Chase Bailey is a 15-year-old chef with his own cooking show on YouTube and a recently released cookbook, The Official Chase ‘N Yur Face Cookbook—and he’s using part of the proceeds to set up his Chase Yur Dreams Foundation. That is a huge accomplishment on its own, but what makes it even more impressive is Chase was diagnosed with autism as a toddler, a diagnosis that includes severe food aversions, speech delay, and other developmental and physical issues. “Some doctors told my mom that I would probably never speak, and would not be able to take care of myself,” Chase said in his cookbook introduction.
He goes on to reveal that when he was 8, he started watching cooking shows with his grandfather—Eat Street is a favorite—which helped him overcome his food aversions. “These cooking shows helped me to see that food could actually be fun, and a big part of traveling—which is one of my favorite things,” he said.
Chase took a minute to tell us about his inspiration, how he overcomes challenges, and advice he has for others. Plus, he shares three of his own recipes with us.
What inspired you to write your own cookbook?
I didn’t plan on doing a cookbook. But someone asked my mom if I would be interested, so she told me about it and all the amazing stuff that doing a cookbook would be. I already had a journal of recipes, so I thought, why not bring it to the world, right?
How do you come up with your recipes?
Sometimes ideas literally just pop in my head. Sometimes when I’m eating something or see food on a show, I start thinking about how I would make something like it with different ingredients.
Are there any challenges you’ve had to overcome—both with your YouTube channel and cookbook—as a young man with autism?
One of the challenges I have is speaking. I know the words I want to say but it takes time for me to put them in order. I have an acting coach who helps me speak properly for my shows and interviews. I also have challenges with fine motor skills. Sometimes my hand strength is not very good, so l use tools like a chopper and food processor to help me in the kitchen. Everybody has challenges to overcome. We all do life with a little bit of help.
Get Sanity Saving Ideas & Activities
Delivered right to your inbox
Can you tell me about the Chase Yur Dreams Foundation—its mission and goals?
There are a lot of kids with autism who have challenges and dreams like me. I want to help them with education, jobs, and things they need to make their dreams come true.
Do you have advice for other children on the spectrum, or with other disabilities, about pursuing their passion?
Find out what you love to do and go for it! And ask for help!
If you could say anything to those without special needs about having an autism diagnosis, what would it be?
People with autism have dreams and can do things, too. Autism is like having something special or an extra body part. You just have figure how to make it work for you.
Main image: Chase Bailey, a 15-year-old chef with autism who is host of his own cooking show on YouTube.com, recently published The Official Chase ’N Yur Face Cookbook.
3 Recipes from Chase Bailey's Cookbook
Find Cooking Classes for Kids with Special Needs