom Meeting (virtual)


Cooking without looking Logo

The "Cooking Without Looking TV Show" prides itself on being the only TV show that features people who are blind or low vision. As their website explains, the show allows "real people who just happen to be visually challenged to prepare their favorite recipe."

In this upcoming webinar hosted by the OIB-TAC, "Cooking Without Looking TV Show" hosts Allen Preston, and Annette Watkins will work with Vision World Foundation Community Outreach Managers Ralph Smith and Elvin-Michael Baker Gonzales. There will also be a special appearance by celebrity Chef Ron Duprat of BRAVO's "Top Chef."

Time Zones

12:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
1:00 PM Mountain Time
2:00 PM Central Time
3:00 PM Eastern Time

Zoom Information

Register in advance for this webinar:


Allen Preston

Allen Preston and Annette Watkins standing together with Cooking Without Looking Aprons on

My name is Allen Preston. I was born in Illinois and raised by my grandparents in an affluent suburb of Toronto. From age ten, I was farm-raised in north-central Minnesota. After two years of trade school and a BS from the University of Minnesota and suddenly I was a teacher. Then I moved to Florida, where I worked for a local government agency.

I have spent my life volunteering my time to advocate for people who are blind and severely visually impaired, as well as for those with other disabilities. I am active with the local Lions Club, on the Board of Directors of our local Lighthouse for the Blind, and occasionally do fundraising presentations for Leader Dogs.

Many years ago, I met a lady named Ren'ee, who was asking for blind volunteers to be part of the studio audience during the filming of Cooking without Looking.

I enjoyed the taping of the first show, and now I am proud to be part of the team that helps encourage other visually impaired people to maintain their independence. Thank you, Renee, for that opportunity and, thank you, God, for the ability to do it.

Annette Watkins

Hello! My name is Annette Watkins, and I am Co-Host of Cooking Without Looking, as well as a host of Segment 3 of our show, Food for Thought. And sometimes I even cook a healthy dish myself!
We are all-inclusive, working with people who are blind or visually impaired as well as with those who aren’t. This includes the staff and crew, lighting, sound, director, people to be interviewed, and those cooking on the show, and we mingle with the audience. During this interaction, the crew always takes a tight shot of the audience looking for expressions and applause.
Since I was a pharmaceutical executive in my previous career, I had the needed delivery skills from speaking to doctors and interviewing them.

Michael Baker

Michael Baker with Dog Guide

Hi, my name is Elvin Michael Baker-Gonzalez, better known as Michael Baker. I have a doctorate from Florida International University (FIU) in accounting and finance. However, I lost my sight in 2004 and am now retired from accounting.

Before losing my eyesight, I worked for Wayne Huizenga at the Huizenga Group, where I was involved in the negotiations to create the AutoNation family of car dealerships. I also was CFO for the Miami Dolphins, the Marlins, and the Florida Panthers when Wayne Huizenga owned them.

For now, I am always looking for funding for our TV show and exploring how we can provide new opportunities for the visually impaired community.

Ralph Smith

Ralph Smith in a recording studio

Born November 28, 1966, Ralph Smith graduated from Piper high school 1984 and went into the US Army as part of the 82nd airborne 505 paratroopers. He came out of the service and started in the pest control business. Ralph lost his vision due to brain surgery on June 4, 2009, and has been blind ever since. I love grilling as a way to achieve separation and distance in learning that I can do a whole bunch of things.

Ren'ee Rentmeester

Ren'ee Rentmeester

For the past 20 years, I have advocated for people who are blind or visually impaired through the TV show called “Cooking Without Looking,” the only television show that features people who are blind or visually impaired. Blind people prepare their favorite recipes and speak frankly about their lives. It’s not sad. The feeling is, “This is my life, and oh, by the way, I’m blind.”

Mr. Fred Schroeder, President of the World Blind Union, says this about our show: “Your work fits well with our belief that blind people need encouragement to live normal lives and the sighted public needs the opportunity to learn that blindness does not render people helpless nor grant them with superhuman gifts. Your show shows blind people doing normal things, and that is a powerful message for the sighted public and blind people themselves.”

Over the years, I have spoken to thousands of blind people in various organizations such as the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), American Council of the Blind (ACB), and the American Federation of the Blind (AFB).
Previously, I worked at CBS as Press and Public Relations Manager/Spokesperson, Associate News Producer, and Assignment Editor.

I’ve been nominated for two for a series of Black History Month PSAs about the Miami people who fought in the Civil Rights movement. The other was for the writing of a special on youth gangs, “Youth Violence: Walking The Line.”
I’ve written/published two books of poetry available on Amazon…”Visions From a Dream Called, ‘Life’: The Poetry of Meadowville”;  and “Visions II: The Poetry of Life.”

I have a daughter, Lauren Morales, and two grandchildren, Janaya Ren’ee Carey and Elijah Carey.