Humanizing Chefs: Anna Josephine

Cincinnati Chefs
3 min readOct 31, 2023

Name — Anna Josephine. I go by (Josie)

Where do you Cook? — Currently doing indipendent Commisions.

Where are you from originally? — Cincinnati born and raised.

Favorite Food(s) — Popcorn, any Fish Dish, Ice Cream and Sourdough Bread.

Favorite Chef(s) — Sarah Ouellette, Connor Frenck, Amanda Cohen

Favorite Cincy Restaurant(s) (Past or Present) — Tuba, Shadeu Bakery, Cilantro, Kiki, Bridges, Tacos Time

Favorite Food Memory or Meal — My Mom and I started doing Spaghetti Dinners in 2019 almost once a week. Someone close to me was struggling with their mental health and spaghetti dinners were a way to check in with friends and feel a support system behind one another. They grew anywhere from 10–16 people a week. We stopped when Covid came along in 2020. Every once in a while, my friends and I will still have a “Spaghetti Dinner” and check in.

I first knew I wanted to be a chef when — I knew I wasnt ready for college, so I decided to try and bake professionally. I have been baking my whole life and loved it at home. Covid began a few months into my first baking job, it started to feel like the wrong choice for me. I learned so much, but I was burned out after the crazy hours during Covid. I had a lot of people in my life pushing me to go to school or get out of baking after watching how unhappy I was.
I got a notebook for Christmas that was suppose to encourage me to write again, which was an old hobby. I went to New York for two months and stayed with my sister. I cooked as much as I could for her and her family while I was there and began filling that notebook with recipes. I started to miss the kitchen. I got back to Cincy and took a job with a lighting company, I started cooking and baking for friends again. I got in touch with friends from the Industry and started dreaming up recipes. Was’nt long after that, I ended up back in a kitchen. That notebook is full now. I have met a lot of wonderful people through the industry that helped me get back the confidence that I love baking, they inspired a lot of the recipes in that Notebook.

If I weren’t a chef, I would be — Ecologist or Park Ranger. I was going to go to school for Environmental science. I worked with Cincy Parks a lot in Highschool on a Project called Walnut Woods of Evanston. Its now an official Cincy park.

My first job was — Chipotle, I was the best Burrito roller.

Why I love my job, in three words — Get That Bread

If I could have dinner with anyone, past or present, it would be — Doja Cat…. I just want to talk. I think the whole thing would be absurd and awkward but in like an entertaining way for the both of us.

My favorite book is — I dont make the time to read much. I have a collection of poetry books I will pick through, you can just read a few things and put them down. “It Shouldn’t Have Been Beautiful” and “Heart Talk” are good.

Favorite thing to cook after a busy service — Bread Steak….. Just a big slab of bread and some butter.

Favorite Movie(s) — Howls moving Castle, the Craft

Favorite TV show(s) — Adventure time

Favorite Song(s) — Toxic by Britney Spears, OOm Sha La La by Haley Heynderickx

Favorite Band or Musician — Black Eyed Peas, Amyl and the Sniffers, Rico Nasty, Santigold

Favorite Place to travel — New York City, grew up going up there my whole life to visit my sister.

Favorite Hobby(s) — Gardening with my Guinea Pig Charles, Rollerskating.

Favorite Quote — “Gorgino” use in place of gorgeous.

Biggest pet peeve — Seeing a problem and not speaking up, or waiting for some one else to solve it.

Your motivational quote for other cooks/chefs — At the end of the Day, its just a job and its just Food. Your creativity happens to be entangled with your labor, just keep going and remember that it is celebrated. You will always have something new to learn.

My advice to future culinary pros — Trust your instincts, support your coworkers, be open to learning and dont tolerate toxic environments.

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