Jenna Fong and Kathleen Arceo work for a similar state agency. Both women are passionate about baking, and won the top honors for specialty baking competition at the 2013 California State Fair. The two women claimed that they had never met prior to the awards ceremony. Arceo is a California State Teachers’ Retirement System’s (CaISTRS) manager. She won the contest under the Yeast Best Baking category for her sweet cardamom bread. Fong on the other hand, is an analyst at CaISTRS who won a Chocolate Championship for baking a mini-chocolate almond cheesecake. Both women were born and grew up in Sacramento, and have been baking for the most part of their lives. Fong said that she always enjoyed baking, which she considered a fun activity.
Since taking the crowns, the two women have appeared on television shows where they have presented demonstrations of their recipes. They are still trying to come to reality concerning their sudden fame. Fong says that she was extremely surprised when she was declared a winner since this was the first recipe contest that she had entered. She further adds that the recipe was a last minute idea. Prior to the contest, Fong claimed that she used to bake every day after work and have her family, friends and colleagues try out the goodies. Fong won a total of 500 dollars for her baking efforts. Arceo is a mother of three children who has been baking for several years. Her variation was coined from a bread recipe of an old Portuguese family. She further added that she loved cardamom and its scent. She found a cardamom coffee cake recipe in her cookbook collection and decided to give it a try. The recipe makes three loaves of bread.