Artist Cynthia Pepper enjoys a whimsical life of teaching dance with San Francisco Ballet’s DISC (Dance In Schools and Communities) program, creating short dance films (some that ran in two seasons of Sesame Street), printmaking at Fort Mason, and partaking of the Bay Area’s riches at every level, especially, but not limited to, dining, entertainment, and admiration of our region’s sheer beauty.
It was her mom, Oakland-born J. Maggie Weiss, who inspired Cynthia to love food. Maggie co-wrote (with Maureen Chodosh) The Golfer’s Cookbook, a collection of recipes from Pebble Beach golfers, published in 1984. “She got Bob Hope to write the forward, and she hand-typed each letter requesting recipes,” says Cynthia.
When Cynthia’s daughters Rosebud and Sunbeam (aka Rosie and Olivia) come home from college in Santa Barbara, they sit at the counter and eat yummy meals made by their dad, Val Hornstein. Valuable (that’s Val’s nickname) makes a fierce planked salmon, superb rice dishes, sublime salads, and some unforgettable fruit concoctions that have no names. Every day is a new adventure in the food arena at Cynthia’s home because the entire family loves to be together to laugh and eat. Cynthia’s most famous dish is Braised Beef Short Ribs with Cumin and Pomegranate Sauce, which is always served with a smile atop wide egg noodles.