Episode 114
Friday, September 10, 2021

In The Arabesque Table, Reem Kassis teaches a range of culinary and cultural history

"Food is so inherently tied to our memories and our emotions and our experiences ‚Ästit's not just sustenance. It's something that keeps you connected to your roots, to your history. It tells a story that other things cannot tell in the same way."

This week, we're excited to welcome Reem Kassis to Salt + Spine, the podcast on stories behind cookbooks.

Born in Jerusalem, Reem moved to the United States at 17 to attend university‚ÄĒand she was determined not to end up in the kitchen. After receiving an MBA¬†from Wharton Business School and an Master's in cultural psychology from the London School of Economics, Reem spent time working at major corporations from McKinsey to The World Economic Forum.

But when Reem had her first daughter, Yasneem, she took the opportunity to slow down and reflect on the legacy that she would leave her children. And that‚Äôs when Reem pivoted. In 2017, Reem published her first, incredibly successful cookbook, The Palestinian Table,‚Äć

Despite her first book‚Äôs success, Reem didn‚Äôt expect to write a second cookbook‚ÄĒbut her passion for sharing the complicated history of Arab cuisine pushed her to begin researching her latest book, The Arabesque Table.¬†The Arabesque Table is a rich history of Arab food. Reem brings her cultural knowledge and the tireless research she‚Äôs done to bear on the recipes within the book, bridging the past and present with classic recipes and contemporary interpretations of favorites.

Reem joined us remotely for this week’s episode to #TalkCookbooks. Stick around to hear some of Reem’s thoughts on how to thoughtfully credit and research a recipe, her path to cookbook authorship, and how she thinks food media could improve.

VOICES featured in this episode:

RECIPES featured in this episode:

COOKBOOKS featured in this episode:

Episode Transcript: