THE AMAZING RACE is a multi-Emmy Award-winning reality series hosted by Emmy Award-nominated host Phil Keoghan. The series began its milestone 25th trip around the world on Saturday, May 31, 2014, when the Emmy Award-winning series kicked off from Times Square in New York City. The 25th season spanned 26,000 miles through eight countries, including first time visits to the United States Virgin Islands, Malta, and the Shetland Islands of Scotland. 11 teams of 2 competed in a series of challenges, some mental and some physical. Teams who were the farthest behind were gradually eliminated as the contest progressed, with the first to arrive at the final destination winning THE AMAZING RACE and the $1 million prize.
Maya Warren and teammate Amy DeJong, Food Scientists from Madison, Wisconsin, affectionately called “sweet scientists,” whom at the time were doctoral students’, was the team of two none of us saw coming! From the start of the series, the energy coming from these two was simply amazing! Warren, a St. Louisan, attended Rosati Kain and then later enrolled in the University of Wisconsin as a food science major. Upon arrival in Times Square in May 2014, she and her partner wreaked of confidence, determination and perseverance.
We finally caught up with Maya who was traveling on business from St. Louis to Texas, to see what’s next for the “sweet scientist!”
Dr. Maya Warren received her PhD in Food Science in September 2015, one year after taking home the $1 million prize on THE AMAZING RACE. Her research background is in frozen aerated desserts. Dr. Warren breaks it down in layman terms (for us non-scientists.)
In essence, she researches the microstructure, behavioral, and sensorial properties of frozen aerated desserts and how partial coalescence (the agglomeration of fat globules) effects the melt behavior of frozen aerated desserts. “I look at ice cream as a science; just like we dissected frogs in high school, I dissect ice cream. Air cells, fat globules, partially coalesced fat globules and ice crystals make my eyes light up! I love what I do and do what I love and ice cream fits right into the category of love for me!” says Warren.
Dr. Warren propelled full steam ahead after the show’s airing. She has embarked on her entrepreneur journey as a consultant and as a public speaker in the frozen dessert industry. She speaks in engagements across the country on the science term “Looking Beyond the Goggles and Outside the Beaker” and on “Being a Woman Scientist and Beyond.” Dr. Warren shares experiences about being on THE AMAZING RACE. She inspires young kids to do those things they’ve always wanted to do. She wants young people of color to know that there is opportunity right outside of their doorstep and nothing is impossible! But wait, it gets even sweeter!
In January 2016, portfolio brands Cold Stone Creamery and Pinkberry, announced Dr. Warren as lead food scientist ‘Tastemaster’ and Director of Research and Development for the companies. Warren creates new flavors and innovative products unique to each concept. She promotes frozen treats and continues the tradition of putting out amazing product lines and profiles that appeal to guests worldwide.
In her leisure, Dr. Warren enjoys working out, running in marathons, traveling, watching the Food Network and hanging with family and friends. When we asked Dr. Warren, “How did you do it? How did you know you would win?” Warren said, “I just knew it from the very beginning. I told my partner, “We’re going to win this thing.” This is without a shadow of a doubt proof that there is power in the tongue and in thought. Dr. Warren spoke life into her dreams and they became amazingly true.
She and her partner, DeJong, watched and analyzed all 24 seasons of the popular reality show to study secrets of winning teams and figure out strategies that would work best for them. We were not surprised when we asked Dr. Warren, “What is something most people don’t know about you? She answered, “I like to people watch.”
People watching, completing brutally hard insanity workouts every morning for months, enjoying the moments, embracing the experiences and keeping their formidable brainpower under the radar was the cherry on top of the sweetest deal yet – – St. Louis’ 1st African-American female food scientist to win THE AMAZING RACE, Dr. Maya Warren.
Article By Sylvia Woods for Delux Magazine | May/June issue
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