Jeremy Salamon, also known as Jeremy Cooks on Instagram, has a dream of opening up his own restaurant in the near future.
It’s called Agi’s Cafe, an Eastern European Cafe & Bakery that could begin welcoming customers in Brooklyn sometime next year. The idea of him attempting to do this is beyond admirable given how hellish the culinary world has been lately.
COVID has effectively destroyed a good portion of the restaurant industry with many well-known places shutting down for good as a result. Things are starting to look up to a certain degree though as new spots are finally opening while established spaces have begun doing indoor dining all over again.
Jeremy has a lot going for him when it comes to making Agi’s a reality in 2021. His looks could easily influence people to show up just to get a good look at how cute he is (I mean, hello, look at that picture above) but there’s a wonderful backstory to why he’s doing this that only adds to this becoming a reality for him very soon.
He has launched a Kickstarter for Agi’s which is almost at the halfway point of reaching its goal with 8 days to go. Jeremy chatted with us about it and his other professional dreams in an exclusive interview below.
What or who inspired you to get into the world of cooking?
I think the driving force behind my culinary aspirations were my mother and both grandmothers. Something about them being able to cook from 4 to 20 people and still look good doing it seemed like some sort of super power I wanted in on.
The food you make, just based on your Instagram photos, looks absolutely scrumptious! Do you have a particular kind of cuisine that you like making more than anything else?
Well thank you! I tend to lean towards Eastern European cuisine because it’s a part of my heritage. I love the dramatic layered pastries of Hungary, the excessive use of fruit in Austria and the endless amounts of floral china in every home.
Tell us more about Agi’s Cafe and the active Kickstarter campaign behind it.
Agi’s is a market driven cafe and bakery influenced by my Eastern European and Jewish roots. Think schnitzel sandwiches and seasonal jelly donuts! I started working on this business plan a few years ago but never found the right time to move it forward. Unfortunately / fortunately because of COVID, opportunities for young chefs and entrepreneurs have and will become more abundant. It’s a chance to help rebuild the food industry.
The Kickstarter was launched at the beginning of October to help raise $65k in initial funds for the space. The support and love has been overwhelming even with 8 days to go! Kickstarter is an all or nothing platform meaning if we don’t raise the total funds we don’t receive anything. So please consider supporting Agi’s!
I know the culinary scene has been devastated during COVID. What has been the peak and pit of your experience in dealing with it over the past several months?
When COVID hit I was working at a wine bar that had just opened. I went through the motions with them…opening, closing, opening then closing. We switched from full dinner service to takeout and delivery. Ultimately, they decided to close for a few months but are now just a two person operation (the husband and wife owners). They really have been fighting for their dream and adapting at every turn. Nobody should have to go through this but it does inspire me to join the fight and push for a better future.
On top of knowing how to cook you are quite adorable as well. Are you dating anyone? If not what do you look for in another guy?
That’s very sweet of you to say! I am dating someone. My boyfriend Michael and I just celebrated 5 years together!
Ultimately what is your biggest professional goal moving forward?
Right now, opening this cafe is everything I’ve been working towards. It is the biggest step in my career going from a chef to business owner. Honestly, I just want to make it out alive! I want Agi’s to be a successful staple in the community. I want a place where I have regulars and “everybody knows your name” ( did you get the Cheers reference?). Beyond that I do have more dreams but this is the most important as it sets the stage for everything else to come.