Since she was a child, Alexa Abaroa knew she wanted to have a career in the food industry.
After years of watching the Food Network and taking numerous food classes at Bartlett High School, the recent graduate discovered that her favorite food to make was cakes, which she sometimes spends days baking and decorating.
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That passion won Abaroa an $18,000 scholarship to Kendall College, where she will begin classes this fall.
Earlier this month, Abaroa was recognized at a Bartlett village board meeting for her talent and hard work. For the occasion, she even brought along a cake decorated with the Bartlett emblem.
Other unique cakes Abaroa has created include a two-and-a-half foot tall creation for the VIP room at the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation's annual Illinois ProStart Student Invitational.
She was the first student ever asked by the association to make a cake for the VIP room. The complex design featured a chef's hat on top of a cutting board sitting on a pot that was placed on a briefcase.
Abaroa also won "most outstanding gold" in the fondant cakes category of the Family Career and Community Leaders of America state competition for a princess cake.
Abaroa said she hopes to be on a show like "Food Network Challenge" one day.
"That would be definitely something that I'd like to do in the future," she said. "I don't know if I have the personality for my own show, but competition -- I love competition."
For more information on Abaroa's work, visit straightacakes.com.