Cam Stone: 5 Easy Q’s
Curator’s Note: Last year I hiked into the wilderness and arrived at a cabin party where I tasted one of the very best tacos I’d ever eaten. It had been cooked on what I learned was called, simply … ‘The Mojoe’ — and the man who created it was chef and adventurer Cam Stone. I quickly befriended him.
Building on the traditions and flavors that Kitchen56 founder Missy Laney led us on during this project, our final menu ever will be cooked with savory aromas blowing on the wind, and Cam will be manning the grill. I’m very grateful and excited to share his talents in this final show.
On Saturday December 23 we’ll enjoy spicy grilled cauliflower with chunky blue cheese dipping sauce, hot honey-tossed persimmons (finally !) served with grilled brie (and you will die for how good this is), roasted and grilled root vegetables served over crisp apple slices, hearty vegetarian chili with fire-roasted tomatoes and whole-wheat dessert pizzas with Ricotta cheese, orange chocolate, and blackberries with grilled crust.
We’ll pair it all with home-brewed Witbier, red wine, and whiskey cocktails (with a champagne toast to close the project).
Cam and I ran a test-run of our menu last week and it’s gonna be fantastic, it was tough testing all that food, but somehow he and I managed. He’s a great supporter of this project and I thank him heartily. — J.B.
Q: Are you a woodsy person?
Yes, very much so. I have spent most of my life, starting with an amazing Boy Scout Troop at the age of 11, exploring the mountains and deserts of the Southwest. I have backpacked throughout the entire southern Sierra Nevada and explored via 4x4 the deserts and mountains throughout Southern California and Utah. Camping and cooking with friends and family within the womb of the wilderness fills me with joy.
Twelve years ago, I traded in my well paid job in the aviation industry to work on and restore the historic cabins in the Big Santa Anita Canyon. Now my office is the Garden of Eden and my commute to work is a 1–4 mile hike through the wonders of nature.
Q: What do you want people to experience through your work?
As the inventor and seller of the Mojoe Griddle, a two foot diameter steel plate disk used for cooking in the outdoors, my customers get to feel the joy of an incredible cooking experience in the outdoors/backyard and bring family and friends together.
My work as a restorer of the historic cabins in the Big Santa Anita Canyon breaths new life into these 100-year-old structures providing my clients with with joy and pride in their ownership and connection to the rich history and community of the Canyon. My clients are lucky to have the rare and unique experience of being transported back in time whenever they visit their cabins.
Q: Art and Nature? Discuss.
There are only two man made art forms that really move me emotionally: Photography and Music. Music, for me, is the greatest human art form because it reaches deep into my soul and extracts a deep emotional response. But, there is another art form that never fails to fill me with joy, wonder and excitement: the exquisite natural beauty of our planet. The sights, sounds and smells of the wilderness envelope me in a 360 degree cradle of fine art that no human could possibly create.
Much of the energy in my life has been spent pouring over maps to determine the next destination for my exploration of nature’s gifts and then rallying family and friends to come share the experience with me. Sharing nature’s art with others close to me is just as important as the art itself.
Q: What are some of your memories or associations with Winter?
My favorite time of year in the Big Santa Anita Canyon is Winter! Unlike most other places in the country The Canyon comes alive after the first winter rains. Fiddle-neck ferns roll out in in a matter of a few days covering the Canyon’s walls in a shade of green that just screams LIFE! Fluorescent green mosses awaken from their summer slumber covering tree trunks and boulders with their new life and with exquisite artfulness. And best of all, the Canyon starts singing again as the creeks fill with water bathing the Canyon with the reassurance and comfort that life here is not only good, but welcome.
Q: If you could have one wish come true for 2018, what would it be?
Peace on earth? Just kidding — that will never happen. I guess it would have to be exploring at least one new place in the wilderness.
Cam Stone is the Founder and Inventor of the Mojoe Griddle. He is an Adventurer, Outdoor Chef in landscapes and countries diverse and abroad, and a longtime steward of the Big Santa Anita Canyon. He is also a Teller of Tales and a Man of his Times —we’re proud he’s the official Grillmaster of the Cabin №56 Gallery Winter Solstice finale.