Jeremiah Josey is a Maryland based pastry chef, model, author and inspirational speaker, who also happens to be autistic, Cuisine Noir reports.
The 20-year-old discovered his affinity for baking when he was a teen, in the kitchen cooking with his grandmother. He was fascinated by her ability to make amazing dishes like sunny side up eggs, blueberry pie, pumpkin chocolate cheesecake and peanut butter cookies. Before you know it, Josey was right alongside her, learning everything he could as he perfected his pastries and desserts at every holiday and family gathering.
Once Josey’s mother, Simone Greggs, realized her son was interested in cooking, she reached out to famed Washington, D.C. chef Kwame Onwuachi to ask if he’d allow Josey to cook with him at his restaurant. Onwuachi obliged and the rest is history. Since then, Josey has appeared on The Steve Harvey show three times, Harvey surprising the young chef once with a baking session featuring celebrity pastry chef Christina Tosi, founder of Milk Bar. He has also walked in New York Fashion Week, been invited to Bermuda to bake and speak about autism at various schools, co-wrote a book with his mom, “Here’s What I Want You To Know,” to help minority parents who have autistic children, and most recently been named one of 14 top autism influencers by the ‘Autism on The Mighty’ community.
Josey says he just wants other children to know that, “just because you have a disability doesn’t mean you cannot pursue your passion and have big dreams.” He went on to say that his greatest inspiration is his mother. “She always told me, ‘You can do it. It may take you longer, you may need to find a creative way, but you can do it.’ She has never left my side and we wouldn’t know what we would do without each other,” he said.
The rising chef has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. He’s currently working on a cookbook, compiling all of the recipes he’s prepared with celebrity chefs with the help of his mom. He is also planning to launch a clothing line in 2020 called “Passport Adaptive.”
Though successful, his journey is not without its fair share of challenges. Josey is still overcoming his stage fright and he’s working to get into culinary school, sharing that most of the culinary schools are not equipped or ready for autistic students. But he won’t let anything stop him. He plans to keep on pushing through and continuing to “cook from love and put [his] heart and soul in it.” His ultimate goal is to open his own bakery, “Jeremiah’s Cakes and Shakes.”
Whatever he does, we look forward to it. Keep on inspiring us Jeremiah. T
Photo Courtesy of Jamie Cheyenne