Live Chat with Karine Lemonnier, CookieCon 2020 Instructor
This month, we're chatting with none other thanCookie Connectionmember@Le Monnier du Biscuit (aka Karine Lemonnier) as part of our ongoing CookieCon Speakers Series! Take note: This chat is right around the corner on Sunday, November 17, at 7 pm central, not at our usual Saturday morning time.We're trying out a new time slot (at least for this chat) to accommodate busy Saturday schedules.
At CookieCon in February 2020, Karine will be talking about how to take your cookies "out of the box" with novel presentations, such as platters, cake decorations, and 3-D centerpieces. We'll certainly want to chat with Karine about all of the aforementioned, but those topics are just the tip of the iceberg. Read on to learn more about Karine, and to start formulating your questions for the chat.
But, first, a few important housekeeping notes . . .
(1) Feel free to enter advance questions now by following the instructions at the top of this chat page. (As always, it's super helpful for questions to be logged early, so our guests are able to prepare answers beforehand and to field more questions during live chat time.)
(2) Please note that any advance questions will reveal one at a time, in the order received, only after the chat goes live. Do not expect questions or answers to appear immediately.
(3) Last but not least, as with all of these chats, you have a special opportunity to see inside the minds of some extremely talented decorators, so I encourage you to do your homework before jumping on the chat. Again, please review Karine's bio and other information below.
Living near Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Karine Lemonnier is a passionate person. After a career in nursing, she decided to become a stay-at-home mom, but soon realized that something was missing: the urge of creativity.
Her cookie journey started with a melting snowman decorated cookie seen on Facebook. When she saw it, Karine knew she could do the same. It didn’t take more to awaken a real passion! Back then, she didn’t realize that her self-taught hobby would eventually transform into a flourishing business: Le Monnier du Biscuit. Her business was growing so well that she moved her cookie room outside her home to a cookie workshop in 2019. She then proved to some people that, yes, cookie decorating is a real job! She loves to teach different levels and often collaborates with her talented caker friend, ImaginaCake. She also participates every year in the Sugar Art for Autism collaboration, a dear cause to her.
She attended her first CookieCon in 2015 and has been hooked on the cookie community ever since. Finally there was a place where cookie decorating is a real thing! She particularly loves to take part in the Sugar Show (she placed two times), and, yes, she goes through a CookieCon withdrawal every time!
Above all, the most important thing for Karine is making sure that she can express her creativity every day.
Welcome to everyone joining us as well - at this new time slot, no less! Please let me know what you think of holding chats at this time (more/less convenient?), and if other times would be even better for you. You can post a comment here at any time, or PM or email me. Your call! Now, let's get on with the chat!
BUT . . . before we do, I have a few housekeeping notes.
First, questions are answered in the order received, but they will not post to the public/viewable area of the chat until Karine reads and answers them. We'll work through questions that were logged in advance first; then start working on questions asked live during the chat.
That said, please be patient and do not re-post the same question. It may take some time to answer your question, depending on where it sits in the queue. But I will personally make sure every question gets answered before we're through.
Okay, we're now ready to really get started! As a reminder, Karine's bio can be found under the "i" icon at the top of the chat room, so please review it to get a quick overview of her cookie background. We'll, of course, dive deeper from there.
To break the ice, I've got a couple questions of my own. Karine, your CookieCon class description says you'll be challenging CookieCon-goers to think "out of the box" by sharing ideas for novel cookie presentations. Can you give us all some examples of what you mean by such presentations?
JULIA - Ever since I started cookie decorating, I've been passionate about it. Cookies can be used in so many creative ways and, unfortunately, too many orders end up in simple kraft boxes. My idea of thinking out of the box is not only about the cookie itself, but how you or the recipient will use it. Decorated cookies are not a simple snack! Although they are delicious, they carry a message, a nice thought, something unique. I want to present as many ways as possible to use decorated cookies!
Please note that you must be logged into Cookie Connection (join and do so on the home page) to enter questions. Otherwise, you can only watch the chat. But these chats are all about YOU! We really want to hear your most burning questions!
When making cookies for use as cake decorations - like in your photo below - do you have to do anything special in the making or treatment of the cookies to attach and display them on cakes? Or do you usually make them as you always would and just plunk them on top?
JULIA - I found the best partner to work with. My friend Myriam from Imaginacake is a cake designer, and we create impressive cakes decorated with cookies together. I usually make them as I always do, but we put a stick on cookies that go on the top of the cake. On the side of the cake, we typically use melted chocolate to stick the cookies to the cake. The advantage of melted chocolate is that it gets hard very fast so you don't need to hold it very long and it's very sturdy.
Karine, just making sure you saw my last set of questions: So where is the photo going to go? What was the reason for taking it, and how often do photographers approach you to do this type of work/collaboration?
JULIA - The cookies are used as a part of the decor for mini shooting session for Christmas. In this case, I didn't know before she picked up her order what it was for... Sometimes they tell me, sometimes it's a surprise!
SIL - Unless they ask for something particular, It's usually like a regular order. But sometimes they ask for specific thing. I had a few photographer asking for a huge cookie instead of using a smash cake for a first birthday. (My cookie was actually way too big! :-D)
So, a question for Myriam while Karine answers the last question . . . how do you handle orders when both of you are working on the same one? I mean, who does the customer pay? How do you figure out what share of the price each of you gets paid for your part of the work?
Basically, when I am just prepping for a photo shoot, I don't have to worry about freshness and taste, so I can make them VERY far ahead. They will look as good several weeks later as they did on Day 1!
SWEET SUE - I don't always sketch... actually, not very often at all! And If the customer wants a sketch, I charge them 25$ . They ALL trust me so far and don't ask for a sketch! On another hand, when Myriam and I are working on a cake and cookie class, we always sketch first
So, Myriam, while Karine is answering the question about cookie-only trends, a question for you: How did you and Karine meet and come to share workspace together? Is the space a brick-and-mortar establishment?
95% of the time my customers give me “ carte blanche” so I can create the design without having to sketch it. Since they have to make reservations 4 to 6 months in advance, my customers are mostly regular customers that know me and my creativity.
SIL - I don't watch cutter trends that much, as I tend to stick with basic shapes for my work (I often feel too confined by very particular shapes). I would agree that more people are trying silkscreen stencils, though I would also say that there is a large barrier to wide commercialization of them right now, as the prices on them can be VERY high.
JULIA - If I had to chose, I think I would only teach. I love to create what I want, and I always have a great day when I teach! I love to share my passion and people who take my classes are always happy with the results the get
I really love to teach because I love to see people use their creativity to upgrade their skills. But to choose is really hard! I love making 3-D cake; it’s my 2020 goal!!! Fewer rounds and squares!!! More 3-D and sculpted cakes and for sure integrating COOKIES in the designs.
JULIA- for 6 months, I was a supplier for 7 stores... it was A LOT of orders. All the doors were open... But I closed this one (supplier) because at one point, I didn't have any fun, it was only "production". I need to be challenged!
JULIA- I think that to be a good teacher, you need to be confident about your work. You need to be well organized, but you also need to be passionate and if you can make them laugh, they will enjoy their class and come back!
I wouldn't worry about that too much - I think most people going approach "new" people with an open mind - with a desire to learn as much from that person, and an appreciation for what might be different about that person's approach.
SIL - Right after my first CookieCon! I won 3rd place in the back to school category at the sugar show: first competition and I made so many new friends. I came bake home more passionate then ever! I think I have the best job in the world!
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