Chase Sloan is a sophomore in high school in Cleveland, Ohio and wise beyond his years. He’s got plans to attend an Ivy League with a bright future ahead and a passion for many things including chess, bodybuilding, language, and the arts to name a few. However, from the time he was young, Chase has possessed a natural gift for cooking! Chase always wanted a way to channel his passion for cooking and create a cookbook but could never find the time. Then, COVID hit and suddenly Chase had more time on his hands then he knew what to do with, as many of us have experienced. Chase’s thoughts returned back to his dream of writing a cookbook, and also on his parents, who both work in cancer research. That is when the idea came to him; he would take his recipes (that he had been logging since he was 10 years old) and he would write a cookbook and donate 75% of proceeds from sales to charities supporting cancer research.
Chase successfully self-published his cookbook last August , the “Cakes for Cancer” Cookbook, and has been featured in a variety of local and national publications including most recently Cleveland Magazine. He’s proud of his hometown as Michael Simon, the galvanizing Iron Chef, also hails from Cleveland. Most importantly, Chase has already been able to provide thousands of dollars from the sale of his book to both St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the American Association of Cancer Research – bringing him great gratification. We sat down with this rising star and learned the recipe for creating a cookbook from scratch and giving back to charity.
LM: What got you into cooking?
CS: For me, cooking has always been a creative outlet. I’m an ambitious person and it fuses art and science which I love. It’s chemistry in a multi-sensory art form.
LM: Do your parents cook or bake?
CS: Both of my parents work in the medical research field and are very busy. I love baking; I bake a great deal for other people and rarely for myself. However, another passion of mine – bodybuilding – motivates me to create healthy recipes such as the protein muffins which I’m baking today. It’s fuel for my body and allows me to do what I enjoy.
LM: How have your recipes evolved from when you first started cooking?
CS: Here’s the thing – what got me into cooking was the ability to play with multiple senses and the creativity in it. I love how you can make people feel with food and the sense of community associated around it. Though I mostly make healthy recipes right now due to my training, I still bake regular cakes, regular cookies, regular brownies, etc. The first few recipes I created were disasters because I didn’t know the chemistry behind it.
LM: So, what led to the cookbook, “Chase Sloan Cakes for Cancer?”
CS: Both of my parents have jobs that deal with cancer. My mom is a cancer researcher which has inspired me to want to pursue a career in oncology in the future. I have a few years ahead of me with both high school, and college but I wanted something that I could do now to make an impact. I wanted to do something related to my talent for baking with a goal of giving back to charity. What I didn’t know was where to start. For example, how do you format a book? How do you self-publish? These were all new questions for me and more work than I expected. However, when life slowed down due to COVID, I took the opportunity to dive into my cookbook. My cookbook is dedicated to my friend Anne. She passed away after 3 bouts of cancer and was also a driving force behind me wanting to write this cookbook with the majority of the proceeds donated to St. Jude and Cancer Research.
LM: Did you self-publish?
CS: Yes – I published through Kindle Direct Publishing which is Amazon’s publishing service as I wanted to have both a hard and digital copy available. I’ve read a lot of cookbooks but writing one was a first for me. I like to learn by doing and love experiential learning. I studied these cookbooks to see where the text was laid out, where pictures were placed, etc. which gave me a good understanding from the start. I already had a ton of recipes that I had collected over the years, so I organized them into 4 categories and then started writing narratives for each. I was intimidated by writing an entire book, but I broke up the process in smaller chunks which made my goals more achievable.
It made what seemed impossible, possible.
LM: How did you partner with the Singleton Foundation?
CS: It was very out of the blue. A friend of mine who knew Mrs. Singleton shared my cookbook with her. Mrs. Singleton emailed my mom telling her that the Singleton Foundation puts together these annual holiday boxes and asked if I wanted to be a part of them. Naturally, I said yes! Thanks to the partnership, I was able to donate almost $5,000 to St. Jude and the American Association for Cancer Research right before the holidays which made me feel really good and proud!
As a rising star in the culinary world, Chase’s generosity has already had a tremendous impact on the cause that he supports. Chase is an excellent example of someone, a young someone, that has taken an everyday activity that he both loves and is good at, and turned it into a way to give back. He is evidence that we all have something to offer and when we each do our part, change can happen. It doesn’t take a huge bank account to make a difference! What’s next for Chase other than his ambitions of attending college to pursue oncology, his ongoing YouTube channel showcasing his cake decorating ideas, and continued evolution of his recipes to name a few? We are crossing our fingers for a part two cookbook and see bright things for this Gen-Z entrepreneur philanthropist’s future.