Reem Assil

Reem's California - San Francisco, CA

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. Assil has garnered an array of top accolades in the culinary world, including back-to-back James Beard Award Semifinalist nods for Best Chef: West (2018-19) and Finalist for Outstanding Chef (2022).

Assil is the author of IACP award-winning cookbook Arabiyya: Recipes from the Life of an Arab in Diaspora, a collection of 100+ bright, bold recipes influenced by the vibrant flavors and convivial culture of the Arab world, filled with moving personal essays on food, family, and identity—mixed with a pinch of California cool.

Assil made her acting and screenwriting debut in “Normal Ain’t Normal” produced by Offside Productions and Rosario Dawson, a digital series that explores the struggles, absurdities, and surprising possibilities for working-class people as we slowly (eventually!) come out of the pandemic.

Before dedicating herself to a culinary career, Reem Assil 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.  Assil 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.


Culinary EmpowHERment

Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort

November 10, 2024

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