LMU freshman Jake Tanner’s parents miss him most at dinnertime. You would, too, if your 18-year-old son had published a book of 100 of his own recipes and was becoming renowned for his cooking skills.
“They enjoyed the time while I was writing the book and testing each recipe,” Tanner said. His book, “Stick It in Your Pie Hole,” presents what he calls California cuisine, “healthy but flavorful; common ingredients but used in a creative way.” Tanner published the book in 2012, and since then has taken his cooking skills to community festivals and farmers’ markets in his home community of Santa Clarita and sold his book online across California and Oregon, England, Japan and Sweden.
The edgy title came 3½ years into the four-year process of producing the book. “It’s the question I get the most. I was going over possible titles with my older brother, and that came up and we liked it. There are so many cookbooks out there, a catchy title is necessary to get attention.”
Tanner has just begun his college career as an entrepreneurship major with a minor in education, but he already knows that he wants to go beyond cooking. “I’d like to get my name established and then put out my own cookware line.”
But doing good works is as important to Tanner as cooking well. A portion of each copy of “Stick It in Your Pie Hole” is donated to local food banks – he hopes to expand his network of giving nationwide. “The main thing I promote is giving back,” Tanner said. “Those are the values I grew up with. My parents taught me that you’re not going to be fulfilled unless you’re giving back. It’s the same core values as LMU has.”
Tanner got his start as a 5-year-old, cooking up fried rice at home. “I remember we were at a teppanyaki restaurant and the chef was cooking at the table, you know, playing with the food. What 5-year-old wouldn’t like that? So, I started experimenting at home.”
“Stick It in Your Pie Hole,” for which Tanner also took all the photographs, is at available at Amazon.com, the iBook store and at his website www.stickitinyourpiehole.com.