Hana Gebretensae

Gojo Ethiopian Cafe and Restaurant
415 W. Thompson Lane
Nashville, TN 37211
615-332-0710

Hana Gebretensae moved to the United States from Ethiopia in 2009. As a passionate home cook, she brought the lessons she learned in her native country. She learned to cook from her mother in Ethiopia, beginning as a young girl peeling garlic, onion and ginger, important components in Ethiopian dishes. It was often a serious pursuit that might mean getting tested by future in-laws on the quality of a cook’s Doro Wat, a dish of chicken stew and hard-boiled egg.

Hana took over one of Nashville’s most beloved Ethiopian restaurants in 2013. At Gojo, Hana is more often tested instead by her clientele, which she is estimates is about ninety percent American and ten percent Ethiopian.

“I want people to know that, and our food is different colors and different texture, and we have that bread only in Ethiopia,” she says. “That makes me proud. I want people to know. That’s something I tell every single day for my customer.”

Date of interview:

April 14, 2016

Interviewer:

Jennifer Justus

Photographer:

Emily B. Hall


I don’t know how the spicy start in Ethiopia, but I remember when I was little, my dad used to cut a little bit (of spicy pepper) and put it in my food and, for all my sister and brothers, that’s how we grow up. It seems like we can’t live without it now because of that at young age they introduce us to the spicy food.

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