Marc Vetri, the star chef who brought us some of the best restaurants in town, is opening up to the Huffington Post and sharing with readers a trait he thought defined him — and surprisingly, it's not his cooking:
Most people take things like, well, talking for granted. It's such a simple thing. First, you gather your thoughts, you then decide what to say and finally you just say it. Your vocal chords start to vibrate like strings on a guitar or wings of a hummingbird, and then your lips and tongue form the shapes that make the sounds of the letters. Easy, right?
But it isn't for Vetri and the more than three million Americans who stutter. So in light of National Stuttering Awareness Week (May 13 to 19), Vetri shared his story of living with a speech impediment and how he came to realize that most people are more interested in what he's saying, rather than how he's saying it.
Vetri recalled the moment he realized that stuttering didn't define his life when he was working at Wolfgang Puck's Los Angeles restaurant Granita in the 1990s:
One day, Chef Puck walked in, and jumped on the line with us. He reached across the counter to shake my hand. He looked at me and asked, "What's your name?"
That's the big one: "What's your name?" I know it seems like such an inconceivable question to be nervous about answering. You know your name. You've had it for your entire life. Yet, it's a dreaded question for most people who stutter.
"Um...well...uuhhh....M-M-M....ahem...(cough)...(cough)...M-M-M-Marc," I replied after what seemed to be a lifetime.
"Nice to meet you," he said with a smile.
And that was it for Vetri— one of those magical moments that make you believe in yourself. Now, the chef gives lectures and cooking demonstrations to thousands of people every year, and he does it with confidence.