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Culinary student wins gold

by Carmella Martin, Contributing Writer

June 7, 2012

Janae Curtain
Janae Curtain relaxes on the bridge over the campus water feature.
Photo by Hillary Akers, Photo Editor

Does the taste of granola awaken your taste buds?

What if it's mixed into a buttery cookie bar that's rich and gooey in the center, but so light and crispy, it melts in your mouth when you bite into it?

The regional judges at Johnson & Wells University called it "gold worthy," but for pastry baker Janae Curtain, it's just what she does.

During her four year tenure at Olympia High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, Curtain studied culinary baking and competed in numerous competitions.

Although Curtain does not consider herself an expert cook, she was offered the Johnson & Wells Culinary Scholarship her senior year in high school, which she turned down.

"I wanted to pursue my passion as a magazine editor for my own food magazine," she said.

Inspired by her dad, Napoleon, who has his own catering business, Curtain plans to keep the culinary tradition alive in the family.

During her regional competition, Curtain partnered with her best friend Venus to bring home the gold. The prize-winning dish was Granola Delight.

During the competition they were graded on appearance, preparation and dish presentation.

They had to list the nutritional value, ingredients and show step by step how to make the dish.

"The judges wanted to market our dish, but I didn't think it was all that good," Curtain said.

Out of 30 competitors, Curtain and Venus came out on top.

"If I ever decided to open a bakery, it would be with Venus," Curtain said.

Curtain is a Mass Communication major at UNCP. Her future goals involve being a food critic and an editor of her own magazine. Her passion is to create and present food through pictures and commentary.

"I want you to taste it with your eyes before you actually eat it," she said.

With a regional win during a culinary competition and her dad a renowned chef, Curtain is well on her way to achieving culinary greatness.

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Updated: June 7, 2012
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