Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1998-1999 index

Distributed October 15, 1998
Contact: Tracie Sweeney

Brown senior cooks up a project to help pay off student loans

Fredericka Wilson of Detroit, Mich., who will graduate from Brown in May 1999, has published a cookbook, Freddie's Cooking with Family and Friends.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Fredericka Wilson, a Brown University senior from Detroit, Mich., has cooked up a novel way to pay down her student loans: She has published a cookbook featuring recipes from family and friends.

The concept for Freddie's Cooking with Family and Friends, Wilson's collection of 171 recipes, is not unique. Churches, community groups and clubs often gather members' favorite recipes into cookbooks that are sold to raise money for special projects. Contributors to Wilson's cookbook, however, know they're helping finance her dream to pay off student loans (she will graduate next May with a degree in public policy and health and society) and to help finance her participation in an international ministry program for young adults after she graduates.

Wilson began soliciting favorite recipes from family, friends and co-workers about a year ago. Word of mouth yielded such contributions as chicken peanut stew from an employee of University Food Services; a fish pie called perok, submitted by a Brown graduate student in anthropology who was doing fieldwork in Alaska; and "Best Ever Roast Beef" from Maycona Booker of Taylor, Mich., who happens to be Wilson's sister. (Is it truly the best ever? "Well, my sister says it is," said Wilson.)

The cookbook took shape over spring break last year. Wilson compiled, edited and organized, then shipped the collection to the publisher. She applied for and received an International Standard Book Number, "and now I'm my own publishing company. You know the publication called Books in Print? I'm going to be in it!" she said.

These days, with 325 spiral-bound cookbooks to sell, "I feel like a walking ad board ... I tell everyone that my cookbook's in the [Brown] bookstore," said Wilson. Family and friends scattered across the country also are distributing it.

So what's next? "I read somewhere on the Internet that I should do a follow-up cookbook, so the next one will probably be themed." she said. "I could go on Home Shopping Network and sell the two as a set!"

Editors: Fredericka Wilson can be reached through the Brown University News Bureau.