In my ten years with Dunkin’ Donuts, I’ve noticed that donuts have this amazing ability to bring a smile to someone’s face. As a donut artist for two locations in Deer Park and North Babylon on Long Island, it’s during the holidays that I go into overdrive to create the most engaging and visually fun donuts possible. Everything from candy cane shapes, snowmen, snowflakes, wreaths, Santa, elves and my personal favorite, the reindeer!
So how did I get to this point? I’ve always wanted to work in the food industry and like many teenagers, I started as a crew member at Dunkin’ Donuts working the front counter. After a few months, I became fascinated with donuts, how they were made and specifically how they looked when guests would arrive at the restaurant. I saw the joy that donuts brought to our customers and this made me want to pursue a career in this field.
After high school, I attended the Institute for Culinary Education in New York City and graduated with a Pastry and Baking Degree. From there, I worked in a variety of prestigious pastry jobs, but my heart always kept pulling me back to Dunkin’ Donuts. A donut, much like a cake, cupcake or cookie, is a wonderful blank canvas for a pastry artist to do creative work. Having worked with all types of pastries, I’ve come to appreciate the fun things you can do with donuts, specifically during the holiday season.
People often ask me my favorite donut variety. It’s tough to say as I love all our donuts, but as a culinary artist what I enjoy doing is taking one of our classic donut varieties, such as a Boston Kreme, and reinventing it as a snowman or another festive holiday theme.
One piece of advice I always give my team is to have passion for what you do. I love the creative process and I think that shines through in what we serve at our restaurants on a daily basis. Someone may come in for a coffee and donut, but when they see our amazing shapes and designs, I often to see them leave with a dozen, which is perfect for any holiday party.
As you are getting ready to celebrate with family and friends, be sure to stop by your local Dunkin’ Donuts for a dozen!*
Noura Zainee is a Dunkin’ Donuts Culinary Artist based on Long Island, New York. To try her culinary creations, stop by the Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant located at 1201 Deer Park Avenue, North Babylon, NY 11703.
* Donut availability varies by location.
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