The Arabesque Table takes inspiration from the traditional food of the Arab world, weaving Reem Kassis’s historic research and cultural knowledge with her contemporary interpretations of an ancient, remarkably diverse cuisine. More than just a compilation of modern Arabic recipes, The Arabesque Table celebrates the evolution of Arab cuisine and the stories of cross-cultural connection it recounts, paying tribute to the history and journey that have led to this point.
Join us as we discuss The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World, the new book from award-winning author and Penn alumna, Reem Kassis. Inspired by traditional recipes of the Arab world, and appealing to home cooks who have a sense of adventure, Reem Kassis sets the region’s foods against the rich tapestry of their historical and cultural contexts. Published by Phaidon in 2021, The Arabesque Table also offers a visual feast, with photographs that treat the book’s foods as works of culinary art. Writer and restaurateur, Yotam Ottolenghi, has hailed it as a “wonderful” collection, “full to the brim with dishes that are rooted in tradition and at the same time creatively (and deliciously!) transcend it.”
About the author:
Born and raised in Jerusalem, Reem Kassis came to the United States at age seventeen to study at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her Bachelor’s degree through Penn’s Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, and later earned an MBA from Penn’s Wharton School of Business and an MSc in Social Psychology from the London School of Economics. She pursued a career in business consulting with McKinsey and worked for the World Economic Forum, before turning to writing. Her first book, The Palestinian Table, which she has described as a tribute to her own Palestinian family, and by extension, as “the story of every Palestinian family”, appeared from Phaidon in 2017 to great acclaim. The Palestinian Table won the Guild of Food Writers First Book Award, garnered a nomination for a James Beard Award, and appeared on best book lists for 2017 in venues ranging from National Public Radio and The Guardian to Saveur magazine. The late Anthony Bourdain called The Palestinian Table “an essential cookbook.”
Reem Kassis will discuss her new book with Heather J. Sharkey, Professor in Penn’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. This virtual event is free and open to the public but registration is required.
Sponsored by the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, and the Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
To purchase the book, visit www.phaidon.com/arabesquetable.