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jacobburton 11-01-2010 09:40 PM

Hello From Truckee California
Hi Everyone,

I've been lurking for sometime on this great forum and I figured I should introduce myself. I'm an Executive Chef by trade, and when I got hired at my current job 9 months ago, I inherited a beautiful 64" oven as a part of my extremely large and overly open kitchen (we don't even have a pass dividing us from the dining room; servers walk right into our kitchen and pick up plates from the prep tables in full view of customers).

Anyways, I always loved the idea of baking high hydration loafs and roasting meat in my WFO, but I had no previous experience. This forum has really helped me with break throughs when I get to a sticking point.

My three favorite things that I cook in my WFO are Bread (which we now sell), roasting veal bones/mirepoix for stock, and most recently, a whole 30lb suckling pig. I'm to the point now where I feature my wood fire on the menu nightly (which we change weekly).

Love the forum, and look forward to talking with you all soon.

Jacob Burton

azpizzanut 11-08-2010 03:50 PM

Re: Hello From Truckee California
Hello Jacho,

Can you post a menu? I'd like to see what specials you feature from your wood fired oven. It's not everyday that a person "inherits" a huge oven to cook in. Do you have photos of it?

I'm building a 36" FB Pompeii oven (and another of similar size too) at present, and can't wait until one of them is ready to cook in. Yes, two ovens. (Please don't ask, lol, since I don't think I can say why. (If I had to explain, I'd say it was simply because I had the room and resources for two ovens). They're not too close to one another and they are different styles).

An "executive chef" is a special position with a lot of responsibility. Do you feature daily wood fired specialties? That "wood" certainly set you apart from your peers. The open kitchen allows you to communicate a certain personality and unique quality to your product. It is like having a family open kitchen where a diner can see what is prepared, hug the chef, and see what is prepared. The aroma, anticipation and expectations are extraordinary.The wood fired oven adds to the dining experience. Maybe make it a unique feature of your professional persona?


jacobburton 11-08-2010 04:46 PM

Re: Hello From Truckee California
Here are some photos, they're not that good because I took them with my phone, but I'll try and get some better ones with my real camera.

From left to right; a raging fire to saturate the hearth for that day's bread. Ash roasted butternut squash that I then use for soup, the flavors of the squash become extremely concentrated and intense. Some bread from the WFO including baguettes, rosemarry olive loafs, sesame sandwich bread and cinnamon swirl loaf. All bread is leavened with a natural starter.

Some of the dishes that I've been featuring from the wood fire are "ash roasted beets with house cured pancetta & burratta cheese"; a focaccia salad where we fire a disc of olive-herb focaccia to order in an 750F oven and then build a salad on top. We cook some of our meats sous vide, and the WFO is a great way to quickly sear and reheat the protein, but because the fire is so hot (about 750F), the meat would char black before overcooking on the inside. Some of the proteins I've done this with is half roasted chicken, bone in rib eye, 48 hour lamb shank, duck confit and pork tenderloin.

This summer we also did a peach pizza for dessert that we called the "Peach-A-Pie: orange mascarpone, white peaches, blueberries & candied pistachios." It was a big hit, and now that peaches are out of season, we're trying to find something to replace it. We've tried doing something similar with apples, pears and quince, but the "Peach-A-Pie" was something really special that's hard to top.

Also, below is a recent pig dinner we did that had huge success and we've since sold 3 other private parties based on this menu.

Taming Fire & Water


sliced fruit with urbani truffle oil and assorted salt pairings

house cured charcuterie: herb rubbed pancetta, duck prosciuto, fromage de tete, foie & duck liver pate, duck galantine, trotter terrine
*served with dijon, capers, frisee, cornichons and stella's wood fire sourdough

organic mixed greens with lemon caper vinaigrette

From The Fire

fire roasted tomato bruschetta, majoram, rose water & olive oil

ash baked butternut squash soup, stella sage, apple blossom honey and red pepper

olive-herb focaccia, cold pressed olive oil & fleur de sel

potato gratan; sherry soaked figs, pecarino romano and buffalo mozzarella

whole roasted suckling pig, pomegranate-maple stuffing, apple-quince chutney

apple-pear pot pie, pure maple sugar, bourbon vanilla ice cream

All the hot courses except for the pig were served in the same clay pottery that we used to cook them in. The whole pig was set up as a carving station so I could slice off pieces of cheek, trotter and cracklin' to order.

