The 'Pastry Scientist' of Savannah: Jeniffer Santana
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SAVANNAH, Ga. () — This microbiologist is a talented pastry chef who is a contender for a $10,000 grand prize in The Greatest Baker competition.

The Greatest Baker is an online competition where bakers from across the nation get to showcase their work which is judged and voted for by the public.

Currently in 4th place, Jeniffer Santana grew up in Puerto Rico where she learned how to bake from her mother.

“I have been in a lot of competitions where you cook and you decorate cakes in front of a lot of people but this one is based on what they see,” said Santana.

She participated last year in the competition and did not place in the top 5 and this year she is determined to be on top.

After getting her degree in microbiology, she married her husband who is in the military, often moving all across the globe.

While in Germany, she wanted to have a SpongeBob cake for her son, but unfortunately could not find a baker in the area who would be up to the task, so she made one herself.

Using her background in chemistry and lessons from her mother she made a SpongeBob cake from scratch that ended up a big hit and from there she fell in love with the craft.

Sweet escape

Moving to Savannah, she worked at Goose Feathers Cafe when a friend from Venezuela, and owner of All Things Chocolate & More in Rincon, begged her to work at the bakery.

“She knows me because of the previous business that I had and she was like ‘I want you to be my partner, I want you to be here with me,” said Santana.

Growing into her career she has worked at the bakery for the past seven years.

“My husband wants to retire so this is a great retirement place, we love this place basically,” said Santana.

With the freedom to create, she loves to bake from scratch as well as integrate Caribbean culture into tasty treats for everyone.

“Because of the science it gives me this chance to change recipes, do my own recipes, play with stuff, it’s amazing what you can, you know, when you understand the science of one thing and you apply it in another, it’s like wow.”

This is important to her because when she lived in Europe changing recipes and creating new tastes was not as accepted as it is in America.

A lifetime student and teacher

Combining her love for science, bakery and teaching, she offers classes for aspiring bakers to help them master their sweet tooth.

“The more I help, the better for everybody,” said Santana.

“It’s better for me because I’m learning it’s better because my career will go up and giving the business a path to go well too because there is a lot of businesses closing and it’s scary.”

She wants to push boundaries to create new foods and pass her knowledge along while working to get her American Culinary Foundation, ACF, certification, and her master’s degree.

She is currently taking management classes all in the pursuit of becoming an official executive chef, to not only bake but to cook any and everything.

“I want to learn every aspect of a fish or how to combine different dishes, I just want to be a complete chef,” said Santana.

“So 10,000 will help me to be you know go onto my career and step up, and I’m just doing it for myself, I just wanna learn more.”

With her family as her biggest supporters, they inspire her to keep growing and she works as hard as she can to show her two sons to, “never give up, just do it.”

The Greatest Baker

You can help Santana out by voting for her until the competition is over on February 1.

On her page, you can leave one vote for free and leave more votes by donating.

The Greatest Baker is partnering with The Andrew McDonough Foundation, where every $1 donation counts as one vote.

“It’s satisfying to see your own bread and your own product getting out on a plate and someone eating it that’s the cool part is that somebody eating their stuff and seeing their faces and go ‘Oh my god,’ okay yes we did it right,” said Santana.

Jeniffer Santana Social media: Facebook

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