Reem Assil


Reem Assil is an award-winning 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 (2018-19) and Finalist for Outstanding Chef (2022). 

Reem is the author of, IACP award-winning cookbook Arabiyya: Recipes from the Life of an Arab in Diaspora (released April 18th, 2022 by Penguin Random House), 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 and mixed with a pinch of California cool. 

Reem 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 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.

It's a fish


Food Sovereignty: Toward Belonging and Climate Justice
This session explores how, socially, economically, politically, and environmentally, the local and global food crises increase social, political, and environmental challenges. The panel will also help us imagine a food system and food movement that is glocal (local and global), inclusive, and responsive to the needs of marginalized people and our planet for climate resilience and belonging. At home, there are more than 46 million Americans who are food insecure, and around the world, almost 2 billion– a quarter of our fellow humans suffer from (hidden and chronic) hunger. In the last 30 years...