Meet Keya Wingfield

Alumni Profile

Keya Wingfield is a Food Network Baking Champion, chef, entrepreneur, and Reynolds graduate. Known for her colorful and creative culinary delights, she is Bombay-raised and Richmond-based. From her hugely popular Bombay chips sold locally to those one-of-a-kind signature decorated cakes … anything Keya creates is GOLD. She is also one of the kindest, smartest, and funniest people you will ever meet. Key Wingfield is the real deal.

Keya and Reynolds President Paula Pando making chai at The Kitchens at Reynolds. Both women share a passion for cooking and love of family traditions. 

Keya’s journey began at Reynolds as a pastry school student while almost simultaneously establishing her company, Candy Valley Cake Company. Not long after graduating from Reynolds, she was called back to teach, becoming a fixture, and teaching for almost nine years.

Indian woman, Keya Wingfield poses in Indian dress in industrial kitchenBaking was not an inherent skill for Keya, as that wasn’t a part of the culture where she grew up in Bombay (now, Mumbai.) She hadn’t even seen an oven before she came to the U.S., as an adult. But it was a skill she became very good at. This involves a mash-up of using the food and culture of Bombay combined with a dash of Richmond to arrive at a creation as spectacular to the eye as it is to the palette.

This skill of baking along with a vibrant personality and a creative nature led the Food Network to contact her through her popular Instagram account. They set up an interview which eventually resulted in a call to be on the Spring Baking Championship, Season 7.

Ten weeks of bake-offs later she would go on to win the championship.

Keya says the kitchen is like a temple for her and baking and cooking have brought her peace and healing in dealing with the deaths of both parents and more recently her own newborn.

In her cooking and food photography, she has brought together the skills of her parents — her mother was a great cook, and her father was a photographer — becoming a multi-talented force. This Woman of Color and immigrant continues to marvel at her own journey thus far. But it's evident that hard work and perseverance have been at play. In Keya’s own words, “The only secret is to keep going… If you fall 100 times then you get up 101 times.” With her success, she has broken barriers in the culinary industry helping to pave the way for others behind her.

The winner and cast of Spring Baking Championship, Season 7Candy Valley evolved into Keya & Co, where Keya continues to use her Bombay influence with a Richmond flair producing her delectable desserts. She has also expanded to include the very popular Bombay Chips and other goodies. Under the Keya & Co umbrella, Keya has also been able to put some of her energy into the creation of microdining experiences.

Loving to cook, but not wanting the confinement of opening a restaurant, Keya is exploring microdining — an intimate dining experience without a set menu, or specific location, similar to a pop-up. This new concept, giving the diner a different experience every time, is gaining popularity across the country. As usual, Keya has her finger on the pulse of the culinary scene.

There is no doubt that this isn’t the last we’ve heard from Keya as her energy, creativity, and spirit continue to drive her to new heights. Reynolds is proud to be a part of the journey of this amazing individual.