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Join us for a free live conversation with culinary entrepreneurs and community leaders, Chef Tu David Phu and Chef Reem Assil. This program will explore how the pandemic has impacted our local food communities and where do we go from here. As part of this program, we will also screen two short films about each chef: BLOODLINE (Director James Q. Chan and Santhosh Daniel) and RUNNING A RESTAURANT DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC (Director Jun Stinson).

About the chefs:

Chef Tu David Phu cut his culinary teeth in the kitchens of some of the nation’s top restaurants, including Daniel, Acquerello and Chez Panisse; and across a wide range of cooking cultures – from the American culinary greats to classical European traditions. But it was what he calls “the memory of taste” that pulled him back to his roots: the practices, ingredients, techniques, and flavors of Vietnamese cuisines.  Revisiting his favorite childhood dishes, Chef Tu began an in-depth exploration of the cuisine of his mother’s generations-old culinary repertoire. And is passionate about sharing the riches and lessons of his birthright through food.

Reem Assil is a 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.  She is a graduate of the competitive food business incubator program, La Cocina, business leadership program Centro Community Partners, and Oakland-based business accelerator program ICA: Fund Good Jobs.  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.  


Dates & Times


CAAMFest Site

Sun, May 23
1:00 pm