Stella at the Cedar House in Truckee: A culinary arts destination

DURING THE PAST FIVE YEARS, STELLA restaurant, part of the Cedar House Sport Hotel in Truckee, has amassed a loyal following, critical acclaim and has been featured in many national publications. Food & Wine magazine named Chef Jacob Burton a finalist for “The People’s Best New Chef Award.” “A lot of Tahoe restaurants are finally embracing seasonal and local the way Stella has,” Sunset magazine wrote.

Now Chef Jacob and Cedar House owners Jeff and Patty Baird have crafted an inspiring plan to “take Stella Culinary to the next level” and make it a destination for culinary arts. Stella will focus on themed “pop up” dinner parties that are open to the public, cooking classes, custom dining for groups celebrating special events and a full-scale R&D kitchen for culinary enthusiasts.

This new direction allows both Chef Jacob and the Bairds to continue sharing what they are truly passionate about—creating great food and memorable experiences, with more culinary programs. “I’ll have more time to focus on teaching passionate individuals how to cook, including my passion for exploring new cuisines and sharing what I find with others,” says Chef Jacob.

His annual culinary “boot camp,” which is five days of intensive hands-on training is extremely popular. Last year’s program sold out 23 hours after being announced. The Stella Culinary school ( has been featured on the front page of iTunes and boasts over 1 million downloads.

We believe the changes will further raise Truckee’s visibility as a culinary destination, akin to culinary adventures that have drawn visitors to picturesque small towns in Italy, France and other places for years. Culinary travel is one of the fastest-growing segments of the tourism market. Food and wine increasingly is a major factor for travelers in choosing their destinations.

We also think the plan fits well with Cedar House’s strategy to create an “active lifestyle hotel” centered around culinary and outdoor adventures and comfortable, eco-friendly accommodations. The hotel also includes an in-house touring company, offering guided single and multi-day excursions year-round. The hotel reflects the Bairds’ experiences traveling in the European Alps.

(Photo: Shea Evans)

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