P.MAI Pioneer Maya Warren

Posted on by Phuong Mai

1.) It sounds like you have the coolest job on the planet. Can you tell us what exactly does it mean to be an ice cream scientist?

As an ice cream scientist, I study the microstructure, sensorial, and behavioral properties of frozen aerated desserts. I love being able to use my scientific expertise to help the frozen dessert industry continue to make better and better frozen aerated desserts for consumers all over the world. Part of being an ice cream scientist is sharing what I do with people all over the world. I love sharing my passion for the science of ice cream to inspire people to follow their dreams and do what it is they want to do in life.  

2.) How did you get started as a food scientist? Was it something you always wanted to do?

My path to becoming a food scientist is interesting! I went to Carleton College in Northfield, MN where I majored in Chemistry. I thought I was going to be a high school chemistry teacher and taught for three summers in college and realized that the classroom was too restrictive for me and I needed to teach on a different platform. So that led me to pursue sports medicine as a career. I shadowed doctors, and well lets just say, it did not make my tube socks go up and down! During October of my senior year at Carleton, I found food science via the show Unwrapped on the Food Network. From watching an episode where they were showing how flavor chemist make soda taste like parts of the Thanksgiving meal (turkey and gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce) I was intrigued. I knew that as an aspiring chemist, I too could do something just as cool as those flavor chemist! I ended up interning at Malt-O-Meal Cereal Company, which was a quick bike ride from Carleton and fell in love with food science. Although grain science did not make my eyes light up, food Sscience was where my heart belonged. I ended up asking myself what food do I love, and well, ice cream it is!!! So I applied and was accepted to the PhD program in food science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, specializing in the microstructure, sensorial, and behavioral properties of ice cream and other frozen aerated desserts. I love ice cream more today than I did yesterday and I cannot wait to inspire the world one scoop at a time!!!

3.) Favorite ice cream flavor?

My favorite ice cream flavor is one that I make…a double buttered candied pecan! I love it not only because it taste delicious, but it makes people so happy when they eat it! I love the smiles on their faces that every scoop brings. 

4.) Apart from being a food scientist, you were part of the winning team of the Amazing Race Season 25! What was it like being the third all-female team to win the Amazing Race? Was being a female team something you thought about going into the competition?

It is such an honor and a privilege to hold the title of winners of Season 25 of The Amazing Race and the 3rd female-female team to win it all! We were able to inspire so many young people to follow their dreams and to stay true to themselves no matter the adversity they face. Winning the Race was really awesome, but I am most proud of how we ran the Race, with integrity, compassion, humility, laughter, love, and a whole lot of FUN! I believe we showed people what women scientists look like, that scientists can be more than what is traditionally depicted, and how cool it is to be intelligent, fun, and determined female scientists.  

5.) What was something most surprising that you learned from your Amazing Race experience?

One of the most surprising things I learned from my experience on The Amazing Race was how much goes into the production of the TV show! The team of people who put it together are truly top notch in the industry and make it look seamless. Behind the scenes, it is eye-opening and intriguing to see all the things that must come together to make a multi Emmy Award winning television show.

6.) You’re also working on a possibly food TV show. Can you give us any previews of what that might look like?

It will be something around science education for kids…cant give away too much though…we will just have to wait and see!!!

7.) You’re smart, talented and clearly unafraid to take risks. What advice would you give to other women who want to pursue their passions but aren’t sure where to start?

I wear a bracelet that reads, “She believed she could, so she did!”  I encourage all to simply believe in themselves and what they want to pursue in life. Also, it is important to make the most of all situations and experiences we have in life as one never knows what impact it may have and where is may lead us. Also, don’t let fear keep you from moving forward as you never know until you try! I also enjoy living life without regrets and putting my all into everything and enjoying the heck out of every moment and opportunity that life brings!

8.) How do you carry on beautifully?

I absolutely love love love the P. MAI backpack! It is beautiful both inside and out! I love the quality of the backpack and how it is truly a luxury backpack for working women! I receive complements on it whenever I where it. It is truly the best backpack I have ever owned and I don’t think I will ever own another!!! P. MAI is in a league of its own and continues to amaze me every time I carry on! I carry on beautifully by sharing my passions and love for life with the world!  All that I have been able to accomplish in life, is not just for me, it is to inspire all those who wish they too could, who were told they could not, and who one day will!  