Thanks for being so welcoming on this forum.


forno di Lucca 11-09-2010 10:01 AM

Re: Hello From Truckee California
wow the menu sounds amazing......a question for long do you leave the butternut squash on the ash to cook---- my wife and i both love squash and you have perked my interest with it. also what type of wood are you using in the oven and have you tried any other species of wood in your recipes....lets say using apple wood when cooking pork for a different flavour???

forno di Lucca 11-09-2010 10:03 AM

Re: Hello From Truckee California
and another thing that has caught my you make it youself or ppurchased locally.....i make my own own pancetta and prociutto as well as the occasional soppresata and of course my own pork sausage.

Les 11-09-2010 11:23 AM

Re: Hello From Truckee California

Whats the name of the restaurant? You are right up the hill, I'd like to make it up there sometime and check it out.


jacobburton 11-10-2010 10:56 PM

Re: Hello From Truckee California
@Forno di Lucca,

For the large butternut squash I use, I bury them in ash in a hotel pan and place back in a 750F oven for about 1.5 hours. The first time you do this you'll be anxious, I know I was. The roasting time and high temps made me nervous my first time. But when the squash is finished, you should be able to rub off the skin with a kitchen towel, revealing a rich golden flesh.

All the charcuterie I serve is made in house. Charctuerie has been a passion of mine for years now, and with the rustic direction the wood fire is pushing me, it seems even more appropriate. Not to mention, there's no better garnish for a naturally leavened hearth bread then a hearty slab of cured meat (IMHO).

The wood I burn is mostly oak. I find it gives me a good, high heat, and I also really like using the coals after they burn down for other cooking uses. With that said, I've spent so much attention learning time and temperature with my inherited WFO that I really haven't had a chance to experiment with different types of wood. I'm sure it makes a difference, and I'm certain there's someone on this forum who has a full report on their experience with different types of wood. But now that my comfort level has hit a nice plateau with the WFO, experimenting with different types of wood is definitely up there on my list.


The name of my restaurant is Stella, and it is part of The Cedar House Sport Hotel. Let me know if you want to come up for dinner, we'll take good care of you; and that goes for all the WFO enthusiasts on this forum. You can either message me on this forum, or email jacob [at] and I'll make you a reservation.

jacobburton 11-10-2010 11:29 PM

Re: Hello From Truckee California
@Forno di Lucca,

Because you're interested in charcuterie I thought I'd through a couple pictures your way. Again, they're from my phone, so try not to hold it against me. From left to right: duck prosciutto that we served as an amuse, wrapping it around a ball of cantaloupe and dressing it with truffle oil, micro watercress and Cabernet salt; duck sausage curing in the walkin; head cheese (one of my specialties).

Les 11-11-2010 09:37 AM

Re: Hello From Truckee California

Originally Posted by jacobburton (Post 102062)


The name of my restaurant is Stella, and it is part of The Cedar House Sport Hotel. Let me know if you want to come up for dinner, we'll take good care of you; and that goes for all the WFO enthusiasts on this forum. You can either message me on this forum, or email jacob [at] and I'll make you a reservation.

Awesome - we're headed to Napa this weekend, so maybe the next.



Satan 11-11-2010 02:36 PM

Re: Hello From Truckee California
Too bad I don't live in the Tahoe area any longer, I'd enjoy meeting you and experiencing your restaurant. North Tahoe/Truckee has only a handful of decent restaurants so it would have been nice to have found yours prior to my departure last year. I spent almost eighteen years in the area and had businesses in Incline Village, Kings Beach, Tahoe City, Truckee and for a short time in Squaw Valley. Lovely area but very cyclical for businesses.

I'm toying with the idea of opening an Italian restaurant here in Colombia but I have a lot to learn first. Most importantly is the building of the WFO. My plan is to construct a cob oven first and then a brick oven, either a Pompei style or Rado's MTO. Still in the learning process but enjoying every minute of it!

Hasta la Pasta!

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