Cool native Jacob Burton up for Food & Wine top new chef award

Online voting ends Monday
By: Jon Schultz, Journal Staff Writer
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Being a top chef in Truckee comes with some challenges for Cool native Jacob Burton.

Apparently, getting national exposure is not one of them.

Burton, 29, is one of 100 chefs nationwide – one of 10 from California – nominated for The People’s Best New Chef award by Food & Wine. He’s the executive chef at Stella housed in The Cedar House Sport Hotel.

“It’s quite the humbling experience because … it’s all chefs that have really great resumes from big cities and a lot of critical acclaim, and they kind of threw me on there,” he said. “I’m just some small town chef up in Truckee. I’m not even sure how I got on the radar.”

The public will determine the winner through online voting that ends 2 p.m. Monday. To vote, visit

Burton’s creations could be described as international cuisine, but he says it’s more of a California cuisine. His family grew herbs and vegetables in their garden during summers in Cool, giving him an early appreciation for the fresh, quality produce that comes from the region that he uses to this day.

Burton is a classically trained French chef who graduated from the California Culinary Academy and worked in fine dining restaurants in San Francisco and the North Tahoe region before joining Stella in March 2010.

Look for a feature on Burton in the Journal after voting results are announced Tuesday.