HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — A self-taught teenage baker from Hagerstown with some pretty incredible skills is participating in an international online baking competition called The Greatest Baker.
Kyiamoni Brown started baking when she was 14-years-old but what was supposed to be a one-time school project turned into much more.
Brown describes how her mother, who is also her homeschooling teacher, tasked her with making a baked good or food item out of a home-grown pumpkin. Then, she was bit by the baking bug.
“My mother gave me a homeschool project on what I could make out of a pumpkin. The first thing I made was pumpkin bread and from pumpkin bread, I started making pound cakes and from pound cakes, I got into cake decorating,” said Brown.
Brown recently graduated from high school with aspirations of growing a baking empire after completing culinary school.
“I would like to have a chain of bakeries, culinary schools, a couple of culinary schools, I would like to have my own line of pans and fondant and buttercream in stores,” said Brown.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Brown was unable to continue her custom cake orders but has taken the time to sharpen her skills and create new recipes. She also donated over 200 handmade masks to essential workers and nurses.
At just 18-years-old, Brown already has a trademarked business under her belt which she admitted is not as unique or notable to her as it would be to others. She said it feels normal to her because she feels that baking is what she is meant to do.
Brown also hopes to inspire other young bakers with her incredible works like the ones found on her social media pages. She stressed that it is important to never give up when pursuing your dreams.
“When you first start it… It doesn’t look all that great cause you’re still learning and you can get discouraged,” said Brown. “I know that they say wait ’til you get older to do this and wait ’til you get older to do that. But you really don’t have to wait ’til you get older.”
While Brown has already been named for the National Black Chef’s Award for 2021, she also entered The Greatest Baker competition which is hosted by two-time Food Network Baking Champion, Jen Barney. She said that while she entered into the world’s largest online baking competition for fun, she would love to win the $10,000 prize to help finance a brick-and-mortar bakery.