Cedar House Sport Hotel & Stella restaurant: Where style meets adventure

THE CEDAR HOUSE SPORT HOTEL AND its Stella restaurant, located in the scenic Martis Valley just outside downtown Truckee, is a mecca for culinary and outdoor adventures in the Sierra.

The notoriety is reaching new peaks as Cedar House celebrates its fifth anniversary with the launch of Stella Culinary, an online culinary school, and the acquisition of Tahoe Trips & Trails, a guide company.

“Our concept is influenced by small, family run hotels found in the Alps,” says Patty Baird, co-owner of Cedar House Sport Hotel with her husband, Jeff. “Cedar House’s design was inspired by nature.”

The 42-room hotel features European bedding, flat-screen TVs, spa bath amenities and walk-in showers. The eco-friendly hotel, with its inviting architecture, just won the 2011 WoodWorks California Wood Design Award for innovation and excellence.

But Cedar House is more than an award-winning hotel and restaurant.

Whether it’s learning new cooking techniques, memorable meals, hiking, biking, kayaking, or a mix of culinary and outdoor adventures, Cedar House Sport Hotel can create unforgettable experiences in the Lake Tahoe area.

With Tahoe Trips & Trails, Cedar House offers inspiring hiking and multi-sport tours. Stella, with its natural wood interior, is the center of the culinary activities. Its menu is inspired from rustic European
recipes cooked in a wood fired oven. A garden provides fresh summer produce.

Entrees include a halibut filet, petite rack of lamb and house-made fettucini, with a mushroom medley. Bread is baked fresh daily, an hour prior to dinner. Chef Jacob Burton attended the California Culinary Academy and worked at fine restaurants in San Francisco and Tahoe.

Stella offers cooking classes, as well as a companion website. StellaCulinary.com has videos, podcasts, recipes and forums replicating lectures that students would receive at top culinary schools.

“This website was set up for me to talk with you, not at you, to become a better cook,” Burton explains.

Cedar House Sport Hotel
10918 Brockway Road, Truckee
530-582-5655 CedarHouseSportHotel.com

Here are some summer programs at Cedar House: For more information, go to CedarHouseSportHotel.com
530-582-5655 for reservations

Year Round
Winemaker Dinner Series
Features a five-course meal designed by Chef Jacob Burton. Call for dates.

July 16
Foraging & Feasting Weekend
Begin with a Forage Hike on Donner Summit guided by author/chef Hank Shaw. It is followed by a five-course tasting menu inspired by his book.

July 17-21, Aug. 7-11
Active Gourmand Tour
A four-day Tahoe-Truckee adventure for hikers who love to cook. Enjoy scenery packed day hikes followed by cooking classes and wine dinners.

July 23, Aug 27, Sept. 3
Cedar House Sport Hotel Summer Hiking Series
Hikes of Shirley Canyon on July 23, Mountain Judah Loop on August 27 and Donner Summit to Squaw on Sept. 3. Each hike includes information on local flora and geology, a Stella Endurance lunch and transportation.

July 23
Summer Canapés and Appetizers Class at Stella
Stella offers a demonstration cooking class. Learn how to design canapés and plan wine pairings.

August 20
Composed Salads
Demonstration Class at Stella
During this tasty, demonstration cooking class, learn to mix flavorful vinaigrettes and select specialty
greens for exceptional salads.

August 18-21
Lake Tahoe Photography and Hiking Adventure
Practice how to observe and capture extraordinary images in nature with fine art photographer Niobe Burden while hiking in Truckee/Tahoe.

September 17-18
Trails and Vistas 2011
Trails and Vistas art hike will grace Spooner Lake. TrailsandVistas.org.


WE ATTENDED THE FIRST SUMMER Winemaker Dinner at Stella, hosted by Chef Jacob Burton and the owner of Napa-based Elyse Winery, Ray Coursen.

It was a fabulous five-course meal,paired magnificently with Elyse’s wines, which are highly rated in Wine Spectator. Elyse buys some of its grapes from Naggiar Vineyards in Grass Valley.

The evening was one of the most enjoyable dining experiences we’ve had in the Sierra or foothills, comparing with top-notch San Francisco restaurants.

The dinner was an intimate affair of about two dozen people. Before each course Burton and Coursen explained the pairings from a chef’s and winemaker’s view in an approachable, informative way.

Our favorite course was a roasted duck breast, aleppo pepper & cherry salad and shallot-duck gele. It was paired with Elyse’s 2006 Le Corbeau, a Grenache blend.

“Everyone smiles in the same language,” was a saying high on the restaurant’s walls, aptly summing up the evening.

The August 26 winemaker dinner will feature Husch Vineyards of the Anderson Valley.

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