Deaf chef inspires judges to win top award

Scott Garthwaite (right) picks up his award from Ian Walker, of Specsavers
Scott Garthwaite (right) picks up his award from Ian Walker, of Specsavers

A PROFOUNDLY deaf Hartlepool man has lifted a top title for his culinary talents.

Scott Garthwaite has won the regional Sound Barrier Star Awards which honours deaf and hard of hearing people.

The 33 year old was given with the award by Specsavers Hearing Centres for his determination to succeed as a chef.

The father-of-one, originally from Hartlepool and who now lives in Billingham was born profoundly deaf.

He inspired the judges with his ambition and work with deaf students at Newcastle College.

Scott has also signed up to present a new television cooking show, Punk Chef, created to help deaf people improve their culinary skills.

He also graduated with a 2:1 honours degree in culinary and patisserie at Newcastle College. Now he mentors other deaf students and won the award after colleagues nominated him for the national competition run by Specsavers Hearing Centres.

The Sound Barrier Star Awards celebrates the achievements of people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Scott said: “I hope through this award and my work I can help others to see that it’s not always easy being deaf and it should never stand in the way of you achieving your goals in life.

“Some deaf people can fall behind with cooking jargon and might find cooking techniques complicated when they are watching a hearing chef on television, even if their first language is BSL (British Sign Language).

Punk Chef is produced with the deaf community in mind to connect with them on a personal level to help them become more comfortable with cooking.”

Ian Walker, store director of Specsavers Hartlepool, said: “Scott’s work with the deaf community and his ambition is truly inspiring.”

Rachel Beadle, the senior disability advisor at Newcastle College who nominated Scott, described him as “a true inspiration and never lets his disability get in the way of his passion for his career”.