The Arabesque Table with Reem Kassis
Date(s) - 04/22/2021
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
About this Event
Join the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University for a book talk with author Reem Kassis about her new book The Arabesque Table! This event will be moderated by Dr. Graham Pitts, Adjunct Assistant Professor of the Food, Labor, and Agriculture in the Arab World course.
About the Book
Kassis’ first book, The Palestinian Table, was a personal narrative through which we got a glimpse of Palestinian cuisine and culinary history. In her newest book, The Arabesque Table, Kassis takes a step back to understand the rich past of the Arab world and how it has shaped its own cuisine and much of the whole world’s cuisine today.
Many books claim to be about one national Arab cuisine or another while including so many recipes that were, at best, inspired fusion. The book engages in honest conversation about what was traditional, what was modern, and what was a cross-cultural integration of multiple culinary traditions within Arab cuisine.
So after two years of research, Kassis wrote this book which is a collection of contemporary recipes tracing the history of Arab cuisine to the earliest cookbooks on record. The book is a journey from past to present, stressing how cuisine, just like the arabesque patterns that inspired the title, is inherently intertwined and cross cultural, even as it remains crucial in defining the relationship between people, place and identity.
About Reem Kassis:
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.