The Palestinian Table wins coveted First Book Award

The Guild of Food Writers singled out Reem Kassis’s excellent debut at their awards ceremony in London last night
The Palestinian Table's author Reem Kassis
The Palestinian Table's author Reem Kassis

Middle Eastern cuisine may have gone from a deli speciality to a regular on the shelves of many supermarkets around the world, yet other sides of this region’s food culture aren’t so widely represented.

The Palestinian Table by Reem Kassis details the nuances and subtleties of the cuisine, offering personal recollections, historical context and easy-to-follow recipes.

It might sound like a niche title, yet the book’s exquisite detail, its range of dishes, and its touching levels of family insight into the region means it has attracted keen readers from around the world.

Last night (June 18) its author, Reem Kassis, won the coveted First Book prize at the Guild of Food Writers Awards in London. These awards recognise outstanding achievement in areas where food writers work and have influence. They are awarded annually and are the only awards judged entirely by professional food writers, editors and broadcasters.


Stairs leading down from Damascus Gate into the Old City of Jeruslam. Photo by Dan Perez from The Palestinian Table
Stairs leading down from Damascus Gate into the Old City of Jeruslam. Photo by Dan Perez from The Palestinian Table

Recognition by one’s peers is always heartening, yet Kassis was especially pleased to receive this award, as the book was her debut publication, and she, as with many new writers, struggled with the text.

“While, this award gives me a little reassurance from my constant doubt, I hope it also honours everyone who has carried me, and carried our Palestinian heritage, along this thrilling journey,” she said last night. “I am proud and happy not just for me, but for all the wonderful people (you know who you are) who made this a reality, and for all Palestinians whose voices and culture are being heard and shared across the world.” 


The Palestinian Table

On that note, would like to send a big well done to Ellie Smith who commissioned and edited the book. Buy your copy of The Palestinian Table here.

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