Barbie Dike passed away peacefully yesterday following a illness. She was 45. She attended to Colorado School for the Deaf and graduated in 1984 and lived in Fremont, California. She was a 2008 graduate of California State University-Hayward. She was well liked and known in many Deaf communities.
Here’s a memo from her beloved one:
Early this afternoon, 5/11/12, Barbie Dike took her last breath and left peacefully surrounded by her loving family. The Dike family has requested our help with donations during this difficult time.
An emergency fund has been set up to help the family with the funeral arrangements. The cost will be approximately $2,000. Your IMMEDIATE donations are greatly n…eeded for this Emergency Fund.
Make checks, cash, or money order payable to Barbie’s brother, Nicholas Porter, write “Barbie’s Fund” in the memo line.
If you want to mail it, the address is
JoDee Dike-Johnson (for Barbie)
3308 Holmes Pl
Fremont, CA 94555
The memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, June 9. More detailed information to come soon. There will also be a tax-deductible charitable fund set up for Barbie’s daughters, Brittany and Brianna. More information to come regarding this fund, however the overflow from the Emergency Fund will go directly to this charitable fund for her girls.
Feel free to forward this to others. Please spread the word. Keep the Dike family in your prayers as they move through this hard time.
Thanks in advance for your help and support!
Vlog by Heidi Branch
Eric Shear has been studying to become a science space. His goal to be first deaf to be in NASA and to go to space. We need to help and vote him to win as frontrunner. The vote deadline is March 25, 2012- we got only 4 days left!
Check the website to vote at
Vlog from Heidi Branch
The video was released in Facebook last March 6, 2012. I forget to share with you who did not have Facebook account. Sorry about it. Anyway, we want to say thank you for your vote.
Kurt “The IRISH Chef” Ramborger won as hottest chef in America.
Ladies and gents, we have a winner: After tabulating all the votes in our hottest chef competition in a head-to-head tournament — and eliminating all the fraudulent votes — we can officially crown Eater’s Second Annual Hottest Chef in America. The winner: chef Kurt Ramborger of ViUDA Bistro in Buda, TX (just outside of Austin).
Ramborger goes by the nickname “The Irish Chef — he is a fiery redhead, indeed — and he ran a very impressive social media campaign to win the title. He posted videos to YouTube, including this one in which he signs (he’s deaf, haven’t you heard?) the story of his twenty-year career in restaurants, starting as a dishwasher, moving around from Seattle to California and elsewhere. The deaf community totally rallied behind him. Ramborger is still single, but he tells Eater, “I am datin’ with my kitchen now, sorry mi’ladies….”
Reached for comment about his win, Ramborger emailed Eater: “Whooo… Really felt a longest hours I have been await fer the result!!! Just glad ’tis all over with and give Austin a Proud with best Chefs in the country amongst Chef Paul Qui’s Top Chef winner, 3 F&W Best new Chef nominated, and best Food Truck in America! Austin are in the Food national Map now! Don’t mess with TEXAS!!!””
And Paul Rutowski, a partner of ViUDA Bistro, emailed: “Rene Alcala and I (Paul Rutowski) as ViUDA Bistro Partners, Rene and I both are elated about Kurt’s success with the Eater.com contest! We may be a small bistro in Buda but this propels us onto the national scene! The good news is that we will have enough room for everyone provided that they make reservations!”
The article was published in Eater.com
Vlog by Eric Shear
Hello. My name is Eric Shear, and I am studying for a honours bachelor’s degree in space science at York University in Toronto, Canada. Even though I am in Toronto, I grew up in Washington State. Space has always been my passion.
In summer 2011, I led a student zero-gravity experiment on NASA’s Vomit Comet plane in Houston, Texas. I had the privilege of experiencing zero-gravity, plus lunar and Martian gravity.
Now I have an opportunity to become the world’s first deaf astronaut. This is something I have been working on all my life, so I would really appreciate your vote.
Here is how it works. If I get the highest number of votes for the American contest, I get to become the American finalist and compete against the finalists from other countries. The ultimate winner will be selected based on intelligence, motivation for space, physical fitness, and psychological stability.
The Toronto Metro newspaper is sponsoring this contest. They have partnered with Space Experience Curacao, a Dutch company. This company has a runway and some land on the island Curacao, just north of Venezuela.
Here is a picture of my ride, the Lynx spaceplane. It is currently under testing at XCOR Aerospace in California. It can hold two people side by side and go up to 110 km (68 miles). That’s past the boundary of space. It can also stay in space for 3 minutes before it falls back to earth.
When I win this, I will fly on this sometime in 2014, depends on when it is ready. Thank you for your vote!
I forget to mention that you can vote once a day on one computer, or multiple times a day using your smart phone. You can also use more than one computer to vote multiple times a day.
The vote ends on March 25, 2012.
Let’s unity and vote him to make his dream comes true.
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 🙂
Vlog by Heidi Branch
Transcript will be coming soon.
To follow up with information/vote about deaf Kurt “The Irish Chef” Ramborger, visit fookembug.wordpress.com/votekurt
Vlog by Heidi Branch.
Summary by Heidi’s brother, Kurt’s history of working as chef – Tale of mo chef career, In 1993 started in a Vegetarian Cafe as dishwasher durin’ mo college in So Cal. Found mo passion in the kitchen and asked mo chef dat mo wanna to be a chef. She told me to start practice on knives skill. Next 2 months, mo moved up to line cook then becamesous chef within 6 months. Worked there fer 5 years and got married then moved to Oah’u, Hawai’i as Teacher Aide fer deaf school. 5 months which didn’t bring happiness in Hawai’i and moved to Seattle, WA. Feelin’ the itch to go back in the kitchen. Found a job as prep and lunch cook. Once again, moved up to be a lunch chef fer one and half year. Got a better job offer at 4-star restaurant called Flying Fish in downtown Seattle as prepmeister. From there, mo have learned a lot about how to incorporated a new dish and recipes fer a menu daily! After a year there, mo long-tyme deaf friend, Rob Esposito, offer me a chef position to open up an Italian Ristorante called Abbondanza Pizzeria in 2000. Dat’s where mo started learn how to operate a restaurant business and executive chef. After 2 years there, feel the needs to learn more by move to other restaurants. Paragon’s; That’s A Some Italian; Mona’s Bistro and Lounge; Opened up other Pizzeria called Deano’s in wrong location which shut down within 2 months. Did returned to Abbondanza twice to help bring the authenic Napoletana food. Mo ended up in a fateful car accident which brings mo in bedridden fer 6 months and moved to Fremont, CA. After a year of recovery, started mo own caterin’ biz called 4-Leaf Clover Catering. Been runnin’ by meself fer 5 years catered all over Amerika. Decided to move to Austin with mo wyns (kids) and their mom. Tried to find a restaurant job in Austin but kept shut me out. Bumped into Paul Rutowski and we started a catering called Arouse Your Palate Catering to caters all around Austin and internet live streamin’ cooking show with iDeaf News. Rene Alcala and Paul befriended at fitness center and offered us his mom’s restaurant fer few events. After few events, we tryin’ to give a bistro a chance. Been doin’ it fer 6 months now.
You can watch his vlog about his chef background in YouTube. His YouTube username is KURTtheIRISHchef.
This is about Kurt Ramborger being on national as Hottest Chef in America. The votes will begins on Tuesday- February 21 at noon CST. Vote thru http://eater.com/
You can read the article to get know him better,
Visit his restaurant website, ViUDA Bistro (http://www.viudabistro.com/)