I revisit The Hood Kitchen for this week's installment of On the Line. Stuft Scones are Jayne Stember's specialty, with playful names like Pacific Paradise (pineapple jam with toasted coconut) and Anaheim Apple Strudel. Her professional baking career started later in life, with the support of her significant other. Find out her reasons for doing so below.
What made you decide to pursue your culinary passion so late in life?
After I graduated from OCC with my Culinary Certificate in 2006, I did catering and personal chef jobs for a while. Having the encouragement from my husband and business partner, Rich, we embarked on this venture together.
Turning 50 this year, I had some thoughtful reflection on my life and decided I'm not getting any younger. So if I'm going to give this scone business a shot, why not now? I had dreamed of selling my scones for many years, and now I'm getting the chance to live out my dream. And I don't even mind waking up at two or three in the morning to start baking. It's a truly rewarding experience.
You're making breakfast; what are you having?
When I have the time, I like to make a delicious vegetable fritatta loaded with a variety of colorful, fresh veggies, fresh eggs and a little Parmesan cheese.
One food you can't live without.
I don't ever want to imagine life without Mexican food. It's comfort food for me [Editor's Note: Her mom's gringo tacos were her favorite meal growing up.]
Culinarily speaking, Orange County has the best:
I happen to be impartial to Mexican food. However, with such diverse cultures, I'd be hard-pressed to find something I didn't like.
We hear you won at the OC Fair this summer; what was it for?
Our Pacific Pineapple Paradise Stuft Scone won 4th place in the Fairtastic food category.
I've been making scones for many years for family gatherings, church events and as gifts. After perfecting my recipes with the advice of my instructor, Chef Melissa Simpson (while attending Orange Coast Community College's culinary program), I had in the back of my mind, "What if I could sell these?"
Best culinary tip for the home baker:
I think it's important to have an electronic scale for accuracy and consistency in baking. Also, a recipe is a mere guideline. Be creative.
What's it like working out of The Hood kitchen space?
The Hood is a 5,400 state-of-the-art commercial kitchen for rent. There are six fully equipped kitchens and prep stations. It's an affordable solution for a startup company not wanting to invest too much initially. For us with bakers hours, it's generally empty at 3 a.m., so it kinda feels like we have the place to ourselves. It's also nice to meet other local chefs who are building their businesses like us.
Your earliest food memory.
Licking the spoon of chocolate icing when my mom would make cake.
Where was your most recent meal?
At home, I enjoy making meals which give me leftovers. I made a delicious meatloaf and mashed potatoes for dinner.
How do you come up with your flavors?
We think about what foods compliment each other. Like peanut butter and chocolate, pumpkin and spices, jalapeño and cheddar cheese. We also ask friends and family for their suggestions. The possibilities are endless.
Most popular flavors:
Currently Surf City Cinnamon, Anaheim Apple Strudel, Pacific Paradise, Portola Pumpkin and San Juan Peanut Butter and Chocolate.
Tell us about the OSS Energy Snack Bar.
It's full of flavor: peanut butter, honey, toasted oats, coconut, ground flax seed and dried cranberries. A healthy pick-me-up snack any time of the day.
Weirdest thing you've ever eaten:
I tried alligator once on a cruise just for the heck of it. It tasted like chicken.
Favorite places to eat.
We love Hanna's in Rancho Santa Margarita, The Winery in Tustin, Chili Pepper in Santa Ana. For a lively, fun nitecap, Our Place in Lake Forest.
Where can we find your goods?
They are available at Bagels and Brew in Lake Forest and The Wyndham Hotel in Costa Mesa.
Learn more about Stuft Scone by following them at www.stuftscones.com.