Press "Enter" to skip to content

‘Quarantine Karen’ transforms her ‘inedible’ hotel meals into restaurant-quality creations 

A self-described ‘quarantine Karen’ serving out her mandatory 14-day hotel lockdown in Australia has transformed her ‘inedible’ hotel meals into restaurant-quality creations. 

Sarra Costello flew from Bali to Sydney at the end of July and was bunkered down with her husband at The Sheraton Grand in Hyde Park.

She created an Instagram account called The Forged Foodie with the purpose of keeping herself busy three times a day turning her plastic wrapped breakfast, lunch and dinners into spectacular works of art. 

‘It was also a way to keep the spirits up of other quarantine people. They responded quite well and it gave them something to look forward to daily,’ Sarra told FEMAIL.

There are 27 meals on the social media website, with dishes ranging from ‘wheat loaf served with organic raspberry purée’ – or Weetbix and berry yoghurt – to ‘organic cheddar served with coco wafers and a trimmed pear tower – or cheese and crackers with a pear and Tim Tam biscuit.

‘It was a nice platform for all of the quarantine team members to share their stories and questions, funny moments and even have a little whinge,’ she said.

‘It was humorous to me being in a five-star hotel and getting served meals that looked like they had been blended on the way up to get dropped off.’  

Some of her best designs have incorporated wine glasses and fancy cutlery she asked for from reception before taking the professional-looking photos.

One day she turned Weetbix, a banana, milk and croissant into ‘breakfast wheat crumbles, strawberry organic yoghurt, Indonesian banana served with a mini French pastry’.

And on another evening Sarra’s plain banana mousse became a ‘smooth and creamy vanilla and banana sweet mousse’ topped with English breakfast tea granules and a cut up pear.

‘This is a bloody work of art. I love how you interpreted the banana mousse literally,’ one person said.

Dinner was a ‘pan seared free range chicken served with a beetroot mash, roasted yams, roasted beets and a seven layer potato au gratin’, which originally came in a takeaway container with a side of bottled water.

For lunch during the week she snacked on an ‘organic quinoa salad served in freshly baked sourdough cups, roasted eggplant, green olives and organic locally sourced red capsicums’ which began its life as a Kasoundi quinoa salad.

‘I am loving your page! We just got into quarantine yesterday and I’m tempted to give this a go. I don’t think they will turn out quite as good though,’ said another. 

In a separate Instagram Story Sarra said because she was given a really nice room that she was super grateful for, she wasn’t about to complain about the ‘s*** food’.

‘I’m happy to make it pretty because most of it goes in the trash,’ she said.

She does have a problem with the amount of plastic wrapping being used to serve the food, and has encouraged other ‘quarantine Karens’ to raise this with the ‘people in charge of this program’.

Sarra has been in the food and beverage business her whole adult career, owning restaurants in California and Bali.

‘I wanted to poke fun at the food getting served because you can dress up practically anything. The plates were made to look like proper gourmet dishes and also more desirable,’ she said.

She was released from quarantine on August 5 but is continuing to post content she had leftover.

‘I’ll be going on the road soon and taking over the quarantine Karen’s guide to servo and road side food plating,’ she said.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *