VAIL - For 35 years, Sweet Basil has created a standard for mountain dining in Vail. Now, some of Sweet Basil's most popular dishes can be sampled at home with the release of the restaurant's first-ever cookbook. "The Sweet Basil Cookbook" includes more than 50 recipes that have been modified for cooking at home but with all of the flavors and substance of the dishes served in the restaurant. "Over the years, we've received so many requests for recipes that we thought creating a cookbook was a great way to celebrate our 35th anniversary," said Matt Morgan, co-owner of Sweet Basil. "Although we focus on where Sweet Basil is now, we acknowledge where the restaurant has been, as well. People will see recipes for old favorites, as well as new dishes, featured in the cookbook. We like to think it's the best of both past and present." Morgan and fellow Sweet Basil co-owner Kevin Clair worked closely with Executive Chef Paul Anders to select a cross section of dishes that guests have come to love at the restaurant. Recipes range from classic dishes, such as the saffron angel hair pasta and hot sticky toffee pudding, to recent favorites such as Colorado lamb T-bones and herb-crusted Rocky Mountain trout. Over the past two years, members of the Sweet Basil team worked closely with one another to select some of the most popular dishes and make them accessible for people to prepare at home. Anders worked tirelessly to replicate recipes on a smaller scale to ensure that what was produced in the restaurant was approachable and could be reproduced at home. All recipes have been scaled back to serve eight to 12 people. "We had thousands of menu items to consider when choosing recipes for the cookbook," Anders said. "Our goal was to select dishes that resonate with guests. The challenge was scaling them back to a size that works for cooking at home."One fan favorite that Anders was sure to include was the shrimp and calamari, which has been on the menu for 10 years. "We've included the original recipe for the shrimp and calamari that was developed before I even worked for the restaurant," Anders said. "I changed the recipe a few years ago, and it was noticed - not in a good way. There are some classics that people have come to love, and some things don't need changing. For our guests, the shrimp and calamari was one of those classics not to be toyed with." "The Sweet Basil Cookbook" is available for presale now on the Sweet Basil website, www.sweetbasil-vail.com. The cookbook will be available for purchase at Sweet Basil and The Bookworm of Edwards beginning the last week of November. Preorders are available by calling 970-476-0125. Cost for the cookbook is $35 for local pick-up or $40 with shipping.Sweet Basil is open for lunch and dinner daily. For reservations or more information, call 970-476-0125 or visit www.sweetbasil-vail.com.
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