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In the Media

  Featured in nearly 100 publications, 
   podcasts, videos, and television   
     pieces nationwide since 2017     


News & Articles

News & Articles

"The Future of Restaurants Lies In Our Communities: While I don’t know what the future holds for restaurants in the aftermath of the pandemic, one thing I know for sure is that our food spaces will continue to play the role in building strong, resilient communities if we keep investing in the people who uphold them, from the farmer to the cook, to the server, to the customer. We are ultimately nourished when we nourish them." -4/12/2022


This Centuries-Old Milk Pudding May Have Inspired Some of the World’s Favorite Desserts: “I feel like every culture has some version of the mahalabiya. That was the tip-off point for me. It’s usually some form of milk and a thickener. It’s genius. It’s the perfect way to make dessert with very little." -Genevieve Yam, 4/12/2022


"Living in Authenticity: Reem Assil is on a mission to spread the love and joy of Arab culture through food—and she’s staying true to herself along the way." -Vonnie Williams, 3/31/2022

Rediscovering Communal Ramadan Meals Brought Me Back To My Purpose As a Chef: "This is my opportunity to pull out all the stops for the Reem’s community—no matter their religion—to enjoy the delicacies of the holiday. Because my culture, after all, is one of community building, and if there is a month I strongly associate with that, it’s Ramadan." -Reem Assil, 4/1/2022

American Azoumeh: Chefs Reem Assil and Mohammad Abutaha Talk Arab Hospitality and Cooking in Diaspora: "Arabs have contributed to the cuisine in this country for so long but because of anti-Arab sentiment our food has sometimes been hidden away behind subdued flavors. But I feel like we’re really pushing the edge and people love it. And we’re getting to redefine Arab cuisine as it really is. It is exciting to see that happen. So congratulations on all your success as well!" -Reem Assil, 4/1/2022


I share my favorite cookbooks during the pandemic and why, including Vegetable Kingdom by Bryant Terry, Italian American by Angie Rito, Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin NosratScott Tacinelli, and Jamie Feldmar, Falastin by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley, and Food People Are The Best People by Kristen Loken.

Lunch Rush

Reem's interview in Lunch Rush with Illyanna Maisonet and Rahanna Bisseret Martinez: "In Arabiyya I’m sharing the most authentic parts of myself and some honest and raw pieces of my upbringing to an audience who may have never understood the Arab experience in America. But some part of the audience may read my experience and see themselves in it, so I tried to be as honest as possible to break down some of those barriers."

‘Don’t Call Me Chef’

"What would happen if we were to lose the word 'chef' altogether? Could we take away some of its power? A name change won’t solve the problems of our industry, but it could be a start to changing the conversation. What will it take to create a space where everyone can stand in their dignity? What if we were all leaders and decision-makers instead of hoisting one flawed human onto a pedestal as a chef?"

Sa'alouni El Nas Newsletter

"Reem Assil is truly one of the realest ones out here repping our culture and our people in such an incredibly meaningful way. I could gush about Reem for literal days. It’s an honor that she agreed to share some of her go-to songs"

Reem sat down with Pim Techamuanvivit to talk about what drew them to food and restaurants and how they hope to evolve their businesses. "Our purpose is to spread the gospel of our people and our food, to keep people inspired and emotionally connected to the food."


“We need to build resilience at the local level. Worker ownership is community ownership.”


"You have to give real ownership and control and order to make it centered around the people who are impacted by this industry. So for us, obviously success is the building of wealth, but also the building of leadership and a different way of doing things that becomes more normalized over time. It doesn't become the outlier. Because Reem's being a worker-owned space doesn't really change the industry. It has to scale and people have to follow suit."

SF Chronicle

“This is not going to be the last shock of disaster from capitalism. How do we prepare for the next time to be more resilient? My hope is to grow [the Sumoud Apprenticeship Program] as its own program, to offer to other businesses who may want to prime their workers for worker ownership."

Arts & Culture: What's On Your Ballot?: Reem Assil of Reem’s California Bakery

Reem was featured as one of ten SF bay area artists and cultural workers to share their thoughts on the 2020 elections. "We’re going to need everything we’ve built in this time of crisis to forge a new path forward and to hold elected officials accountable whoever they may be—or to take it from them. And the more we can let go of our grasp to this idea of democracy—because we’ve never truly had democracy—the more we can actually build the democratic models we want to see."


During Covid-19, food justice warrior/chef Reem Assil feeds the community in need. The second location of Reem's California opened in the Mission just days before COVID-19 ground the city to a halt. In less than a week, the Arab bakery went from having a line out the door to none at all. "'These broader systems have to change. We have to approach this with a lens of equity,' says Assil. 'All of us [have] to chip in on the true cost of food.'"

Restaurants of the Year 2018

I'd ordered far too much already. I’d tried elastic man’oushe flatbread peeled off a hot saj griddle, sumac-braised chicken, shakshuka bubbling ...

Arab Bakery in Oakland Full of Love

Before she embarked on a baking career, Reem Assil grew up in a Palestinian-Syrian household and spent a decade as a community organizer. Both of these things are evident at Reem’s California, the bright, bustling Arab bakery Ms. Assil opened in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood in May.

Food as a gateway for activism

In conversation: Reem Assil and Yasmin Khan on food as a gateway for activism and what Arabic food means in 2019

The Determined Rise of Chef Reem Ass

Chef Reem Assil wasn’t sure if she was ever going to be able to eat again. She had developed a case of acid reflux so severe that it was traumatizing to feed herself. When Assil noticed more than 30 pounds...


Decolonizing Food, from California to Palestine


Reem Assil: The Art of Warm The labor activist opened a bakery in Oakland, and — after enduring a backlash over a mural plus a difficult pregnancy — went on to open the full-service Dyafa in Jack London Square only a year later.

Chef of the Year: 2018

To say that Reem Assil’s rise to the top in the food world has been meteoric is to traffic in understatement. Two years ago, Assil’s business—Reem’s California—was still just a little-known farmers’ market stand. Last May, it morphed ...

The Ultimate Community Builder

Middle Eastern Flatbread, the Ultimate Community Builder Forget the park. Let's meet where the Man’oushe is.


The Palestinian- and Syrian-American chef opens up about the intense racist backlash she faced when her Oakland bakery opened.

Why This Lebanese Street Food ...

In Lebanon, the manoushe is omnipresent — a flatbread best served fresh from the corner bakery’s oven and eaten on the go. It’s typically slathered in zaatar, a thyme herb mix with sesame seeds, often with dollops of labneh, a tangy thick yogurt...

Reem Assil: The Art of Warm

The labor activist opened a bakery in Oakland, and — after enduring a backlash over a mural plus a difficult pregnancy — went on to open the full-service Dyafa in Jack London Square only a year later.


Chefs to Watch 2018: Reem Assil, Reem's California and Dyafa, Oakland, California


This Supper Club Is Recreating A Little Piece Of Palestine At An Incredible Art Space In L.A.

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