Family of Voices

Celebrating Food and Holidays

When we moved back to Iran we actually took ornaments back, and even though we were Muslim... we always celebrated Christmas and had a tree and had ornaments. [more...]

[The bicentennial parade] was just the most incredible thing…. It really blew my mind and the people seemed so united. At the time in Chile…there was this military dictatorship and coup…. So coming here, this was just such a celebration of country. It seemed amazing to me. [more...]

[My mother] went to the grocery store to buy a goose and the grocer said, "No, no, no. You buy a turkey. You want to be in this country, you don't buy a goose, you buy a turkey." So we had turkey. [more...]

Kenny [Frangadakis] was my Greek friend since Sunday school. One day, he and I were lamenting that there are no Greek cooking schools in the world. You cannot go to learn yiayia, that's grandma or mom's food. So, Kenny and I thought, let’s go for it. Kenny's wife is a very, very good cook, and my wife is too because she cooks all the food I love that my mother made. So, we hired an Italian chef and he went to Kenny’s home six months before we opened the restaurant and worked with our wives and learned Greek food and the recipes. [more...]

Since I was very little, I learned to make hallacas which is a sort of Venezuelan tamale made during the Christmas season, and it becomes a family enterprise. For two days a large group of family and friends gathers to cook hallacas. [more...]

When we were married, I remember telling my mother that we wished to have—as our wedding dinner—couscous, the traditional Moroccan dish that I had so loved eating growing up.  My mother told me that couscous is a peasant dish that you don’t serve for the wedding of your older child. [more...]

At home, our family has always cherished old traditions from both Israel and Sweden, and new ones we adopted from America. Our children went to Jewish schools, and we regularly celebrate the lighting of the candles to welcome the Sabbath, the eating of matzah in Passover, lighting the candles on the eight nights of Chanukah, and fasting on Yom Kippur. We also celebrate the Swedish Midsummer, Christmas Eve, Israel's Independence Day, the Fourth of July and Memorial Day. [more...]

Lebanon’s best desserts come from Saida, cooking and eating seemed to be the only pastime. We were a land owning family, and my father had orange groves, watermelon, fava beans, and so much more. [more...]

It seems like most of the globe has cultural celebrations around food, but certainly the Chinese—dumplings, noodles, etc. My grandmother would prepare fabulous feasts, and my uncles, aunts, and cousins would all be making dumplings together. [more...]

My wife and I cook mostly Italian at home. In fact, the first time I was in the paper, theWashington Star, it was an article about bachelors in Washington and they published my recipe for spaghetti con le vongole. [more...]

Our food was Indian, but it would have items that are more African mixed in. One of the dishes that we ate a lot was cassava, which is an African dish, but we ate that mixed with Indian spices. [more...]

I remember we didn't understand Halloween that first year. I went to the bank to cash a check and the teller was dressed up like a witch but acting normal, and I thought, “Everyone’s gone mad!” [more...]

You know, celebrating, getting our family together for Christmas, is big for us. I have never lost that Cuban identity and I never will, but at the same time I learned what Thanksgiving was all about. [more...]

We celebrate traditions from both cultures, which is good because we have double the celebrations. The holiday that I love the most is Thanksgiving because it is the day that no matter who you are, where you come from, whatever the religion or non-religion, whatever the culture and race and different beliefs, we can all celebrate and feel grateful. [more...]

On Chinese New Year, we buy Chinese decorations and food, and drink Chinese hot liquor. We talk about our families; we talk about traditions. [more...]