Alfred University News

Nana’s Cookbook offers recipes from popular Japanese restaurant

For 23 years, Nanako (Nana) Yatani ran Nana’s Cafe, a popular eatery on Main Street in Alfred, offering her customers healthy, authentic Japanese cuisine not found in many small college towns. When the restaurant closed in 2020, Sharon McConnell ’86, sensing the Alfred community’s collective loss, reached out to Nana with the idea of publishing a cookbook of her recipes.

preorder form nana cookbookNana agreed to the project and collaborated with McConnell, Teaghan Murphy ’22, and Natalie Burns to create Nana’s Cookbook. The book is available for pre-order through Dec. 15 at this website.

The 9-by-9-inch, 90-page spiral bound book contains recipes—complete with beautiful images—for the daily bentos, sushi, rice and noodle dishes, Nana’s original Kome sandwich, side dishes, soup, salads, sauces, and the popular miso salad dressing. All recipes include vegan and vegetarian options.

McConnell, director of galleries in Alfred University’s School of Art and Design, served as art director on the project. Murphy and Burns, interns in the Fosdick-Nelson Gallery, joined the project, respectively, as photographer and graphic designer. The four worked throughout the summer and fall to complete Nana’s Cookbook, gathering recipes, and preparing, plating, and photographing each dish.

With the cookbook complete, Nana’s delicious cuisine is available to the broader public, and those in the community with fond memories of Nana’s can now prepare their favorite dishes at home.