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EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE: Pastry chef makes sweet works of art

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A young pastry chef is quickly making her way up the culinary ranks in the Port City. At age 25, Rebeca Alvarado Paredes is already baking up quite the reputation in the kitchen.

Every little detail counts if you ask this dessert diva. Behind the kitchen door of Manna in downtown Wilmington, Paredes meticulously designs her take on crème brulee. It’s just one of many of her sweet works of art.

"When I do a plate, I really try to make it as artistic as possible,” Paredes said. “It’s something that I’m passionate about."

Growing up watching the Food Network, Paredes attended the Providence, Rhode Island-based Johnson and Wales University for Pastry Making. Paredes eventually moved to Wilmington for the warmer weather.

"I didn't have a job and I was looking everywhere and we were walking by Princess Street and I see Manna and I’m like wow that place looks really nice."

It didn't take long for Manna to scoop her up. Since joining the restaurant, Paredes has put her skills to the test, competing in the School of Fire contest as well as Fire on the Dock.

Paredes says she tries to learn all she can from more seasoned professionals. "I think that's how you learn from people who know what they're doing, you learn from people who are passionate about what they're doing."

The young chef says it's not just about making dishes satisfying to the eye and palate but also to the heart of those who eat her sweet treats.

"You want to give them what they can't do at home themselves and that's what I really try to do,” Paredes said. “I want to bring them something that won't take them seven hours in their kitchen. I want to do that work for them.”

Looking to the future, Paredes hopes to continue to whip up new recipes and techniques, eventually making her sweet career even sweeter.

If you'd like to nominate someone you think is an extraordinary person, send Cacky an email at ccatlett@wwaytv3.com.

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