The Arabesque Table: A Conversation with Reem Kassis
Date(s) - 04/12/2021
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Museum of the Palestinian People
About this Event
Cuisine can connect Palestinians between generations, borders, and timezones; writer, chef, and author of the new book “The Arabesque Table” (Phaidon, 2021), Reem Kassis understands this like no one else. Raised in Jerusalem, Kassis is an acclaimed author and chef who weaves together stories of her upbringing and life with contemporary Palestinian and Arab recipes.
Reem Kassis will be joined by Palestinian writer, Zeina Azzam for a converastion about food and Palestinian identity.
About the book: The Arabesque Table is a one-of-a-kind collection of original contemporary recipes from across the Arab world from acclaimed author Reem Kassis. The book takes inspiration from the traditional food of the Arab world, weaving Reem Kassis’s cultural knowledge with her contemporary interpretations of an ancient, remarkably diverse cuisine. She opens up the world of Arabic cooking today, presenting a mosaic of 130 delicious, accessible home recipes — from simple salads to flavorful mains and fragrant desserts. Organized by primary ingredient, her narratives formed by her experiences and influences bring the dishes to life, as does the book’s vivid photography.
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Reem Kassis is a Palestinian writer whose work focuses on the intersection of food with culture, history and politics. You can find some of her writings in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and the LA Times and various academic journals. She is the author of Phaidon’s acclaimed cookbook The Palestinian Table, which won the Guild of Food Writers First Book award and a Gourmand World Cookbook award and was a James Beard Best International Cookbook award finalist and one of NPR’s Best Books of the year. Her second book, The Arabesque Table is a one-of-a-kind collection of contemporary recipes tracing the rich history of Arab cuisine. She grew up in Jerusalem, then lived in the US, France, Germany, Jordan, and the UK. She now lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two daughters.
Zeina Azzam is a Palestinian American poet, writer, editor, and community activist. She works as publications editor at Arab Center Washington DC and serves as an adviser for the Museum of the Palestinian People. Previously, she was executive director of The Jerusalem Fund and director of educational outreach at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. Zeina’s poetry chapbook, Bayna Bayna, In-Between, will be published by The Poetry Box in May 2021. Her poems also appear in literary journals, edited volumes, and anthologies including Tales from Six Feet Apart, Bettering American Poetry, Making Mirrors: Writing/Righting by and for Refugees, and Gaza Unsilenced. Zeina holds an M.A. in Arabic literature from Georgetown University and an M.A. in sociology from George Mason University.