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!

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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.

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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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