Willamette University

Comida Latina

Artist and foodie Marcella Kriebel ’07 has transferred her study-abroad experiences into, of all things, success in the world of self-publishing.

Last year she launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $5,000 toward publishing her first book, “Comida Latina: An Illustrated Cookbook.” Kickstarter is a website that facilitates user-submitted donations to deserving creative projects; artists set a monetary goal and describe their project to the public, and if they meet that goal, they get to keep the cash.

So far, 457 backers from around the world have pledged $30,880 to Kriebel’s project — 617 percent of her original goal.

A studio art and anthropology doublemajor, Kriebel attributes her surprising success to the connections she formed while studying in Ecuador and Mexico as a Willamette student. “That immersion really does change who you are,” she says. “In my case, I have always been interested in cooking and food, and while abroad I used food as a way to connect with people.

“I cooked with the maids of my host parents, and with new friends in their kitchens in Oaxaca, Mexico, where I went on an anthropology field-studies trip in 2004.” She cooked more when she studied in Quito, Ecuador a year later.

Having good mentors and thinking like a liberal-arts student helped her along, she says. “Willamette showed me the connections between art, cultural politics and history. Exploring such a variety of things helped to form my worldview.”

Kriebel plans to enrich her outlook further with another food-themed book project, along with a standalone series of paintings and illustrations yet to come.

She was kind enough to share some recipes with us:

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Marcella Kriebel ’07 has transferred her study-abroad experiences into, of all things, success in the world of self-publishing.


Reporting by Katelyn Huber ’13