“This restaurant is an homage not just to my culture as an Arab, but my culture as an Oaklander,” says Dyafa chef and owner, Reem Assil. Born into a Palestinian-Syrian home, Assil has long been devoted to sharing the voice of her Arab heritage with the community in Oakland, California.
Dyafa’s menu focuses on the Levantine part of the Arab world — namely Syria and Palestine — and in this episode of Cooking in America she’s sharing a feast of spreads with host Sheldon Simeon. There’s hummus with spiced lamb, muhammara, and musakhan — the national dish of Palestine with sumac-roasted chicken as the centerpiece. “It’s authentic to me and it’s who i am,” says Assil. “All these dishes in some way or form are a story about my upbringing.”