Sudbury woman Meagan Yawney is hoping to win a global online competition for bakers, but she needs your votes to accomplish her goal.
Yawney has made it through to the quarterfinals of The Greatest Baker contest, with a chance to win $10,000, be featured in Bake from Scratch Magazine and win a year’s supply of Stuffed Puffs (a type of fancy marshmallows).
Voting closes at 11 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 26. You can cast your vote and check out Yawney’s profile online here.
Yawney said she always loved baking as a kid — she first attempted cream puffs at the age of seven, and they were a “spectacular failure.”
She didn’t let that stop her, though, and she attended the Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Ottawa, graduating in 2006.
Yawney didn’t end up working much in the restaurant industry, instead working in bookkeeping and general office administration here in Sudbury.
About a year ago, the mom to a four-year-old daughter made a career change, and became a makeup artist, which due to COVID-19 is a bit of a non-starter right now.
“When the pandemic started and the lockdown and quarantine and all of that, I really needed a creative outlet,” Yawney said.
“Cooking has always been a passion of mine since the time I was a little kid. I just decided to lean into it. I started my food Instagram. It’s just kind of gone on from there.”
Earlier this fall, Yawney came upon the link for The Greatest Baker contest, and decided on a whim to enter.
“I kind of forgot about it because there was a couple of months between signing up and the contest starting,” Yawney said.
“I was checking my email, and it was four or five days into the contest when I realized I kind of forgot I entered this. I checked in and thought I guess I’ll ask people to start voting for me, and ended up winning the first couple of rounds, and made it to the quarterfinals.”
Yawney has uploaded a number of pictures of her delectable-looking baking projects to the website, including a rainbow cake she baked for her daughter Clara’s fourth birthday earlier this fall.
Asked what tips she would give the aspiring baker, she advises following the steps in the recipe closely and investing in a digital food scale so your measurements are more precise.
“Baking honestly is all about patience,” Yawney said. “It’s about following the steps. Cooking is very intuitive, while baking is a science.”
If she wins the contest, Yawney said she plans to use the $10,000 to update her very dated 1980s kitchen.
She doesn’t know what she’d do with a year’s supply of marshmallows, though. “I guess I’ll have to come up with a lot of ways to use marshmallows,” Yawney said.
She said she also wants to impress her young daughter.
“Wouldn’t it to be cool to say ‘when you were four years old, I won a global greatest baker contest?’” she said.
“I would love to impress her, and be able to tell her that. She is so sweet. She always tells me I’m the best cook in the world. It would be cool if other people agreed with her.”