Marissa Shipman: a culinary star in Truckee, California

In 2004 Marissa Shipman bought a pile of books on how to make makeup and started mixing in her kitchen. Today, her company, The Balm Cosmetics, is an international phenomenon selling everything from liquid lipstick to blush, all in the company’s distinctive 1950s-style packaging. She told us about an under-the-radar gem near Lake Tahoe.

For those who don’t know it, Lake Tahoe is the Hamptons of San Francisco. It’s three hours from the city by car, and it’s a brilliant year-round destination. The area is full of beautiful mountains and there are loads of incredible ski resorts including Northstar and Palisades, which hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics. 

Lake Tahoe

In the summertime, it’s the best place in the world – the weather is gorgeous every day and there’s zero humidity. And in the middle of it all you have the lake, with its $50 million houses and little dock-and-dine restaurants. It’s super-fun: people go wakesurfing and parasailing, and because half the lake is in Nevada and half the lake is in California, you can go gambling in the right spots. 

Stella, Truckee

When we’re there we go to this great little hidden gem of a restaurant. It’s in Truckee, which is a low-key kind of place 20 minutes’ drive from the lake, and it’s the kind of restaurant you stumble across and are then blown away by the food. It uses a lot of local produce on its Mediterranean and Middle Eastern-inspired menu, and everything is delicious. It does a great breakfast, but dinner is the main event with dishes like fried cauliflower with aioli and dukkah, and sourdough tartine with grilled nectarines. It’s like having a grand New York restaurant in an out-of-the-way little hotel in the middle of nowhere.

Stella, Truckee

Stella, Gravity Haus, 10948 Brockway Road, Truckee, California; stellatruckee.com

You can buy Marissa Shipman’s range of cosmetics from thebalm.com

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