April 12, 2021

Reem Kassis

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes REEM KASSIS—acclaimed food writer and author of the award-winning cookbook The Palestinian Table—for a discussion of her latest cookbook, The Arabesque Table. She will be joined in conversation by fellow cookbook author NIK SHARMA, author of The Flavor Equation: The Science of Great Cooking Explained in More Than 100 Essential Recipes.


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.

In her personal, engaging voice, Reem bridges past and present to open up the world of Arabic cooking today, showcasing a mosaic of 130 delicious, accessible home recipes. Organized by primary ingredient, the recipes and vivid photographs bring the dishes to life while her narrative offers not only a sense of taste, but a sense of time and place as well.

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.

With the past on full display in this heavily researched and exciting book, you will find dishes from the Golden Age of Islam: like Narjissiya (a fava bean and egg hash) and Makmoora (a layered chicken, onion and pine nut pot pie), as well as contemporary and globally inspired interpretations: like Tahini Cheesecake and Caramelized Butternut Squash Fatteh with Za'atar, revealing a cuisine that is vibrant, nourishing, and exciting, but above all, reminding us of how powerful food is in defining the relationship between people, place and identity.

About Author(s)

Reem Kassis is a Palestinian writer whose work focuses on the intersection of food with culture, history and politics. Her writings have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and the LA Times and various academic journals. She is the author of Phaidon's acclaimed cookbook The Palestinian Table, which won the Guild of Food Writers First Book award, a Gourmand World Cookbook award, was a James Beard Award nominee, and was one of NPR's Best Books of the Year.

Nik Sharma is a molecular biologist turned cookbook author and photographer. Nik is currently a columnist for Serious Eats, Food 52, and the Guardian Feast. He is also a contributor to the New York Times Cooking section. His first cookbook Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food was a James Beard and IACP finalist. His latest book, The Flavor Equation was recently named book of the year by Delicious UK. Prior to this, Nik was the featured food columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle. Nik resides in Los Angeles, California with his husband and two mischievous cats and a puppy.