Alumni Get Creative in MasterClass Events

We can all agree that the University of Maryland looks a bit different this semester, and it’s been a long time since most QUESTees have seen each other in-person. Despite no longer being able to see each other at events in the QUEST Lab or around campus, QUEST Social and QUEST Creative have been hard at work to keep the QUEST community engaged! 

One of their main initiatives this fall is a “MasterClass” series of activities for the QUEST community to take part in over Zoom. These Zoom sessions include QUEST students and alumni leading attendees in cooking, baking, or another hands-on activity. On Thursday, October 22nd, I had the opportunity to attend the first QUEST virtual MasterClass event: baking with Brianna Ho (Cohort 29)!

Brianna joined the Zoom from her kitchen to teach us how to bake the cookies!

Baking cakes and cookies were among my favorite hobbies during quarantine, so I was excited to try a new recipe during the QUEST MasterClass! About 20 QUEST students and alumni watched from their own kitchens as Brianna walked us through how to bake brown butter chocolate chip cookies. 

After a few tricky midterms (even though they were open-note) and a hectic job recruiting season (the woes of being a senior), I felt very happy to relieve some stress by baking a couple dozen cookies. The steps involved for baking these cookies were more intricate than what I’m used to, but that’s what makes a MasterClass experience! Brianna taught us how to brown the butter in a saucepan, and I’m pretty sure I used at least four different bowls to mix the separate ingredients. Despite the dishes, the delicious results were definitely worthwhile!  

The cookies tasted awesome – I’ll be using this recipe again!

Seeing everyone’s results on Zoom while we were baking together was fun, and it felt great to reconnect with students from various cohorts. Overall, my cookies turned out awesome! They look kind of burnt in this photo, but it’s only because I accidentally used too much brown sugar – I guess practice makes perfect. My roommates can attest to the cookies’ quality, as they barely lasted a couple of days.

Another Masterclass event on Friday, November 6th included a mocktails and cocktails class with two alumni from Cohort 1, William and Jennifer Layton! Attendees learned how to make alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions of drinks such as a Bloody Mary, a Poisoned Apple Cider cocktail, and a UMD-themed “CP Sunset.”

QUEST Creative co-lead Sarah D’Souza said, “The Mocktails MasterClass was a really fun time! It was such a cool experience to be able to learn from and get to know the Laytons in such a creative and informal environment.”

Be on the lookout for future MasterClass events throughout the rest of the semester, and thanks to alumni Brianna, William, and Jennifer for being great instructors so far!

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