Cream Puffs and Creativity with Evelyn Dugan '21

This past Friday evening, Evelyn Dugan '21 hosted a baking masterclass on Zoom, teaching members of the Lawrenceville community how to make cream puffs.

This past Friday evening, Evelyn Dugan '21 hosted a baking masterclass on Zoom, teaching members of the Lawrenceville community how to make cream puffs. Before spring break started, the Inter-Arts Council created a series of initiatives, one of which included a series of masterclasses. Dugan, a member of the Inter-Arts Council, explained that after break, they had planned on hosting lessons in arts such as dance, improvisational acting, and visual arts. However, because of the virtual Spring Term, the Council began to brainstorm events that could be done at home as a community. "The idea of cooking class came up because it is kind of part of the arts but also separate and not something that we could necessarily...do at school," said Dugan. Future initiatives include a hip-hop dance class led by LCR3W, a visual arts masterclass, and more baking classes.

Dugan's previous experience with cooking ultimately led to her hosting the masterclass. Her first big baking accomplishment occurred at an Irish festival in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. "I made scones with my aunt and we won first place, so that was pretty exciting," said Dugan. Her love for baking and cooking later allowed her to participate in and win Chopped Junior when she competed four years ago. "I love creating things, obviously through art in general, and [competing] was just a big thing for me to just really get me out of my comfort zone," said Dugan.

On why she chose to make cream puffs, Dugan explained, "Cream puffs aren't something everyone would have probably made before...and are a fun dessert to have in your repertoire." She also mentioned that making cream puffs requires "simple ingredients…[and] they are very yummy and versatile." During the masterclass, Dugan noted that while there were minor difficulties in the technological aspect, the biggest challenge for her was remembering not everybody had made cream puffs before, so she had to remember to "take [her] time and make sure everybody was on the same page."

Dugan hoped that the attendees would "become more comfortable when attacking new recipes [and] open to experimenting more in the kitchen because [it] is something that [everybody] has pretty general access to during this time." For her, she loves to bake because usually, in the end, she is rewarded with a nice treat, and she enjoys sharing what she makes with her family and friends. "I think doing it together and doing it with your friends online and even meeting new people during it is just a good way to prove to yourself that you can do something that maybe you thought you couldn't do before and maybe wouldn't have done without prompting," she said.

Jacqueline Chen '21, who attended the masterclass, said that she thought the baking class was the "perfect way to spend a Friday night in quarantine." Chen said, "I'd always known that [Dugan] was a very talented chef, but I think it means even more that she was able to share her talent with the community. I also personally started baking a lot more during this time, so it was really great to have the opportunity to learn a new recipe."

Lara Hensler '22, who also participated in the class, said she thought the event was "a good way to connect with people again during this hard time [and] to have fun."

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