Juicy bright red tomatoes, vibrant green and orange peppers, and leafy cilantro are just some of the subjects that cooking enthusiast Marcella Kriebel brings to life with her watercolor illustrations.
Kriebel, a Forest Grove native who now resides in Washington D.C., developed a deep connection with Latin American food and culture through her travels. She now focuses her art on the unique ingredients and tasty recipes from the region.
You may have noticed Kriebel’s colorful artwork around town, because she donated her talent to illustrate Forest Grove Farmers Market posters and advertising for the last three years. This year, her work also decorates downtown streets on the new lamppost banners and adorns neighborhood lawns on yard signs.
Kriebel has been a longtime supporter and volunteer for our organization.
Last year, Kriebel published Mi Comida Latina, a beautifully illustrated Latin American cookbook, and donated the profits to Adelante Mujeres.
This year, Kriebel is working on a Cuban cookbook, and in March she had the opportunity to travel to the island, learn about Cuban cuisine, and cook with the locals.
The cookbook will be based on her experience, “learning about the culture of a place through cooking with people I meet and gaining an understanding, first hand, of authentic dishes from the island,” Kriebel said.
Kriebel was particularly impressed with the intersection of past and present in everyday life on the island, and the way that the culture’s resiliency shows through in their cooking.
“People [in Cuba] are tremendously resourceful when it comes to putting together a meal,” Kriebel said, “the leftover trimmings from the chicken will make broth for the next meal, and the fact that milk isn’t available for a recipe doesn’t faze a Cuban, you just use evaporated milk, or alter the recipe.”
She also had the opportunity to welcome President Obama to Cuba for the very first time as his motorcade passed through Havana.
“People cheered, waved and took photos on their cameras. Afterward, many danced in the streets. They were ecstatic about his visit, and all in all, very hopeful that it would set the course to end the embargo” Kriebel remembers.
The Forest Grove Farmers Market is one of our Adelante Mujeres programs, and runs from 4 to 8 p.m. every Wednesday on Main Street through the end of October.