MAPLEWOOD, N.J. — Jacob Case didn’t always know his way around the kitchen. His knowledge of seasoning, dicing, and marinating is fairly new. However, just by chatting with the 10-year-old from Maplewood, you wouldn’t know it.
It was 15 months ago — at the height of the pandemic — when Jacob took up cooking to relieve the stress of being quarantined; it was a suggestion he got from his mom.
When the ball got rolling, his cooking sessions made their way to Facebook and Instagram.
“I had fun on the first video,” Case told PIX11 News. “We were just cooking plantain. That’s it.”
The hobby soon became a weekly series and pulled Jacob out of a mental rut while unearthing impressive skills in the kitchen.
“His taste buds have gotten very sophisticated,” his mother Paula Johnson-Case, said. “He can actually taste something and tell you what spices are in there.”
From lentil soup to four beans salad, many of his creations are inspired by old family recipes — with his added personal spin.
And now, they’re all in a book the 10-year-old and his mom self-published — “Cooking With Jacob, A Quarantine-Inspired Recipe Book.”
“It just feels amazing,” Case explained, describing how it feels to have his own book. “I feel happy to know that I am out there and people could see me do what I do.”
Proceeds from the book and those he receives from sales of “Jacob’s Bun Bites” — his take on the traditional Jamaican pastry — are all going toward a college fund; he has his sights set on Princeton University.
His message to other children chasing their passion is simple.
“Put it on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, anything — just spread what you do, don’t be shy, don’t contain it, just let it out,” he said.
Learn more about Cooking With Jacob:
Buy his book here