Armchair Gallery

How to run a creative workshop based on Recipe Book

Artwork by , created in

About this activity

Workshop themes

  • Baking
  • Kitchen
  • Recipes


  • Suitable for groups
  • Suitable for one to one

Difficulty level




  • Name badges (for all participants and staff).
  • Strips of paper with the steps of each stage of a well-known recipe written onto each piece.


  • Go around the room and make eye contact with everyone, shake their hand and say hello.
  • Find a well-known recipe, e.g. such as baking an apple pie or Victoria sponge cake. Write down the steps and then cut it into strips. Ask the group to then put it back into order.
  • Ask people if they have any secret recipes and see if they will share them with the rest of the group!




  • Look at the artwork using the Armchair Gallery app.
  • Welcome and invite the person or group to create with you and write their answers on the flip chart. Ask open-ended questions (like in the list to the right).
  • Affirm/echo all their answers - together we build a story that can have sound, movement, words - even drawings.
  • Retell the story, then invite them to add another creative element like sound, or movement.

Suggested Questions

  • What’s going on in the picture?
  • What ingredients do you think are in this dish?
  • What do you think they are making?
  • What would it smell like?
  • What would it taste like?
  • What other dishes could be made from fresh homegrown vegetables and fruit?
  • What do you enjoy to eat?
  • What do you like the smell of?
  • What do you need in a kitchen?

Play this video

Workshop members can watch this on their own tablet, or you can play it to the group by connecting your tablet to a TV or projector. It can also be downloaded from the Armchair Gallery website.

Interact with the artwork

At this point in the workshop participants should have a go at using the app to interact with the artwork. From the main menu, enter Mr Straws House, select Recipe Book and tap Interact and play.

Multi-Sensory Exploration, Part 1


  • Wifi connection for the music.
  • iPad or laptop and speakers.
  • Food colouring.
  • Cornflour.
  • Coloured card.
  • Apple pie.
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Selection of herbs and spices.
  • Selection of teas.


Multi-Sensory Exploration, Part 2


  • Take in some apple pie to the session and serve everyone a slice to taste. Cinnamon and nutmeg can be added to make a more distinctive taste that people might recognise.
  • A variety of different apple dishes could be explored that are cooked in different ways i.e. mashed cooking apple, crunchy apple etc.


  • Use cornflour to create an interesting multi-sensory experience for participants.  Add a couple of drops of water to a couple of spoons of cornflour. This can then be handed to people to touch. It will create a gloopy mess but should offer a stimulus for people to explore.

Multi-Sensory Exploration, Part 3


  • Add some food colouring with cornflour and a splash of water. Put this onto a piece of coloured card. The more the card is manipulated and moved, the more forms and colours will change providing a multi-sensory experience for people.


  • The Straw family were well-to-do grocer’s and they imported tea from across the world.
  • Hand out various teabags smell and tea to taste.
  • This part of the session could be linked to an afternoon tea event where people choose which type of tea they would like to drink.
  • Pass around a selection of different herbs and spices that you would find in the kitchen. This could include nutmeg; star anise; rosemary; cinnamon; paprika and oregano. Spend time smelling and rubbing fresh herbs between the hands to release the different aroma’s.

Making: Salt Dough


Celebrate by making a simple recipe such as rock buns or sponge cakes.

Serve this and have a cup of tea with them. Say cheers to everyone and thank everyone for coming and taking part in the group.


Getting Materials

You should be able to get most of the materials mentioned in this guide at your local arts supplier.

They are also avaiable on Amazon. If you shop via Amazon Smile (using the button below - UK only), then we will recieve a donation that we can put towards our work with older people.

Other Apps

You could use these other apps to further explore digital technology in your workshop.