A Parisian Dessert Fit for a Saudi Arabian Prince

Mayada Badr

Mayada Badr is a young Saudi chef who has gone viral all over social media for dishing up a special pudding she invented, for Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, on his visit to France.

Based in Paris, Badr was selected to serve up a unique dessert to the kingdom’s new leader and his guests at a banquet held in his honour in France’s capital earlier this week.

Known as the ‘queen of macaroons’ in Saudi Arabia, the young chef spoke about the details of her culinary creation to Al Arabiya, "I decided to combine French cooking techniques with Saudi flavors to create a Parisian dessert with an Arab twist,” she explained. “The cake I chose to make is basically an ice cream cake delicacy. But the flavors I blended with it included tahini halawa, rose water and layers of 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 added.

Chef Badr studied at Parsons School of Design in Paris; it is the city she believes is one of food and indulgence. Her culinary training, however, began at the renowned Cordon Bleu. Following the completion of her Grand Diplôme, she interned at Laduree for three months where she met inspirational chefs who taught her the techniques and tastes that would shape her as a chef today.

Mayada also mentioned how grateful she is to the Saudi community for their support throughout her career as “becoming a chef isn’t as easy as it is thought to be.”

Her triumphant story comes at a time when Saudi Arabian women are gradually winning rights that were not granted to them for the last 40 years, and are positively taking up professions previously restricted to men. In this case, Badr has proven that nothing is impossible and that it’s a wonderful time to be a modern Saudi woman.

When asked by Al Arabiya how she feels as a Saudi woman who is becoming renowned on an international level, she responded, "I work for one of the most prestigious catering companies in Europe and I've always felt welcome here. The people I work with appreciate the fact that I am able to blend the flavors of my home country with French cooking techniques and they love our traditional taste in food. They're all always excited to learn things from our cuisine and that's amazing.”

AboutHer.com congratulates Mayada Badr on her momentous achievement and flying the flag for Saudi women and we can’t wait to see what she does next.

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