March 30, 2012
Impressive line-up of cooking classes at Stella in Truckee

Stella, the well-respected restaurant at the Cedar House Sport Hotel in Truckee, is known for its fine cooking. But it also has a reputation for its cooking classes. I recently received an email detailing Stella's upcoming classes, and there seems to be something for everyone. I am especially interested in the class on salt. As some of you know, I wrote a story a few months back on the illuminating book, "Salted," by Mark Bitterman (not to be confused with Mark Bittman).

While looking at Stella's website this morning, I was impressed to see they are baking bread in a wood-fired oven and selling the loaves retail. That alone may be worth a road trip.

Below are the details about the upcoming classes, dubbed, "Dishing with Stella." Taking a class would be a nice way to spend a day in the Sierra. Even better, make it a part of a multi-day adventure.

For more information, visit

6 p.m. Wednesday, April 25 The Evolution of Pizza: A Tasty History

Follow pizza's infancy from its Sicilian and Neapolitan routes to modern day Neo-Neapolitan pies, from New York style to Chicago, to California and beyond. The Evolution of Pizza covers authentic Neapolitan style pizzas baked in Stella's 800F degree wood-fire oven, Sicilian pizzas, New York style (for the home sick east coasters) as well as creative Californian style. Learn how to properly stretch dough for different styles of pizzas and there will be a sauce making demonstration. Recipes are included in this hands-on cooking class taught by Chef Jacob, and he promises you will learn how to recreate incredible pizzas in your home oven.

Each attendee will have the opportunity to make at least one custom pizza and dinner will include pizzas created by the class, a seasonal salad and classic tiramisu. $75.00 pp. Beer and wine available with dinner at an additional charge. Limited to 16 participants.

6 p.m. Wednesday, May 16 Whole Roasted Chicken: The Sunday Supper Cornerstone

"As modern living continues to demand more of our time and attention, an art form is being lost. The Sunday Supper class will give you the tools and know-how to entice family and friends to your Sunday Super Table with a whole roasted chicken dinner complete with mashed potatoes and gravy, roasted vegetables, garden salad and a tasty dessert," explains Chef Jacob. He adds, " With the advent of the farmer's market and many supermarkets carrying high quality meats and organic vegetables, it is no longer the sourcing of ingredients that separates the home cook from the professional chef. The only barrier left is knowledge and technique. This class provides the tools necessary to crush through that barrier." Receive a recipe handout, prepare a portion of the dinner and enjoy dinner. The cost for this hands-on class is $75.00 pp. Beer and wine are available at an

additional charge. Limited to 16 participants.

The "Dishing with Stella" series offers intriguing lectures by Chef Jacob Burton and appetizers at an affordable price point. These presentations will take place across the patio from Stella in the Cervino event room.

Wednesday, May 30 - Salt of the Earth

Learn about the types, usage and science of sea salt while sampling with Chef Jacob. Doors open 5:30. Lecture begins at 6 p.m. and ends at 7:30 p.m. $25.00 pp

June 26 Vinegar 101

Learn about different types of vinegar and the science behind cooking with vinegar. Guests will take home a "Mother of Vinegar" the culture that allows you to make your own vinegar. Doors open at 5:30. Lecture begins at 6PM. Ends at 7:30 p.m. $25.00 pp

For reservations, call (530) 582-5655.

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Bee's restaurant critic. Follow him on Twitter, @blarob.

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