K Tanzeel Zaman takes a trip into the creative world of a self-taught pastry artisan Sobia Ameen and gets enlightened on her creative process
Riding the tail feathers of festive occasions, industry bakers are now poised to serve up delectable pastries, sweets and treats. And none is more excited for the hallmark holidays than the self-taught baker Sobia Ameen, whose sparky personality and insights about her surroundings continue to inspire her culinary journey every other day.
Born and bred in Dhaka, the architect who turned into a baker began her culinary journey in Australia. “It was a way for me to decompress whenever I was stressed out,” she adds. It took Sobia a lot of trial and error to be the pastry artisan she is today.
Being surrounded by creative individuals since childhood, helped her to develop the keen sense of demiurgic sight. “We all have had some trauma in our past but managed to make the best out of it,” Ameen continues to share, “the beauty we see in the world regardless of the abysmal patriarchal society we grow up in. As women, we dwell too much over our past, our mistakes, our regrets and heartbreaks (personal & professional). Our history surely shapes us but dwelling over the past makes us forget to love ourselves for who we truly are. While the lens we see ourselves through might pick up on every micro detail to help us understand our surroundings better and be sensitive to it.”
With no background in culinary arts, the self-taught baker started getting serious with her creations by contributing to house parties hosted by her friends and relatives. “They inspired me to put more time into my baking and before I knew it I developed a baking niche,” the creative individual stated.
The architect of pastry established her standard of taste and flavour during her time abroad. Having access to various high-end restaurants offering a plethora of cuisines, Sobia trained her tastebuds to guide through her creative process. “During that phase of life, I have realised that if you use fresh local produce you can achieve ‘the’ unique flavour you’re looking for,” she shares a trick for our readers.
Just like the rest of us, Sobia had ample amount of time during the quarantine. From experimenting with the right flavours to coming up with the right designs, the pastry artist focused on capturing nostalgia into her baking. Sobia says, “I have always been into different forms of art and expressing myself through different creative mediums has always been my top priority.”
The architect believes that her creative process has mostly to do with the aesthetic sense she developed in architecture school. “I really think that my tenure as an architecture student shaped my sense of creation. However, that being said, you can’t really express yourself fully in that straight-edged industry. Which is why baking cakes let me create what I want in my vision. It’s therapeutic for me.”
During the initial stage, Sobia struggled with handling her online social platforms. “I didn’t know what I was doing and was posting about my daily life on social media. I did not know too much about Instagram and would only post once in a while,” she said. She started becoming more regular which resulted in getting a lot of opportunities. Ameen orates, “I realised I had a platform to express myself and I try to convey the values that I support with as much honesty as possible.” However, she believes that the cons that come with being vocal can be threatening or just being public leads to a lot of invasive questions or even arguments (ones she refuses to engage in anymore).
The artisan gets inspired by all and any shape of creativity. Sobia expresses, “it can be clothes, trips, movies, music or architecture. It really is limitless,” she goes on to share, “the people that I take inspiration from are Madina Yavorskaya and Rustam Kungurov from Tortik Annushka, Katherine Sabbath, Adriano Zumbo, Heston Blumenthal and last but not the least Reynold Poernomo.”
With Valentine’s Day ahead, Sobia plans to incorporate a lot of strawberries, cherries and chocolate into her new creation. “It has to have a bit of muted tone to it and softer flavours, I don’t know why. Maybe that is how I look at laughing,” she says while laughing, “I am a textbook romantic!”
For aspiring pastry artisans, she advised that as a baker, it is always wise to push oneself and try to give your best abilities while baking. Gathering knowledge is imperative regardless of the medium. “Experiment should be done with one’s own work and give it to the five people who are brutally honest with you. You can only improve if you can stomach criticism”
When asked about what is ahead for Sobia Ameen, the spirited individual replied by saying, “honestly can not say I ever see so far ahead anymore, especially after the pandemic. The only certainty I see is being surrounded by more dogs.”
One message that she conveyed to any and every woman out there is to stop apologising for who they are, “you are worth much more than the world lets you believe.”
Those who are interested in Sobia Ameen’s creation can reach out to her at her