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Chef Rejected by Culinary School Due to Disability Opens Her Own Restaurant and Hires All Deaf Staff

Melody Stein wanted to be a chef from the time she was a girl. Now the 45-year-old is living her dream even though a rejection many years ago made it seem almost impossible.

A forever “foodie” from a young age, Stein knew she wanted to pursue her passion by attending the California Culinary Academy.

Sadly, because Stein is deaf, the academy would not allow her to attend at that time.

“[The school] called my mom and said we can’t accept her application because she’s deaf,” Stein told The Washington Post. “What if they were in the kitchen trying to yell, ‘Out of the way!’ with hot soup? They viewed me as a liability.”

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The academy, later on, accepted deaf students but closed in 2017. Now, about 20 years later, Stein has proven that a deaf chef doesn’t equal disaster.

Do you know American Sign Language?

In fact, Stein’s pizza restaurant in San Francisco — Mozzeria — has grown to be so successful, a new one is opening in Washington D.C.

Stein runs the Neapolitan-style pizzeria with her husband, 47-year-old Russ Stein, who is deaf as well. The pair has made it a point to open up job opportunities for the deaf community.

Thanks to the Communication Service for the Deaf Social Venture Fund, a multi-million dollar investment will bring a new Mozzeria not far from Gallaudet University in 2020.

The school for the deaf and hard-of-hearing dates back to 1856. Today, the school offers over 40 undergraduate degree programs.

“It’s been a longtime dream to see a deaf-owned restaurant in Washington, D.C.,” Russ Stein told The Post through a signed interview alongside Melody.

The restaurant will be located at 1300 H St. NE, mere blocks away from a Starbucks that hires only deaf employees and runs on sign language.

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Rejection can either deflate or in our case, fuel our vision to become a reality. It is through hours of hard work and…

Posted by MozzeriaSF on Monday, July 8, 2019

Mozzeria hires only deaf employees, but all food lovers are welcome at their establishment. Restaurant-goers can order through sign, pointing or writing down their desired menu items.

The Steins hope to one day expand their reach and open even more Mozzeria restaurants in other places.

Liftable, a section of The Western Journal, reached out to Melody Stein for comment but has not yet received a response. We will update this article if and when we do.

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Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.
Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.

Sarah's experience as a successful working stay-at-home mom and business owner has given her the chance to write and research often. She stays up to date on the latest in entertainment and offers her views on celebrity stories based on her wide knowledge of the industry. Her success as a former preschool teacher and licensed daycare provider lend to her know-how on topics relating to parenting and childhood education.

Her thoughts on faith and family issues stem from home life and ministry work. Sarah takes time to attend workshops and classes annually that help her to improve and hone her writing craft. She is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature program and her writing has been acclaimed by ACFW and ECPA.
Education
Institute of Children's Literature, Art Institute of Phoenix (Advertising), University of California Irvine (Theater), Snow College (Early Childhood Education)
Location
Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith




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