Oakland's Reem Assil Is a 2019 Rising Star Chef

She's been named the Bay Area's best up-and-coming restaurateur.


Image courtesy of StarChefs

StarChefs, the national restaurant-industry magazine, has just announced its prestigious 2019 list of San Francisco Rising Stars — voted the best up-and-coming chefs, pastry chefs, sommeliers, hospitality professionals, and artisans in San Francisco and Oakland.

The magazine focuses on different cities every year.

This year's Rising Stars include chef, entrepreneur, and James Beard Awards semifinalist Reem Assil, owner of Reem's — which, having completed the La Cocina incubator program in 2015, she won the national Open Table contest before opening in Fruitvale's transit center.

Assil won in StarChefs' "Restaurateur" category.

According to Eater, Assil announced last week that in August she will end her role as consultant at the Daniel Patterson Group's Dyafa restaurant in Jack London Square. Reem's has been the scene of multiple protests by groups outraged by its mural of Rasmeah Odeh, who was convicted for her role in terrorist bombings in Jerusalem. 

Other Rising Stars included chefs, bakers, mixologists, and others associated with such San Francisco hotspots as Quince, Noosh, Nico, State Bird Provisions, Octavia, The Riddler, and FOB Kitchen — who scored high with such dishes as wagyu with pear, uni, shallot, wasabi, and togarashi; grilled duck liver with onion marmellata and Roman matzo; eggplant salad with jicama, tomato, sea beans, cilantro, scallions, and rice crackers; ginger semifreddo with almond granita, tapioca, citrus, and pink peppercorns.

The winners will be honored at a June 11 ceremony and tasting gala at San Francisco's Terra Gallery, where many of their celebrated dishes and drinks will be served. Celebrity guests will include Coi pastry chef and Toothache magazine founder Nick Muncy and Michelin-starred restaurateur Michael Mina. 

Tickets to the event, one of whose sponsors is Berkeley-based TCHO Chocolates, can be purchased here.

“San Francisco has always been a city of peaks and valleys, and we saw a town bouncing with growth and change," said StarChefs editor-in-chief Antoinette Bruno.

"Rising Stars alumni are no exception," she added. 

"Lisa Vega has a new cafe and salon within the recently unveiled Dandelion factory. Californios has picked up a second Michelin star, Souvla founder Charles Bililies has added three locations, and Melissa Perello is expanding to LA ‚ where Brett Cooper has relocated—and Shawn Gawle is now Austin-based," she said. 

"In a challenging city for cooks, we found no shortage of talent."

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