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Reem Assil

Reem's California

Reem Assil is a Palestinian-Syrian chef based in Oakland, CA and owner of Reem’s California, a nationally acclaimed restaurant in Oakland and Reem’s California Mission in San Francisco, inspired by Arab street corner bakeries and the vibrant communities that surround them.  Reem has garnered an array of top accolades in the culinary world, including back-to-back James Beard Semifinalist nods for Best Chef: West.  She is a graduate of the competitive food business incubator program, La Cocina, business leadership program Centro Community Partners, and Oakland-based business accelerator program ICA: Fund Good Jobs.  Before dedicating herself to a culinary career, Reem spent over a decade as a community and labor organizer, building leadership in workers and residents to fight for living wages, affordable housing, and a voice in their jobs and their neighborhoods. Reem sits at the intersection of her three passions: food, community, and social justice. She uses food to invoke the central virtue of her Arab culture ⁠— hospitality ⁠— to build strong, resilient, and connected community. Her first book, Arabiyya: Recipes from the Life of an Arab in Diaspora [A Cookbook], will be published by Ten Speed Press in April 2022.

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