I love to cook. Sometimes, I put on some music, and enter into what I call my “cooking Zen”, a calm, focused and quiet state where the chopping and blending is almost meditative.
Enter Alan Abrams, a deaf chef who has not let his disability stand in the way of his success.
Sharing his own mother’s love of cooking, he embarked on a career in food management, but soon realized that the communication skills necessary for this type of work would be difficult for him. He looked into culinary schools and enrolled at Newbury Culinary Arts, where the small intimate class size was a perfect match for his needs.
After apprenticing with renowned chefs Jonathan Waxman and Sarabeth Levine, he started his own catering company, called A’Table, specializing in corporate and private events.
According to Abrams, “Communication is more than just verbal words or writing. The combination of facial expressions, hand movements and sounds results in communication.”
Using this concept, Abrams has started hosting cooking classes for the hearing impaired. Although anyone can join, an advanced knowledge of sign language is advised. The noise of utensils at work and laughter is encouraged, but TALKING IS NOT PERMITTED!
The next class will be held at the Sign Language Center in New York City, and features a Valentine’s Day themed fondue menu. For the hearing impaired, or those who want to get their cooking Zen on, check out the website for more information.
photo: Glasshouse Images