From home cooking to Chopped Junior: National platforms showcasing Neufeld’s love for baking (with video)

From home cooking to Chopped Junior: National platforms showcasing Neufeld’s love for baking

Tracy Tran

Tracy Tran, Staff Writer/Photographer


Angelina Liu

Walking into the kitchen, the delicious aroma of banana bread fills every corner of the house. Looking at the timer with 10 minutes remaining, she quickly opens the oven door and places her batch of cookie dough inside.

As the oven timer sounds, a bright smile lights up New Tech High @ Coppell freshman Issi Neufeld’s face when she opens the oven to remove the bread and cookies.

Through baking, I learn that everything doesn’t always work. You don’t have to be perfect for everyone. When your baking doesn’t work, you can try it again and learn from that.

— New Tech High @ Coppell freshman Issi Neufeld


For Neufeld, baking has been her hobby since she was 4. Her grandparents, Priscila Cueva and Roddy Cueva, raised her with family recipes, instilling in her a love for cooking and baking. She brought her love for the kitchen to Coppell when her family moved from Bismarck, N.D. when she was 7.

“[Taking the cakes out of the oven] is the most satisfying feeling,” Neufeld said. “You spent so much time in the kitchen, you’re sweating and finally it turned out good, so you’re just proud of yourself.”

Among various types of desserts she can make, her two favorite recipes are banana bread and chocolate chip cookies, which was perfected in January.

“[My best memory with baking is] definitely the enjoyment people have when they try [food] you made with your hands,” Neufeld said. “My chocolate chip cookie recipe is so easy, but it’s so good and it really impresses people.”

Apart from watching YouTube videos and experiencing different foods from cultures, Neufeld develops her culinary skills by forming good relationships with bakers and chefs. In June 2020, after being recommended by “MasterChef Junior” third season contestant Ryan Kate, she judged entries for the Teen Pastry Lab baking competition in Coppell. 

In the past, when she was 11, Neufeld competed in Season five of “Kids Baking Championship” and got to the semi finalist. She also competed in Season nine of “Chopped Junior” when she was 12 and got to the finalist.

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