Nana Cooks

Jun 12, 2017

On our blog this month of June, we thought we’d offer something a little different and share with you a video created by Gabriel Frye-Behar, honoring his abuelita’s cooking. Entitled “Nana Cooks,” this will be a series of teaching videos with Rebeca Behar showing her grandson how to cook the classic Cuban dishes in her repertoire. The first in the series is Picadillo!!! We hope this will open a conversation about food and memory as we continue to move forward in thinking about the bridges to and from Cuba, and how our heritage is passed on to the next generation.
Ruth and Richard

by Gabriel Frye-Behar

About “Nana Cooks”

I’ve always experienced my grandmother’s Cuban food as an almost magical journey, where within the blink of an eye, her kitchen table in Queens is a portal to a Cuba that existed more than fifty years ago. When I asked my Nana to start teaching me how to cook the meals that always seemed to just appear in front of me as if by some sleight of hand, the truth of the matter was inspiringly simple. There was no magic other than many hours and love. The amount of time it took to make picadillo, croquetas de pollo, tamal en cazuela, pudín de pan, and other dishes, made me think back on the countless meals I’d eaten in that very kitchen. I was now observing the intricate private methods and “secrets” that Nana had never kept from me, but that I had never asked to know until now. Please enjoy, and try it for yourself!


Gabriel Frye-Behar is a Brooklyn based photographer/filmmaker. He graduated from NYU with a BFA in Film & TV Production with a second major in History. He is Ruth Behar’s son.

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