Culture

Meet Dr. Maya Warren, The Ice Cream Scientist

Meet Dr. Maya Warren, The Ice Cream Scientist

31 flavors of Black girl magic!

Meet Dr. Maya Warren, a professional ice cream scientist who travels the world, making flavors for Cold Stone Creamery, Mental Floss reports. 

Warren recognized her love for science at an early age, experimenting with trying to make her form of Nickelodeon’s Gak using glue and food coloring. Later on in life, she realized she also really loved chemistry, thinking she would one day grow up to be a chemistry teacher. A random moment in time changed it all, stumbling across a television show called Unwrapped on the Food Network that showed how food is manufactured. The particular episode Warren saw was about creating flavored soda that tasted like a traditional Thanksgiving meal, including green bean casserole- flavored soda, turkey and gravy-flavored soda and cranberry sauce soda. The budding scientist was immediately hooked, sparking her interest in the science of food. 

She went on to earn her Ph.D. in food science at UW Madison, choosing to focus solely on ice cream. After finishing graduate school and taking time to enjoy life while competing on CBS’ The Amazing Race, she landed her dream job working for Cold Stone Creamery as senior director for international research and development, focused on developing innovative flavors for the company. 

“I didn’t actually apply for the job. Six years ago, I was running The Amazing Race... [and] after I was on it, a lot of publications reached out wanting to interview me. I did a couple of interviews, and someone from Cold Stone found [me]. They noticed that I’m a scientist, and they were looking for someone with my background,” Warren said. 

She came on, focusing mainly on “establishing dairies and building ice cream mixes” for different Cold Stone locations across the world. She also helps pick various ice cream flavors based on popular foods in other countries, with one of her favorite creations being a cornbread and blackberry jam ice cream. Warren says the best part of her job is watching people eat and enjoy her results, second only to telling people what she does for a living. 

“One of the most rewarding things is being able to produce a product and see people eat it. The other part of it is being able to have a hand in helping people in different countries get on their feet. Ice cream isn’t a luxury for many people in America, but there are people in other countries that would look at it that way. Being able to introduce ice cream to these countries is fascinating to me. And being able to provide job opportunities for people, that sincerely touches my heart. The last part is the fact that when I tell people I’m an ice cream scientist, it doesn’t matter how old the person is, they can’t believe it,” Warren said. 

To keep up with Warren and catch her popular “Ice Cream Sundays” broadcast on IG Live, follow her social media page here!

Dr. Maya, keep bringing a little more joy to the world! 

Photo Courtesy of @maya.warren/Instagram