Cornbread Makes A Homeless Man Become A Chef

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by Elaa Abdeltawab

Posted on March 11, 2019


Cornbread Makes A Homeless Man Become A Chef

Stefan DeArmon is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran. He retired from his service and returned back to his hometown, Charleston in South Carolina. DeArmon went back to support his parents who have been struggling, his mother has been diagnosed with blindness. DeArmon wanted to help his parents, but he could not support them financially. 

This is until a veteran social worker told DeArmon about One80 Place, a shelter that provides homeless people with job opportunities. DeArmon followed his advice and joined One80 Place, at this shelter DeArmon followed culinary training as cooking is something he is passionate about. 


A good mistake

Angie DuPree, DeArmon’s training instructor, advised him to assist a chef at the Charleston Wine and Food Festival. Following his instructor’s advice, DeArmon started volunteering a local barbecue restaurant. The restaurant’s owner, Roland Feldman, offered DeArmon a permanent job at the restaurant as a dishwasher. Not long after, DeArmon became a chef at the same restaurant because of his hard work, talent and ambitious nature. 

While DeArmon was preparing the restaurant's signature cornbread, he made a mistake; he used heavy cream instead of buttermilk. According to Feldman, this was surely a good mistake as the cornbread turned out better than usual. All customers fell in love with the cornbread’s new recipe and that is when Feldman decided to make DeArmon his business partner. 

Now, DeArmon teaches other people at One80 Place and provides homeless people with meals from his own cornbread food truck. "Without hope, you don't have anything. The one80 place gave me hope and an avenue because dealing what I had to with my parents, to do something that I really love, which is cooking, it was a relief, you know," DeArmon said. "To see people get satisfaction from something that I've created is one of the best feelings ever ... I swell with pride just to see the smile on my mother's face. And it was a great feeling, a great feeling."

 


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