Edible art: Local chefs, artists team up for school fundraiser

jpaprocki@islandpacket.comNovember 23, 2011 

A little cake is going to help elementary school students learn how to cook.

The Art, Bubbly and Cakes event brought together local artists and chefs to raise money for a program that will give third- and fourth-grade students at Hilton Head Island Elementary School for the Creative Arts cooking lessons from Gullah cookbook author Sallie Ann Robinson.

"This is going to teach these students things that they may have never experienced before," said Carrie Hirsch, a board member of the Gullah Museum of Hilton Head who helped collaborate on the project.

Details still are being finalized, but Robinson will start giving the lessons sometime early next year, Hirsch said. The goal is to teach the youngsters basics of cooking -- how to pull together a simple meal, how what they eat effects their health -- and maybe even give some hands-on cooking demonstrations.

Robinson, a Daufuskie Island native who's the author of two Gullah cookbooks, has taught numerous cooking classes before, mostly to adults, but most recently at Hilton Head Preparatory School.

"I like to inspire kids to realize exactly what it is they're eating and how healthy it can be for them," she said.

Robinson was one of 10 chefs who were each paired with an artist to create a cake masterpiece at the fundraiser Saturday. The pairs collaborated to make the artist's vision of a cake become a reality. The collaborations resulted in edible masterpieces such as the barbecue cake from artist Dana Ross and barbecue master Orchid Paulmeier of One Hot Mama's on Hilton Head.

The idea for the event came about when Hirsch started discussing fundraising ideas with Mira Scott, owner of Picture This Gallery and president of the Island School Council for the Arts. The council works to implement arts-related school programming, and the two friends were looking for a way to raise money that would stand out in an already crowded slate of fundraisers on the island.

Hilton Head already has a large slate of artists and chefs. Organizers thought what better way to take advantage of that than to bring them together to fuel their creative juices?

About 130 guests attended the event, a promising note for its future.

"We're hoping to make this an annual event, something even bigger next year," Hirsch said.

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