This 21-year-old pastry chef is breaking stereotypes on what it means to live with autism

Jeremiah Josey is a 21-year-old pastry chef, author and advocate.

The Maryland baker, who has autism, is using his platform to defy stereotypes and inspire others. As a student at the Culinary Institute of America, he has already worked with renowned chefs like Kwame Onwuachi of “Top Chef” and Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi. 

“I love baking because it makes me feel happy and confident and good about myself and my skills,” Josey told In The Know. “I’m trying to inspire a lot of people in the world and give more encouragement and confidence to those who feel like they can’t make it.” 

His mother, Simone Greggs, told Josey about his diagnosis when he was a preteen. 

“I have a very special relationship with my mother. She’s always there for me. She’s extremely loyal to me,” he told In The Know. 

The mother and son even wrote a children’s book together “Here’s What I Want You To Know,” to help others understand autism. 

But it was his grandmother, Doris Greggs-Mcquilkin who sparked his interest in cooking. In his early teens, the two began baking together and Josey realized he was developing some serious skills. From there, things kind of took off.

“I’m a fan of ‘Top Chef.’ Chef Kwame was on season 13 and I just so loved his heart,” Greggs told In The Know. “I just sent him a copy of the book and I just let him know that I felt like my son had the same heart as him — that I would be so honored if he could teach my son and to my surprise, I couldn’t believe he called me back.”  

But meeting Onwuachi was just the start of numerous sessions with different chefs Josey featured on his YouTube channel Jeremiah’s Cooking Adventures. He’s cooked with Chef Chris ScottChef Duff Goldman and Chef Flynn McGarry just to name a few. 

“Meeting them did inspire me to take my cooking further,” Josey told In The Know. “Baking brought me a lot of confidence and courage that allowed me to do other things like modeling, being a book author and motivational speaker.”

An unstoppable force, Josey is currently working on a second book with his mother.

“I decided to write a new book with my mom because how I felt about all the racism that goes on in the world — I felt that me and my mom should work together to write a new book that talks about racism, police brutality and how Black lives matter,” Josey told In The Know.

If you’d like to support restaurants during this time, consider looking into businesses in Chinatown.

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