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Student Assembles SFCM Cookbook, Inspired by the San Francisco Symphony's from 1965

Bassist Alexandria Kelley hopes her Winter Term project functions as a snapshot of the diverse community that makes up the school.

January 13, 2023 by Alex Heigl

By Alex Heigl

It was a gift from her teacher, Scott Pingel, that sparked bassist Alexandria Kelley's Winter Term project. 

"I think this was during COVID, he goes, 'Alex, you're gonna love this, I got a gift for you. And he pulled out the 1965 San Francisco Symphony Cookbook. So like almost 60 years ago, the administration got recipes from everyone: the orchestra, the directors, admin—and put it into this. And because it was mostly—maybe even all— men at the time, it's like, 'this is my wife's recipe'  or 'this is my mom's recipe from the old country,' because a lot of them fled Europe during the Holocaust."

Inspired, Kelley embarked on her own path of gathering recipes from both her fellow students and faculty for an SFCM cookbook. "I also have drinks because [String Chair] Simon [James] goes, 'I've got a killer martini recipe for you.' Who doesn't want Simon James' martini recipe?"


With no experience creating a print product, Kelley said, laughing, "I really set myself up this time. I'm kind of kicking myself a little bit. I come up with these big ideas and then I get into it and it's like, you know, poking and prodding people to submit. But you know, worst case scenario, if I don't get that many recipes, I'll still format it. I'll still find a way to print it and give it to people."

For about two weeks every January, SFCM's Winter Term invites students to step out of their usual area of study and try something new. (While beverages are a popular topic, with classes that focus on coffee, wine, and beer, food-focused projects are rarer.) “Simply put, we want enjoyment and a cultivation of curiosity,” Dean Jonas Wright said of the recurring program.

Kelley sees the project as a way to both preserve traditions of students' families and encourage community at SFCM. "Food is one of the ways we connect with other people. It's one of the ways we share our love with one another, just like music."

Interested in adding your culinary skills? Submit a recipe to the SFCM cookbook here!