Reem Kassis

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Reem Kassis
EducationUniversity of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School, The London School of Economics
Years active2017–present
Known forThe Palestinian Table

Reem Kassis (born 1987[1]) is a Palestinian writer best known for her award-winning cookbook The Palestinian Table[2][3].


Reem Kassis was born and raised in Jerusalem. She attended the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia where she earned her undergraduate degrees in business and international studies[4]. She earned her MBA from the Wharton School in 2010 and studied further at the London School of Economics obtaining an MSc in social psychology. Kassis also worked with the World Economic Forum and as a business consultant at McKinsey & Company[2]. After the birth of her daughters, she decided to leave the business world and pursue a writing and culinary career.[3] She currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two daughters.[5]

The Palestinian Table[edit]

Her debut cookbook, The Palestinian Table, was published in October 2017 by Phaidon Press. The volume was aimed at preserving traditional Palestinian dishes and introducing Western readers to Palestinian cuisine and culture. In the preface Kassis wrote: “The Palestinian Table spans our entire geography from the mountains of the Galilee to the valleys of the south, from the coast of Yaffa all the way to the West Bank. It is scattered across the globe and built from memories of a time when most of us lived in the same land.”[6] The Palestinian Table consists of 150 recipes, with photography, personal anecdotes, and origins of the dishes. [7][8]

The reviews for The Palestinian Table were generally positive. NPR named it one of the best books of the year[9]. The Guardian[10] , The Independent[11], New York Magazine[12], Buzzfeed[13], San Francisco Chronicle[14], The National Post[15], Saveur Magazine[16], Departures[17], and Milk Street[18] all listed the work in their lists of the best cookbooks published in 2017.[19] A journalist in the Institute for Palestinian Studies recommended the book for newcomers, calling Kassis “a humble guide who doesn’t dazzle with intimidating recipes”.[6] Tanuahka Marah, the reviewer for the Morning Star described the photography as “stunning”.[20] In her nomination for the Palestine Book Award, a critic praised the author’s anecdotes for providing “valuable cultural insight as well as specifics about how the local dishes are prepared and served”.[21] The late chef Anthony Bourdain praised the book saying, "With The Palestinian Table, Reem Kassis gracefully demonstrates the power of food to transcend the political divisions that are, too often, all we know of a place like Palestine. Reading and cooking from this essential book - a thoughtful collection of great recipes, historical and cultural insights, and beautiful photographs - will move you closer to understanding this complex, fascinating part of the world[22][3]."

The Palestinian Table was short-listed for the Andre Simon Food and Drink Book Awards[23], the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards[24], and was a winner in the Eugenie Brazier awards in Lyon[25]. The book also won the First Book award by the Guild of Food Writers.[26] and was nominated for the James Beard Foundation Award in the International category[27].


  1. ^ "Food Without Borders | Episode 44: The Palestinian Table with Reem Kassis". Heritage Radio Network. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  2. ^ a b Richards, Carl (November 21, 2017). "A Story of a Big Dream and a Single, Small Step". The New York Times. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Lewin, Lyrin (August 13, 2018). "Cookbook retells Palestinian narrative through food". CNN. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  4. ^ "Reem Kassis | The Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business". Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  5. ^ "Reem Kassis". Edible Philly. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  6. ^ a b Bouarrouj, Khelil (January 5, 2018). "Book Review: 'The Palestinian Table', by Reem Kassis". Institute of Palestinian Study. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  7. ^ Gallafent, Alex (November 30, 2017). "'The Palestinian Table' is as much a memoir as a cookbook". Public Radio International. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  8. ^ Brehaut, Laura (November 24, 2017). "Beyond conflict: Palestinian Reem Kassis paints a holistic picture of culture through food". National Post. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  9. ^ "NPR Best Books of 2017". Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  10. ^ "The 20 best food books of 2017". The Guardian. December 17, 2017. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  11. ^ "A look back at 2017 in cookbooks". The Independent. 2019-01-24. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  12. ^ Halpern, Ashlea (2017-12-05). "12 Cookbook Authors on the Cookbooks They Want for the Holidays". The Strategist. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  13. ^ Telling, Marie. "14 Cookbooks You Need In Your Life Right Now". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  14. ^ "Our favorite cookbooks of 2017 -". 2017-11-24. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  15. ^ Drinking, Eating & (2017-11-27). "The best cookbooks of the year are all excellent holiday gift ideas | National Post". Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  16. ^ "The Fall Cookbooks We’re Reading Right Now". SAVEUR. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  17. ^ "The Best New Cookbooks for Fall 2017". Departures. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  18. ^ "Milk Street's Top 10 Food Books of 2017". Milk Street. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  19. ^ Marah, Tanuahka (February 19, 2018). "Palestinian pleasures brought to the table". Morning Star. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  20. ^ Marah, Tanuahka (February 19, 2018). "Palestinian pleasures brought to the table". Morning Star. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  21. ^ Alfarra, Jehan. "The Palestinian Table". Palestine Book Awards. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  22. ^ "Editorial Reviews". Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  23. ^ "André Simon Food & Drink Book Awards shortlist revealed | The Bookseller". Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  24. ^ "Edward Stanford award shortlists reveal 'broad scope' of travel writing | The Bookseller". Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  25. ^ "» « Les Recettes d'une connasse*» : Grand Prix Eugénie Brazier !LYON SAVEURS" (in French). Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  26. ^ "The Palestinian Table wins coveted First Book Award". Phaidon Press. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  27. ^ "The James Beard Foundation Announces Its 2018 Award Nominees". Food & Wine. Retrieved 2019-01-28.