Andrea Maue was not always a baker. She actually worked in the food industry more as a chef for close to a quarter century but a few years ago, as her catering business took off, she realized people like dessert with their catered meals.
And while cooking is many times a matter of a pinch and a snuff, baking is a little more exacting, the Murrieta resident told Patch.
“Baking is definitely a science,” she said.
Maue, who runs a catering business out of Temecula, got to show off her science skills recently on the Food Network hit, "Cupcake Wars," coming home with a $10,000 prize and beating out bakers from Utah, Ohio and Illinois.
The episode -- it is in its fourth season -- featuring Maue's little treats aired Jan. 8. It will air again at 7 p.m. Jan. 17, 11 p.m. Jan. 19 and 2 a.m. Jan. 20.
She had to bake four cupcakes with various ingredients; In the first round it was a zucchini cupcake with cream cheese icing, banana peppers and smoky pineapple.
One of her final efforts was a green tea cupcake.
Though pitted against other bakers and given secret -- and sometimes strange -- ingredients ( she also concocted a chili chocolate cupcake) Maue was in her element.
"It wasn't that daunting," Maue told Patch.
Since the show aired -- and she presented her cupcakes at the recent Los Angeles Galaxy Soccer championship -- she has been deluged with calls from well-wishers.
“We were thrilled. It’s nice to represent,” Maue said, who runs Ava James Catering with her sister-in-law, Corie Maue -- out of a local chef's kitchen.
They are currently trying to open a shop on Jefferson Avenue and Overland Street, in Temecula.
Ava is her 5-year-old daughter's name, Maue said.