Jahqyad Austin is the executive pastry chef and owner of Jahqyad’s Twist, a mail-order cookie bakery based in New York City. Although in his early 20s, Austin has been cooking for years, starting by selling cupcakes in grade school and then studying culinary arts at the Food & Finance High School in New York. He also bot involved with the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program, or C-CAP, which provides scholarships to culinary schools as well as ongoing mentorship (probably the bests known C-CAP alum is former Top Chef competitor Amar Santana).
Austin graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., in 2020 and since then cooked at Café Boulud, Eleven Madison Park, and other fine-dining restaurants in New York. Recently he was one of the early participants of the James Beard Foundation’s new month-long “Beard House Fellows” program through which he developed a meal kit with catering company Great Performances. He and other fellows also cooked a dinner at the Beard House last autumn.
Austin, who is also a visual artist, recently discussed his experiences and traced his course to becoming an up-and-coming pastry chef.