Meet Vipin, the deaf and mute chef whipping up magic at Chef Suresh Pillai’s restaurant

The 25-year-old Vipin surprised everyone with his great knowledge of flavours and natural talent in cooking. Photo: Instagram/@chef_pillai

Social media has been celebrating a young chef lately, who didn’t allow his disabilities to limit his ambitions. Twenty-five-year-old Vipin, who works as a chef at Chef Suresh Pillai’s restaurant, surprised everyone with his great knowledge of flavours and natural talent in cooking, despite being deaf and mute.

Meanwhile, Chef Pillai deserves credit for appreciating the courage and dedication of a young chef and providing him the opportunity to shine at one of his restaurants.

Vipin, who hails from Thekkumbhagam in Chavara, Kollam was born with congenial deafness.

However, he had a natural fondness for good food and cooking. Vipin’s biggest dream was to work as a chef at Chef Suresh Pillai’s restaurant. The youngster is delighted that he has finally fulfilled his dream.

But, those who hear Vipin’s story often wonder how a deaf and mute person can work at a busy five star restaurant. Suresh Pillai, who was impressed by Vipin’s incredible talent and perseverance, reveals to Manorama Online how Vipin had landed his dream job at one of his restaurants.

Inspiring life story
Vipin had been working as a cook at a local mess in Kollam for years. Meanwhile, Chef Pillai regrets that it took some time for him to recognise such a talented chef at his hometown. It was Vipin’s greatest dream to become a chef at Suresh Pillai’s restaurant.

Chef Pillai was at Bengaluru when one of friends sent him Vipin’s resume. He handed over the resume to his chef at the restaurant in Kochi. However, the team was sceptical whether a deaf and mute person could handle the rush hours at the restaurant.

Nevertheless, Vipin was invited for an interview. He was given the task of cooking fish curry and avial. The interview board was surprised when they tasted Vipin’s dishes. They couldn’t help but appreciate the youngster’s determination and incredible cooking skills.

Dreams come true
Chef Pillai says that they had doubts when they received Vipin’s resume. Cooking in the kitchen of a posh restaurant is different from cooking at a mess. Dishes are freshly cooked and served in a five star restaurant as per order. The chefs often speak loudly and yell to get things done swiftly.

No one was sure whether Vipin, who cannot hear or speak, could handle such situations. The interview board had spoken greatly about Vipin’s cooking to Chef Pillai. He asked Vipin to join the restaurant on the next day itself. The head chef at Kochi recalls how Vipin looked happy and thrilled when he was informed to report for work.

Vipin kept surprising everyone at the restaurant with his efficiency and great pace. He would cook every dish perfectly as per order. Moreover, he is skilled in cooking most dishes including fluffy palappam. Vipin soon learned the gestures and speaking styles of most of the staff members.

He proved that the ability to speak or hear wasn’t required to communicate his unique skills. Chef Suresh Pillai met Vipin when the former visited the kitchen recently. He too was impressed by how Vipin got adapted to the hectic schedules in the kitchen.

“Today, he a brother to thirty odd chefs working in the kitchen. They cook together, smile together, strive together and learn together. When I met him, I only told him one thing: ‘As long as this restaurant exists, you can call this home.’ I don’t know if he understood it or not, but he held my hands tightly and looked at me. The moment I saw his eyes, I knew. I knew my heart was right – this boy was special. Food has no language. You don’t need eyes, you don’t need ears – all you need is a heart filled with passion for feeding people love,” Chef Pillai wrote on his social media page.

Vipin has turned his disabilities into his greatest strength and is reaping success through hard work. Chef Pillai wishes that he reaches greater heights with his passion and dedication. The celebrity chef says that there are hundreds of people around us who are incredibly talented but aren’t recognised.

He advises to appreciate such unique talents and help them grow by providing the right opportunities. “A human being should be given not just kindness and affection but the right opportunities to succeed in life too,” says Chef Pillai.

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