Meet the Saudi Arabian chef sharing the Kingdom’s recipes with the world

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Saudi Arabian chef Mayada Badr, known as the “Queen of Macaroons,” will be introducing some of the Kingdom’s oldest and most popular recipes to the United Kingdom, boosting her country’s growing culinary sector.

As the CEO of the Kingdom’s newly formed Culinary Arts Commission (CAC), Badr is helping develop Saudi Arabia’s cooking industry in line with the Vision 2030 plan to diversify the economy.

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CAC provides aspiring chefs from the Kingdom with courses and vocational training programs led by Badr and encourages research and studies in the culinary arts field.

The renowned chef was appointed to lead the project in February, but her career kicked off two years earlier when she was tasked with cooking a dessert for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his guests during a 2018 banquet in France held in his honor.

“I decided to combine French cooking techniques with Saudi flavors to create a Parisian dessert with an Arab twist,” Badr told Al Arabiya’s Tafa’olkum ahead of the event.

“The cake I chose to make is basically an ice cream cake delicacy. But the flavors I blended with it included tahini halava, rose water and layers of Arabic coffee flavored ganache. We selected this dessert in specific because Arabs were the first to create ice cream in the world, so we felt it’d be a tribute to that,” she said.

The chef started her career in the field in Le Cordon Bleu College in Paris. She then went on to earn her title as the “Queen of Macaroons” in the Kingdom after founding Pink Camel, a fine dining French pastry shop in Jeddah. The patisserie is well known in the city for its unique fusion of macaroon flavors.

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Badr recently featured in the UK-based Chef Magazine, which also has publications in both the United States and the Middle East and combines recipes, profile pieces, and features on chefs and food from around the world.

In its latest issue, Chef Magazine announced that it will be collaborating with Badr and CAC to share some of Saudi Arabia’s most famous recipes – some of which have been passed on from generation to generation only through word of mouth.

The collaboration is expected to include recipes of the Kingdom’s national dish Kabsa, as well as Madfoon, Tamees, and Saleeg.

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