Ep 123. Reem Kassis: An MBA Returns to Her Palestinian Roots
“Food can start a conversation where nothing else has worked.”
Reem Kassis, an alum of Stew’s Total Leadership course at Wharton, is a Palestinian writer and her debut cookbook, The Palestinian Table, was nominated for a James Beard award, short-listed for the Andre Simon Award and the Edward Stanford Award, and won The Guild of Food Writers First Book Award. The book received rave reviews from Anthony Bourdain and Michael Solomonov, was named one of NPR’s best books of 2017, and has been featured in The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, and The Guardian among others. Born and raised in Jerusalem, Reem holds two undergraduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from Wharton, and an MSc in social psychology from The London School of Economics. A former McKinsey consultant, today Reem is using the power of food and storytelling to share the Palestinian narrative with the world. She is currently working on her second cookbook about the evolving, cross-cultural food of the Middle East.
In this episode Stew and Reem discuss the courage that it takes to stop “ticking the boxes” in order to follow your own interests, your own values, your own metrics for success as a human being rather than continuing to follow others’ versions of what success might mean. Reem speaks candidly about how scary it was for her to step off the standard track, to confront her own outdated beliefs, to find and listen to those who “are in the ring with you” -- your true supporters -- and to realize the power of taking small steps toward a big idea. For information about her recipes, her moving descriptions of her homeland, and the ways in which food can bridge divides visit www.reemkassis.com