Why Voting for Kurt the Irish Chef Really Matters
The picture that started it all. Photo credit goes to Paul Rutowski
Written by Cat Cassidy
There is a fiery hot topic at hand: A competition to vote on our nation’s Hottest Chef. Kurt “The Irish Chef” Ramborger is Austin’s hottest chef, but what makes this a burning topic is that he is a proud member of our community, the Deaf Community. We are amazed at the amount of support and unity garnered through vlogging and word-of-mouth.
There is something I have noticed, though. Most of us are vlogging away without any regard for people who do not have signing skills. They are the hearing or hard-of-hearing folks who have not yet mastered American Sign Language (ASL), and I would LOVE to see more access to communication and information in the next round by using English along with ASL. That way, we can ensure that everyone understands why it is such an event within our community. Like I said, Kurt is representing two groups of people here: The Austinites and the Deaf Community. For us to include all Austinites, what better way is there to have that happen by writing a post in our blogsites about the next round along with fun vlogs?
On a personal note as the mother of Kurt’s children and as his life-long friend, I want to thank everyone for the massive support that is unfolding right before our eyes. I have the blessing of getting a firsthand experience in witnessing Kurt’s reaction. More than this, I get to watch as my children look to their father with new wonder and admiration because of this whole process. I have seen my children’s peers stop them in the hallway and say, “Your dad is famous!” I had a conversation with a child about Kurt and that boy was in awe with the fact that a Deaf man is making noise across the country. Maybe it does not seem very important to you but I do encourage you to take the time and look at this in a bigger picture, look at it beyond the Hottest Chef competition and realize that there is so much more to this.
“What does she mean,” you may ask?
We have had deaf people go down into history for sports, acting, science and being the first deaf president of Gallaudet but we have not yet had a Deaf person represent a leisurely activity that is an integral part of our lives: Dining. I know all the Deaf chefs out there will heartily agree with me when I say that there are seriously talented Deaf chefs out there but in spite of this truth, these magnificent chefs cannot climb in culinary status simply because their hearing co-workers or owners cannot or will not look past the functioning of our ears. For instance, Kurt made it through rounds for Hell’s Kitchen (Chef Ramsey! You are missing out on a true chef who would whup all the other chefs in your show!!!) up until the very last interview. He was called for the final round but his being deaf became an issue. They did not want to take a chance on him and this is where it gets personal for me and where it can become the bigger picture for you. This competition, as lighthearted as it may have started, has morphed into a unification project with Kurt representing for ALL the skilled hard deaf workers out there that keep butting up against age-old barriers. It is time to change that and this is where I ask you all, bloggers and vloggers alike, to write away, to sign away and incorporate our message into both languages.
It is time for us to be understood by anyone who is willing to listen, whether that is with eyes or ears, and help with making this change happen.
Go Kurt! Go!
To follow the details for the next round of voting of Austin vs Las Vegas, which will open again today (March 1) at 12:00 CST and remain open for 24 hours, go to eater’s website or to participate and get more information go to votekurt
For viewing of vlogs made by the community vlogs
To bring the point home, this picture was created by Malvana who is Kurt’s older daughter and the boy in here is Jahren, Kurt’s son. They made this picture on their own.
It’s a family affair 🙂