Speaking Through Food

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Photo by Courtnay Robbins

Without many words, Jonathan Weiss communicates volumes through his cooking. He’s in the kitchen every day at 2:30 a.m., preparing 1,000 catered meals for the surrounding business community. He greets and often hugs his customers at Big Mango Café, a successful restaurant he co-owns with partner Adam Drucker on Waterfront Drive. He’s worked alongside master chefs including Wolfgang Puck, Julia Child and Border Grill co-founder Susan Feniger.

And if you don’t pay close enough attention when ordering at the counter, you might not realize that Jonathan Weiss is deaf.

Weiss’ culinary education began as a kid in his grandfather’s British pub, The Fox and Hounds.

“He’s been in the kitchen since five minutes after he was born,” jokes Drucker, who often stands by his partner, listening to him and translating. Weiss speaks, but is liable to not be understood, and reads lips.

“His grandfather was a huge influence on him,” Drucker says. “He pushed him to speak, to read lips and to cook like a champion.”

Read the full article at Playa Vista Direct.

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