1.) It sounds like you have the coolest job on the planet. Can you tell us what exactly does it mean to be an ice cream scientist?

As an ice cream scientist, I study the microstructure, sensorial, and behavioral properties of frozen aerated desserts. I love being able to use my scientific expertise to help the frozen dessert industry continue to make better and better frozen aerated desserts for consumers all over the world. Part of being an ice cream scientist is sharing what I do with people all over the world. I love sharing my passion for the science of ice cream to inspire people to follow their dreams and do what it is they want to do in life.  

2.) How did you get started as a food scientist? Was it something you always wanted to do?

My path to becoming a food scientist is interesting! I went to Carleton College in Northfield, MN where I majored in Chemistry. I thought I was going to be a high school chemistry teacher and taught for three summers in college and realized that the classroom was too restrictive for me and I needed to teach on a different platform. So that led me to pursue sports medicine as a career. I shadowed doctors, and well lets just say, it did not make my tube socks go up and down! During October of my senior year at Carleton, I found food science via the show Unwrapped on the Food Network. From watching an episode where they were showing how flavor chemist make soda taste like parts of the Thanksgiving meal (turkey and gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce) I was intrigued. I knew that as an aspiring chemist, I too could do something just as cool as those flavor chemist! I ended up interning at Malt-O-Meal Cereal Company, which was a quick bike ride from Carleton and fell in love with food science. Although grain science did not make my eyes light up, food Sscience was where my heart belonged. I ended up asking myself what food do I love, and well, ice cream it is!!! So I applied and was accepted to the PhD program in food science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, specializing in the microstructure, sensorial, and behavioral properties of ice cream and other frozen aerated desserts. I love ice cream more today than I did yesterday and I cannot wait to inspire the world one scoop at a time!!!

3.) Favorite ice cream flavor?

My favorite ice cream flavor is one that I make…a double buttered candied pecan! I love it not only because it taste delicious, but it makes people so happy when they eat it! I love the smiles on their faces that every scoop brings. 

4.) Apart from being a food scientist, you were part of the winning team of the Amazing Race Season 25! What was it like being the third all-female team to win the Amazing Race? Was being a female team something you thought about going into the competition?

It is such an honor and a privilege to hold the title of winners of Season 25 of The Amazing Race and the 3rd female-female team to win it all! We were able to inspire so many young people to follow their dreams and to stay true to themselves no matter the adversity they face. Winning the Race was really awesome, but I am most proud of how we ran the Race, with integrity, compassion, humility, laughter, love, and a whole lot of FUN! I believe we showed people what women scientists look like, that scientists can be more than what is traditionally depicted, and how cool it is to be intelligent, fun, and determined female scientists.  

5.) What was something most surprising that you learned from your Amazing Race experience?

One of the most surprising things I learned from my experience on The Amazing Race was how much goes into the production of the TV show! The team of people who put it together are truly top notch in the industry and make it look seamless. Behind the scenes, it is eye-opening and intriguing to see all the things that must come together to make a multi Emmy Award winning television show.

6.) You’re also working on a possibly food TV show. Can you give us any previews of what that might look like?

It will be something around science education for kids…cant give away too much though…we will just have to wait and see!!!

7.) You’re smart, talented and clearly unafraid to take risks. What advice would you give to other women who want to pursue their passions but aren’t sure where to start?

I wear a bracelet that reads, “She believed she could, so she did!”  I encourage all to simply believe in themselves and what they want to pursue in life. Also, it is important to make the most of all situations and experiences we have in life as one never knows what impact it may have and where is may lead us. Also, don’t let fear keep you from moving forward as you never know until you try! I also enjoy living life without regrets and putting my all into everything and enjoying the heck out of every moment and opportunity that life brings!

8.) How do you carry on beautifully?

I absolutely love love love the P. MAI backpack! It is beautiful both inside and out! I love the quality of the backpack and how it is truly a luxury backpack for working women! I receive complements on it whenever I where it. It is truly the best backpack I have ever owned and I don’t think I will ever own another!!! P. MAI is in a league of its own and continues to amaze me every time I carry on! I carry on beautifully by sharing my passions and love for life with the world!  All that I have been able to accomplish in life, is not just for me, it is to inspire all those who wish they too could, who were told they could not, and who one day will!