Getting to Know WebstaurantStore’s 2018 Summer Scholarship Winner
WebstaurantStore is proud to see students pursuing an education in the culinary arts and hospitality management fields. To show our support, we awarded one lucky winner a $1,500 grant this summer to help her achieve her culinary ambitions. This year’s winner was Adrienne Bain, a talented culinary student with a sweet tooth for entrepreneurship and dreams of satisfying it. Now, Adrienne shares her experiences with cooking competitions, ambitious goals, and pursuing her education.
Adrienne’s Baking Background
Adrienne began baking when she was eight or nine. Her passion grew in her grandmother’s kitchen, where she’d help her Grandma bake during family visits. While she enjoys both cooking and baking, it’s the creative freedom baking brings that excites Adrienne the most. “What gives me the most enjoyment is baking. Specifically because the decorating possibilities are endless and they keep my ideas rolling, no pun intended,” she said.
Taking her love of baking to the next level, Adrienne is determined to revolutionize the world of desserts. Through hard work, ambition, and creativity, she wants to someday open her own dessert restaurant. “This would allow people to stop by after having dinner and enjoy a sweet treat or satisfy those midnight cravings,” she said.
Entering Baking Competitions
When Adrienne was 12, her family encouraged her to enter a coffee cake recipe she found into a local baking competition. Placing second in her first baking competition gave Adrienne the confidence boost she needed to continue practicing and perfecting her hobby.
In every baking competition she entered since, Adrienne has been up against adults more than twice her age. But her determination to learn and improve her skills paid off, proving age is just a number. “At the fair, I have placed in several categories throughout the years,” she said. Adrienne also competed through a club in her high school to qualify for a state baking competition. “At state, I received gold and placed third overall in my category,” Adrienne said.
Balancing School and Baking
Finding the right balance between developing her skills, spending time with friends, and getting her homework done came naturally to Adrienne. “I have learned to balance baking and earning certificates similar to doing my homework,” she said. During her high school career, Adrienne not only focused on her baking skills, but she also obtained important certificates including Prostart Year One, Prostart Year Two, ServSafe Manager, ServSafe Allergens, and ServSafe Alcohol.
As for her social life? Adrienne said, “My friends loved entertaining me while I was baking or coming over to try my new creations.”
High School Culinary Classes
In addition to math, English, and science, Adrienne’s school offered unique culinary classes she was able to take advantage of during the school day. She took five culinary classes total, with two of them being high-level courses. After her first foods class during sophomore year of high school, Adrienne was hooked. “Between my sophomore and junior years, our whole culinary program got revamped. This expanded the classes that were available to enroll in,” she said. The recent expansion allowed Adrienne to take additional classes and further develop her skills.
Today, Adrienne credits her culinary teacher Jenny Wehmeier with helping to encourage and push Adrienne towards her future in baking. “She has found me countless jobs and pushed me to my limits and I am better because of it. I would not be this far today without her,” Adrienne said.
Adrienne’s Proudest Moment in Baking
When Adrienne’s culinary teacher couldn’t cater a dinner party event, Adrienne took on the job as her first catering event. She said: “Originally, they were asking my culinary teacher for her to have the whole class cater the event for their dinner party. However, my teacher was going to be out of town at the time of this event. She told them she would not be available, but if they were interested in desserts she had a student in mind for the job.”
Adrienne was given total creative freedom over the three desserts she needed to make for the retirement party. “On the night of the event, I brought out the desserts and was flooded with compliments. I was the most thrilled when the superintendent of my school told me how amazing everything looked,” she said.
Tips for Young Bakers
Adrienne has one piece of simple advice for young bakers: “Do everything in your power to try new things.” Looking back to her 12-year-old self, Adrienne is proud to know her young age didn’t stop her from competing in a competition and sharing her passion with the world. In her eyes, winning that first competition with her coffee cake recipe was not an impossible task. “Don’t let anyone stop you from trying things that are ‘out of reach.’ Try it anyway,” she said.
Are you interested in baking? How about managing a restaurant? If you’re passionate about pursing an education in the culinary arts or hospitality fields, check out our scholarship page. Take a look at Adrienne’s winning essay and learn how to apply to win a $1,500 grant towards achieving your culinary dreams.