High school sophomore Chase Sloan is wise beyond his years. He’s got plans to attend an Ivy League, and his passions include chess, bodybuilding, language, and the arts, to name a few. But from the time he was young, Chase has also possessed a natural gift for cooking! Last August, Chase successfully self-published his cookbook, “Cakes for Cancer.” By donating three-quarters of the book’s proceeds to charity, he’s provided thousands of dollars to both St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the American Association of Cancer Research. The Cleveland, Ohio, resident has since been featured in a variety of local and national publications, most recently appearing in Cleveland Magazine.

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, “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 three 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 four categories and then started writing narratives for each. I was intimidated by writing an entire book, but I broke up the process into smaller chunks, which made my goals more achievable.

It made what seemed impossible, possible. 

-Chase Sloan

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!

Final thoughts

As a rising star in the culinary world, Chase has already had a tremendous impact on the cause that he supports. Chase is an excellent example of someone, a young someone, who 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 that 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 the continued evolution of his recipes? We are crossing our fingers for a part two cookbook and see bright things for this Gen-Z entrepreneur-philanthropist’s future.

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