Healthy eating has never looked so good – literally. Hazel Zakariya, a Malaysian research specialist by trade has taken the internet by storm one smoothie bowl at a time with her intricate masterpieces decorated out of superfoods. Currently residing in Auckland, Hazel seems to have nailed edible art on the head by creating safari animals, TV show and movie characters and unicorns for breakfast.
So how did this research specialist turn into an internet sensation? Having said what started out as an accident, Hazel was initially trying to garnish her soup with swirls of coconut cream and then “saw the opportunity to turn the swirls and pesto into a tree instead.” For Hazel, it’s about practicing mindfulness and spreading joy through her creations.
What is the story behind turning your smoothie bowls into a work of art?
Hazel: My academic and professional background is in science and business and a lot of my work has been analytical. However, I’ve always had a creative side to me which needed an outlet. So, in my spare time, I love getting into creative projects, especially anything involving food.
This smoothie art all started as an accident. I was initially trying to garnish my soup with swirls of coconut cream. However, it didn’t turn out as how I planned it. But then I saw the opportunity to turn the swirls and pesto into a tree instead.
Since then, I’ve experimented with colourful natural ingredients to create ‘paintings’ based on the things that inspire me. Where there is an opportunity, I also love playing around with it and try ‘bringing it to life’ in some of my videos.
Having said that, I don’t do this every day as some people may think! I see this project as a mindfulness practice and a platform to express myself, challenge my creativity, and create something unique with food. One of my favourite parts of the process is to be able to share the joy and love I’ve put into making this as well as to share the things that inspire me and make me laugh with others in hopes of it cheering up their days too.
Through this project, I’ve learnt a lot about balance and letting go. It also reminds me that life is temporary and that every moment and every beauty should be savoured.