Deaf aspiring cook, chef and restauranteur

Joined Sep 30, 2012

I am indeed deaf with a ServSafe food protection manager certificate.

I reside in Utah, but it is not easy finding work as a dishwasher and prep cook with my own rolled knife set after a few years since I was terminated from a particularly prestigious restaurant that I sued for discrimination and then agreed to the settlement with damages and a neutral reference. (I cannot mention the name.)

I see no one has mentioned Utah Valley University Culinary Arts Institute either in comment or review, which has the staff of award-winning chefs. I took a few classes there, including the fairly easy sanitation class for ServSafe certificate.

Recently, I went out to apply for the particular few small restaurants, including the famous Amerindian cuisine specialty and the increasingly famous New York-style Italian restaurant.

I interviewed with the chef or general manager that involve writing on pen and paper with my showing proof of ServSafe wallet-size card, resume (bad job history with long unemployment gap due to struggle to find work because of limited job opportunity in conjunction with discrimination) but they claim to be fully staffed, even after I saw Craig's List job posting that stated opening.

There are talented deaf cooks and chefs, including my former friend who turns 50 this year, that work as good as the hearing counterparts, yet may still get bad treatment at the workplace due to hearing disability. Much may have changed from the 80's and 90's with worsening treatment that may related to the dour view of politics and economy, or maybe snotty cultural attitude within the state or region. 

Here is one recent case that involved abject discrimination that led to the lawsuit which was resolved with the settlement agreement.

McCormick & Schmick’s to Pay $47,814 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Here is the newsprint article on the deaf cook immigrant to USA from Indochina, "Deaf chef cooks up own sign language in kitchen".

Here is the summary on the deaf California native and Texas resident American chef who made it to the television show, "Chopped". He has presence on YouTube if you look up his name there for the video clips.

I hope to continue working within the restaurant industry to gain experience that might parlay to my starting my small business such as a diner or a hamburger/po'boy joint, starting at the bottom as a dishwasher, prep cook and utility person.


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Joined Oct 5, 2001
Welcome to cheftalk we are glad you joined.

This forum is for intros only if you would like to talk more about the difficulties of working in the kitchen and being deaf please use the pro forums for that. We also ask that new members not post links to external websites.

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