Stella Culinary: cooking classes, lunch-lectures and dinner parties for spring

After five years of operation, Stella Restaurant, part of The Cedar House Sport Hotel in Truckee, is moving in a new direction, as we report in our spring issue. Under Executive Chef Jacob Burton, Stella Culinary is taking over the kitchen and offering hands-on cooking classes, underground dinner parties for the general public and creative custom dining options for families and groups.

“Stella Underground,” an innovative and fun twist on traditional dinners, is Stella’s spin on the pop-up restaurant concept and will be offered several times a month. For example, Ramen Underground, offered from 6 to 8 p.m. on June 5, will feature Chef Jacob’s hand rolled alkaline noodles that were developed over a full year of research and development with a laid back, mutli-course, community style event including vegetarian and vegan options.

On July 2, American Classics Re-imagined will be the theme of Stella Underground. In addition, “Create Your Evening” is a custom dining option for families and groups of up to 100 guests who are celebrating special events.

“Whether it’s a hands-on cooking class with Stella Culinary, guided wilderness escape through T3 Adventure, our in house touring company, or simply a carefree weekend exploring Lake Tahoe’s stunning landscape, The Cedar House provides an organic and relaxed setting where life is always an adventure,” shares Patty Baird.

Stella Culinary will host educational programs, ranging from single day courses to weeklong boot camps. In 2012, Chef Burton launched his first culinary boot camp to an established online audience at, an educational website that focuses on the hows and whys of cooking. The boot camp – five days of intensive hands-on training – became an immediate hit. Last year’s event sold out in just 23 hours.

Here’s Stella Culinary’s event calendar for spring. Visit and to view course information and to register for event notifications. Please call The Cedar House at 530.582.5655 for reservations and more information.

Saturday, May 2nd – An Introduction to Sous Vide Cooking – Lunch Lecture
Utilized for decades by the worlds top restaurants, sous vide technology is now becoming a reality in home kitchens. Understanding sous vide will allow you cook vegetables and proteins perfect every single time, and take your food to the next level.

In this four-course lunch lecture event, Chef Jacob will demonstrate various techniques and approaches used in sous vide cooking, with detailed instruction on how those same techniques can be utilized in your home.

Dishes served will be prepared using various sous vide techniques, serving as examples of what can be achieved. All students will receive an informational hand out with recipes, in-depth explanations of the sous vide techniques, as well as helpful time/temperature charts for the most commonly cooked products.

Amuse Bouche
whipped chicken liver pate, orange, frisee, pickled red onion, crostini
First Course
halibut mi cui, sauce vierge, brown butter beets, baby tomatoes, fresh tarragon, pickled radish
Second Course
chicken thigh roulade, herbed potato gnocchi, curry roasted cauliflower, chicken and cauliflower veloute
Third Course
beef bourguignon with glazed baby vegetables baby arugula
Fourth Course
sous vide croissant bread pudding with warm butter scotch, sweet and sour black berries, vanilla creme anglaise, & white chocolate crumb
Food: $85 – Tax and Tip Included. Wine: $25 for suggested wine
BYOB: No extra charge with purchase of food Noon – 2:30 pm

Sunday, May 3rd – Seasonal Spring Soups & Salads – Hands On
In this hands on cooking class you will learn how take the bounty of spring produce available to you in the Northern California region, and turn it into beautiful and delicious soups and salads.

The fundamentals taught in this course will be universal throughout the year, allowing you to apply the same techniques to any type of fruit or vegetable as the seasons dictate.

At the end of class, you will sit down with fellow students and enjoy what you’ve made, while given the opportunity to ask Chef Jacob and his staff any culinary questions you might have.

Each student will receive a recipe hand out and Stella Culinary’s guide to seasonal produce.
Price: $95. Beer and wine will be made available by the glass for an additional charge.
10 am – 1:30 pm

May 30th – Mastering the Art of Sauce Making – Lunch/Lecture
In classic sauce making, you learn bases sauces and then memorize a bunch of archaic derivatives. But if you ever want to truly be the master of your sauce domaine, creating your own unique sauces whenever the whim may strike, you need to take a technical approach.

At the Stella Culinary boot camp, Chef Jacob teaches his unique approach to sauce making, called the Three Modern Mother Sauces; emulsions, purees, and reductions. Once these techniques are mastered, you simply paint flavor structure over the top, allowing you to make an infinite amount of unique sauces, taking any dish to that next level. At this lunch lecture event, Chef Jacob will lecture on the scientific and technical principals behind his Three Modern Mother sauces, and how to create balanced, complex flavor structures with any sauce you make.

The multi-course tasting menu will be comprised of dishes specifically chosen to exemplify the strategies and techniques taught at this. Menu TBA.
Food: $85 – tax and tip included. Wine: $25 for suggested wine
BYOB: No extra charge with purchase of food Max Count: 30 People
Noon – 2:30 pm

Tuesday, June 2nd – 2015 Farmer’s Market Class
The secrete to creating great food is first starting with top notch ingredients. But the best ingredients don’t always have to be the most expensive. In this class you will accompany Chef Jacob to the Truckee Farmer’s market, learning what’s in season and how to pick top quality produce at it’s peak. After shopping, you will head back to the Stella kitchen and prepare a fresh, seasonal menu based on the produce you purchased. This is a hands on class, and is limited to only 12 students.
Food: $95 – tax and tip included Max Count: 12 People
Noon – 2:30 pm

Thursday, June 4th – Culinary Knife Skills
Learn basic culinary knife skills including how to hold your knife, proper guide hand technique, and basic cuts such as dice, brunoise, and batonnet. Other techniques will include properly dicing and slicing onions, how to prep bell peppers and avocados, and other seasonal vegetables. Although knives will happily be provided, we highly encourage you bring your own 8-10” chef knife so we can customize your technique to the knives you have in your kitchen.
A simple dinner is included in the price of this class.
Price: $75. Beer and wine will be made available by the glass for an additional charge.
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

May June 5th – Ramen Underground
Come slurp, drink, and be merry at Stella Culinary’s underground ramen dinner featuring Chef Jacob’s hand rolled alkaline noodles that were developed over a full year of research and development. This will be a laid back, mutli-course, community style event, with vegetarian and vegan options available (sorry, but due to the nature of ramen, this dinner can not accommodate gluten free). Menu TBA.
Food: $65 – tax and tip included. BYOB: No extra charge with purchase of food Max Count: 30 People
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Tuesday, June 30th – Fourth of July From Scratch
Curriculum and Menu TBA.

Thursday, July 2nd – Underground Dinner – American Classics – Re-imagined
Menu TBA

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