Art meets food in an adorably fun cookie-decorating workshop
Fingertips tinged with icing, a mouthful of cookies and a room filled with laughter. Last week, Art Café was graced with all of the above, and much more, at their cookie decorating workshop -- Pookiemonster.
It was a bright, sunny Friday morning when Art Café co-hosted a unique workshop for 16 lucky children at their Gulshan outlet. The event started off with a learning lesson that was far from boring. Saria Saguaro, artist and co-host, explained the basics of baking cookies, making frosting and decorating their treats -- yum!
She went on to share the story of Pookie, her pet, who she rescued from the streets and eventually adopted, explaining what those terms meant. She showed them a useful slide show with adorable cartoonish pictures of doggie language to help them understand pups and doggies better.
Children, they say, are like sponges, and you can only fully understand the extent of that when you look at a room full of wide-eyed kids with open ears, soaking up every word. They were captivated by the tidbits they were learning, such as tennis balls being bad for dogs as it made their teeth blunt. Soon enough, the youngsters chimed in with stories of their own as they listed off pet names like letters of the alphabet.
Once the lesson was over, they were guided to their work spaces which were set-up and ready for them. Shy little ones hid behind their parents at first, but couldn’t contain their excitement for long. They were eager to equip themselves with gloves and tubes of frosting. They began piping icing onto cookies in no time at all. Every so often, they’d take a step back to admire their artwork before they were at it again.
Six year old Inayah woke up with the sun that morning -- she was just that excited. “I love to bake! I made cakes yesterday, they were tasty,” she said. Nazeef, the youngest attendee at just three-and-a-half, did the Cookie Monster proud as he munched on his work the moment the icing dried. When praised on their artfulness, the kids smiled toothless ear-to-ear smiles, puffed out their chests like the proud peacocks they were and blushed in hues of pink.
Their tiny, expert hands moved so fast that adults were amazed. Parents were delighted to see their children having so much fun. “This, I think, is a unique experience for children in Dhaka and I would love for my kid to be a part of more events like this,”said Shaulee Kamal Khan, mother to Shuhita. “Clearly, they love it.”
The workshop came to a close as they huddled together on the mats and made Pookie cards, a memento to take with them to remember their day as pastry chefs. Not a single child left without a smile as they headed home, hands filled with cookie boxes, cards and goodies.
Saria saguaro is a pastry chef and painter, the owner of The Flourist, Pretty Sh*tty Art and co-host of Pookiemonster.
Where did the idea for Pookiemonster come from?
Every month or two, Art Café collaborates with an artist. Since last May, I've had the wonderful opportunity to work with them. As part of our collaboration, we're required to have a workshop involving children, which is a prospect I'm totally in love with. The idea for Pookiemonster in particular came from my love for Pookie, my dog. Simply put, I wanted children to know more about animals -- particularly strays. I thought that because it all started with Pookie for me, so should this.
What was the best part of today for you?
Just being with these little artists! I was amazed at how creative and smart they are. It was wonderful to see them so immersed in their work. At one point I was telling my sous-chef Rosa that we've got serious competition. Oh, I also found a new assistant, her name's Ania and she's incredibly talented at just 8 years old.
Pookiemonster was an absolute success -- do you have anything else like this planned for the future?
Oh yes, definitely. I'll be shifting my cake studio to Banani soon, and I plan to have smaller workshops there once we're all settled in. Children can be really shy, so smaller workshops can help them interact and open up without feeling overwhelmed. For the parents that wish there were more events like this -stay tuned!
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