Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Art challenge gets popping

A 17-foot popcorn Mickey Mouse -- sound yummy?

Well, don't think of nibbling on these mouse ears.

For 12 hours on Saturday, seven students and teachers from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale gathered in their school's garage to design the larger-than-life mouse for an episode of Food Network Challenge, a weekly show that showcases everything from small town cook-offs to the World Pastry Team Championship.

But the work area had more of the makings of a wild experiment than a culinary challenge, with power saws, barrels of fiberglass resin, shovels and a cement mixer. To add to the undertaking, the group members were draped head-to-toe in protective white suits, tightened vapor masks, green gloves and goggles.

That's because for hours they manually mixed the resin and popcorn to create 12 blocks of the hardened movie theater favorite that were 22 inches long, 17 inches wide and 18 inches high. Eventually, they will stack these blocks, sketch a Mickey mold on them and use several heavy-duty power tools to carve out a 5,000-pound mouse.

"It's a crazy idea, but … we're going to prove we can make anything out of anything," said culinary student Cynthia Jimenez of Fort Lauderdale. "I'm also excited I'm going to be on the Food Network."

The group, led by pastry chef and part-time culinary instructor Rob Sobkowski, also is vying for the title of world's largest popcorn sculpture, which belongs to a 16.5-foot Godzilla created in Stirling, United Kingdom, in 2003. If they pull it off, the group will win $10,000.

The Food Network Challenge will ship the giant Mickey Mouse sculpture to Disneyland on July 31. The group members will then fly to California and have 10 hours to complete the final assembly and add decorations to the sculpture using food coloring and sugar sculptures, according to Sobkowski.

"We're going to have to attack it like they did on Mount Rushmore," Sobkowski said about carving the giant Mickey. "[We're] just going to have to start chipping away."

For Zahala Yanofsky, an assistant pastry chef, the challenge is worth the effort.

"The scale of it alone is humongous," Yanofsky said. The final segment of the Food Network Challenge will be taped on Aug. 5 in Disneyland and aired in October.


At 12:50 PM, Blogger Mystikka said...

Very nice blog... nice cultural creative vibes.


At 8:39 PM, Blogger Vina John said...

thank you mystikka


At 2:15 PM, Blogger shanna baldwin-moore.... hawaiian haiku said...

thanks for visiting my blog and Im sure glad I visited yours...outstanding art



At 4:11 PM, Blogger R2K said...

Great stuff : )


At 9:48 PM, Blogger MsPsycho said...

nice pics john...thanks for visiting my site.


At 9:49 PM, Blogger MsPsycho said...

nice pics...thanks for visiting my site.


At 1:27 PM, Blogger Linda Blondheim Art Studio said...

Thank you for visiting my blog.
Linda Blondheim




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