For 18-year-old Jake Tanner, Hart High School graduate and student at Loyola Marymount University, cooking is about much more than just making food.
“I started cooking, because I loved eating,” he said.
It was that love, born when Tanner was only 5 years old, that launched him into what has become a 13-year journey, and it is only just beginning. He started by experimenting in his own kitchen and attending cooking classes. By the time he was 11, he was interning at a local country club as a banquet and event chef.
Now the college freshman is a published author. His first cookbook came out this July, a guide to California cuisine titled "Stick It in Your Pie Hole." Tanner started writing the book when he was 14, compiling his favorite recipes, writing descriptions and taking photographs. He also published it himself, without the help of a self-publishing company.
But, he doesn’t see the book as an end in and of itself.
“I’m really young. I’m 18,” he said. “…I feel like don’t need accomplishments right now. I just want a stepping stone. The reason I’m doing all of this, the writing and the photography and the cooking and the publishing and distribution… is to make it as big of a learning experience as it possibly can (be).”
"Stick It in Your Pie Hole" has more than 100 full color pages of step by step recipes for everything from salads to beef to desserts. Tanner enjoys every recipe in the book but said his favorite food to work with (and eat) is shrimp.
According to him, the heart of California cuisine is “taking healthy, common and everyday, fresh, quality ingredients and preparing them in a really flavorful, unique and healthy way.”
The book is also enabling Tanner to pursue his other passion, fighting the war on hunger in America. A portion of the proceeds from every sale of "Stick It in Your Pie Hole" are donated to charities around the country, including the local SCV Food Pantry.
If you are interested in purchasing the book, it is available on Amazon.com in hardcover, with the ebook coming soon. The ebook is also currently available on the iTunes bookstore.
For more information, visit Jake Tanner’s website, stickitinyourpiehole.com .