ASB sponsors the Food Science Society (FSS) club of Cal Poly Pomona’s 2022 ‘Food for Heart Baking Competition’

Written by:
Jacqueline Thach
ASB Liaison 2021-22 | Food Science Society
Food Science & Technology, Class of 2022
Cal Poly Pomona


In the beginning of April, the American Society of Baking (ASB) sponsored the Food Science Society (FSS) club of Cal Poly Pomona, to host a regional baking competition that provided an opportunity for students to develop their product development skills, while engaging them in valuable industry concepts (e.g., upcycling, dietary restrictions, etc.). Officially called the ‘Food for Heart Baking Competition,’ the theme of this competition was to highlight the dietary restrictions between different individuals in our society, and challenge competitors to create a product that was mindful of those restrictions. Moreover, teams had to utilize a themed ‘special ingredient’ to incorporate into their product.

This year’s themed ingredient was Coffee Cherry flour, sponsored by Coffee Cherry Co.; a company that intercepts the waste of leftover cherry pulp from coffee production, and upcycles it into a delicious and nutritionally-rich flour. The competitors were allowed to create teams that had members from different universities, as thus, the teams had members representing colleges such as Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State LA, and UCLA. In addition, the baking competition was honored to be judged by these four industry professionals: Dr. Feng Xie, a Senior Scientist from BakeMark; former Executive Pastry Chef from Walt Disney, George Geary; Diana Eid, a 7 year Pastry Chef specialized in making baked treats for dietary restricted individuals; and Sheree Mooney, a Chef Instructor at Cal Poly Pomona.

Three teams competed in the 2022 Food for Heart Baking Competition. The team that placed first was Team Baked Zitis, winning over the tastebuds of the judges’ with their Chocolate Berry Cake dessert. The team’s Chocolate Berry Cake was a dense and moist vegan chocolate cake, frosted with coconut whipped cream, and topped off with tart fresh fruits (i.e., strawberries and blueberries) and a mixed berry jam. Team Arabica placed second in the competition, wowing the judges with their chocolate cake product called Chocolate Strawberry Delight. Team Arabica’s product was a vegan and gluten-free chocolate cake coupled with coffee buttercream and strawberry filling, and topped off with brownie crumbles and honeycomb toffee. Team Cook Till Golden Eagles placed third in the competition, offering the judges a delectable experience with their own version of Black Forest Cake. The Black Forest Cake was vegan, soaking the layers of the cake in cherry syrup, frosted with a vegan cream cheese frosting, and topped off with a tart berry compote on top.

Each team did a fantastic job, earning themselves prizes of $400, $300, and $200 to respectively the first, second, and third place winners. In addition, the first and second placed teams were respectively rewarded cookbooks donated and signed by Judge Geroge Geary himself: ‘The Complete Baking Cookbook: 350 Recipes from Cookies and Cakes to Muffins and Pies’ and ‘Fair Foods: The Most Popular and Offbeat Recipes from America’s State and County Fairs.’

The 2022 Food for Heart Baking Competition was a wild ride of culinary creativity. The competition recognizes the hard work and talent of all the teams that competed. The competition also acknowledges the support received by the judges, volunteers, and faculty of Cal Poly Pomona that had helped initiate and contribute to the success of this baking competition. Lastly, special thanks to Coffee Cherry Co. for sponsoring the ‘special ingredient’ of this competition and ASB for financially sponsoring this event.

Introduce Military Service Members to Baking Industry Careers

Will your company be represented at the Baking Industry Alliance’s inaugural Wholesale Baking Industry Careers Forum with USO Pathfinder Fort Riley on Friday, January 31, 2020? Join baking, milling and supplier HR executives at USO Fort Riley in Junction City, Kansas for a workforce development event with approximately 60 service members and spouses seeking to learn more about civilian career opportunities.

Interested in learning more? Contact Christina Donnelly, Baking Industry Alliance Liaison, at or 202.789.0300. Deadline to register for this event is January 10.

Join the Baking Industry Alliance in our partnership with USO Pathfinder to generate job placement in the baking industry for military service members transitioning into civilian careers.

What will the day look like?

  • From 11:00am to 12:00pm, mingle with the attendees and USO Pathfinder representatives to educate them on the incredible opportunities that careers in the baking industry, and your company specifically, can offer them.
  • From 12:00pm to 1:45pm, help conduct mock interviews with the attendees as part of their employment readiness workshop. This is an important element of their workshop that helps them develop interviewing skills. It is also a chance for you to share insights into industry careers and better understand what the attendees are seeking from civilian career opportunities.

Is Fort Riley in Kansas the right event for your company?

  • Approximately 30% of USO Ft Riley’s service members remain in Kansas, while the rest of them are moving to other locations across the country. There are a large number of service members who indicate they’re “unsure of future location” because many of them are open to following good career opportunities.
  • Their top 5 desired industries are Government, IT, Manufacturing, Mechanics and Transportation/Logistics.
  • The majority of Pathfinder’s participants are between the ages of 22-28 seeking a future career with many more years in the workforce and have had leadership roles in the military, similar to front-line or shift supervisors. They are middle managers, responsible for not only those they lead, but those they manage up to.
  • Many of the Pathfinder’s participants are married or have young children and are seeking stability and good benefits for their families.