Food Chemist and Ice Cream Scientist
Who is Maya Warren?
Can you imagine being able to make your favorite candies and snacks? Maya Warren can! She was six years old when she first made herself some yummy ice cream. And she was able to turn that delicious treat into a full-time job. After she left her hometown of St. Louis, she attended college to major in chemistry. She dabbled in the classroom and even sports medicine before she found what she was truly meant to be — an ice cream scientist.
“One day in October of my senior year in college, I was watching this show called Unwrapped. They went into a flavor chemistry lab where they were flavoring soda to taste like traditional parts of a Thanksgiving meal, so they had green bean casserole-flavored soda, and mashed potato and gravy-flavored soda, and cranberry sauce. I was like, ‘What are these flavors? No way these can be good.’ But, as weird as those sounded, I was so intrigued. I thought I could become a flavor chemist. Once I realized it and connected it all the way back to that little six-year-old girl, I knew that indeed, that’s exactly where I’m supposed to be. Someone asked me recently, ‘Have you ever been in love?’ And I said, ‘I’m in love with ice cream.”
She earned a PhD in food science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Today, she works internationally as an ice cream and frozen dessert consultant. She also researches at Cold Stone Creamery’s headquarters where she creates new flavors for its tasters around the world. Every single day, she wakes up and uses chemistry to create tasty and delicious sweets.
“Now I teach people how to make ice cream. I teach people about the knowledge of ice cream,” she says. “I have always had this love relationship with ice cream, as most of us do. Being able to live out your wildest dream of making ice cream for a living is pretty amazing, and so is studying ice cream. I had never met an ice cream scientist or known of an ice cream scientist before I decided to become one.”
3 Things We Love About Maya Warren?
- During the pandemic, Warren continued teaching through an Instagram Live series called “Ice Cream Sundays with Dr. Maya.”
- Dr. Maya Warren says ice cream is her favorite food because… “it brings people together, it makes you happy.”
- She co-founded Ice Cream for Change, where ice cream makers and lovers alike can advocate for social change.