Melanie Balkner-Zielke came up with the idea of developing a KAUST community cookbook when a close friend of hers was planning to leave KAUST and she couldn't let her go without first learning her famous lasagna recipe! She then started discussing an idea of collecting recipes from around the world with friends Erik Bakken and Philippa Arkley and the KAUST cookbook was born! They wanted to have a collection of recipes from friends and colleagues from KAUST that represented their time living here amongst this wonderful and diverse community. They were excited by new flavors and new experiences and discovering new foods and stories from all over the globe, and the cookbook allowed them to make new friends, and visit countries they had only dreamed of going to – just through eating their food. Their aim is that the finished book will be a true reflection of life at KAUST, covering as many of the nationalities that make up our community and allowing people a chance to showcase their home food. They also hope to make the cookbook into a beautiful souvenir to remember their time here and the friends they have made.
Melanie, Philippa and Erik – an amazing initiative that has bought together people, cultures, community, and of course food.
Melanie is German, Eric is American and Philippa is British.