Baking has always been a passion of mine. To the eye of many individuals, food is food, and that is all that it is. But to the mind of a pastry chef, the boundaries are unlimited. This is comparable to the surrealist mind set. According to Salvador Dali,
“Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.”
This quotation fully describes my imagination as a baker. The number of ingredients one can use to create, and decorate pastries is endless, and I feel that in combining pastry art with a surrealist mindset, it can create something extraordinary. This is why, for my integrating activity, I would like to create a cook book with a surrealist theme. This includes the book as itself and the recipes I will include will have an artistic surrealist twist. Ultimately, my goal of this cook book is to create something that will be artistically challenging and include recipes that defy the norm of baking.
The working title of my cook book is “A Journey Through Infinity” or “Ripples of a Meringue”. I got these ideas through a surrealist painting by Vladmir Kush. The name of this painting is “Ripples on the Ocean.” On Vladmir Kush’s official site, a description of the painting is as follows.
“The ocean: symbol of infinity. In ancient Indian myths, the ocean was a neverending entity from which originated the earth as well as the rest of the universe. Chaotic behaviour is characteristic of the ocean — the motion with which everything began. In this way, the undulating ocean resembles our subconsciousness — the source of our creativity. Our internal sight freely hovers over this limitless ocean, but returns to the finite by the smallest of margins. “The soul calls upon one to sense the world and beckons the abstract back to within the borders of reality from its unbound journey through infinity,” wrote German dramatist and poet Friedrich von Schiller Our perception of beauty originates from the combination of a strong harmonic start and the brute strength of chaos. The darkening blueness of the ocean approaching the horizon, a distant sailboat, and a ray slipping through the ripples on the water all intensify the painting’s motif of infinity and separation from human existence. Oh, no! This is not for humans. Ignorance and visions Are troubling us. Looking on the universe, we cannot envisage Infinity of time or space — galaxies, planets, stars. Uncertainties and doubts are oppressing us… (Arthur Rimbaud) The power of whitecapped seas captivates, The flight of the soul is so much like the waves! But sooner or later we return To set our feet back on earth.”
Firstly, what caught my eye initially was how beautifully Kush represented the ocean using delicate waves and colours. The ocean first and foremost reminded me of meringues. Making meringues uses the technique of separating the egg white from the egg yolk and whipping the egg white until it turns into a fluffy white substance. Meringues are a type of dessert associated with French or Swiss cuisine. Often, sugar is added to give it a light sweet texture and flavour. Secondly, the description fully summarized how I feel about baking in general. “Chaotic behaviour is characteristic of the ocean,” is a quote that to me, that represents a metaphor of the mixer. The whisks can represent the “chaotic behaviour” described in the quotation, and mixing and measuring is undoubtedly how baking begins. Ultimately, it is the ocean that is a metaphor of baking– “the source of our creativity” as Kush describes. “Our internal sight freely hovers over this limitless ocean;” thus describing our liberty and creativity of baking– “but returns to the finite by the smallest of margins;” which can be a metaphor for the mathematical side of baking, like baking time, measurement of ingredients, and the chemistry between ingredients.
Vladmir Kush has been largely inspiration in the creation of the ideas of my integrated activity project. Another one of his paintings reminded me of the beauty of creation of baking. This painting is called “Sunrise by the Ocean”. Eggs are very important ingredients in baking, and Vladmir Kush successfully demonstrates the beginning of a new world– which leads me to want to create something unique of its kind in the world of baking. Here is the painting below:
I would like to do this project in particular because in the future, I would like to pursue a career in pastry art. I think, in applying a surrealistic theme, it will free me from constrictions and allow me to explore different aspects of baking and create whatever my mind reflects without being afraid of judgement of others. As well, in creating a cook book, I can apply my drawing artistic talents and design skills that I acquired from my Animation Production course I attended in the Fall 2011 semester that I thoroughly enjoyed.
In summary, I would like to create a handmade cook book that will include handwritten recipes and step-by-step instructions. Ideally, I would like to include 5 pages of recipes which will include photos of my creations taken by myself as well. This project will include many steps in the process of creating the book. Here is my tentative schedule for the semester:
Throughout the entire schedule, there will be an ongoing production of the baked goods which will take place at my house. As well, everything will be documented by photographs taken by myself. The dates below indicate when the material created at home will be brought into class. Essentially, the dates below indicate my due dates.
February 29, 2012: Decipher entire book plan. This includes research of which recipes I’d like to incorporate and creation of a full-detailed draft. By the end of class, I would like to have a full draft of the book.
March 7th, 2012: Development of the cook books frame. (This means the cook book in itself: the pages, the cover page, the layout, etc.)
March 21st, 2012: Continuation of the Development of the cook books frame.
March 28th, 2012: Continuation of the Development of the cook books fram.
April 4th, 2012: Bring in photographs and recipe cut-outs to plan and paste into the book.
April 18th, 2012: Final additions to the book.
April 25th, 2012: Rehearsal and final small additions.
May 2nd, 2012: Hand in Final Product.
– Construction paper
– Mayfair paper
– Ribbon or String
–specific ingredients to be determined
– KitchenAid Mixer
– Measuring cups/spoons
– Rubber spatula
– Piping bags
– Cupcake liners
– Cake pans
Ideally, I would like to create a cook book that will be mildly based on the idea of an abstract pop-up book. Here are some examples of how I would like it to resemble: