Guest chef from Vail’s sister city to cook at Sweet Basil, Feb. 23-24 | VailDaily.com

Guest chef from Vail’s sister city to cook at Sweet Basil, Feb. 23-24

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VAIL — Today and Friday, Sweet Basil will host celebrated chef Matteo Salas from Vail's sister city, the 500-year-old community of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Salas and his restaurant, Aperi, have been recognized by Travel & Leisure Mexico magazine as Best New Restaurant 2015 and Best Gourmet Experience 2016. Salas also has been distinguished as Revelation Chef in Food and Travel magazine Reader Awards 2016. In addition to being a finalist in the culinary reality NBC show "Top Chef Mexico," Salas also opened his second restaurant in San Miguel Allende: Jacinto 1930.

Last summer, a Vail delegation went down to San Miguel de Allende to solidify the sister city agreement between the two towns. Matt Morgan, owner of Sweet Basil and Mountain Standard, led the delegation of 11.

"We had the opportunity to dine in Matteo's restaurant Aperi when we were in San Miguel in June," Morgan said. "He is a remarkable chef and a rare talent. We are honored to have him join us in our kitchen."

Cooking alongside Executive Chef Paul Anders, Salas has complimented Sweet Basil's regular menu with the addition of four special dishes. Diners can choose between a chef's tasting menu of all four offerings or select one or two items a la carte.

Cultural inspirations

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Salas was born to a Mexican father and an Italian mother who are both creative designers. Growing up in this artistic environment, from an early age Salas was interested in creative gastronomy. At 17, he traveled to France to study at the elite Paul Bocuse Institute. His professional career includes some of the best two- and three-starred restaurants in Europe.

In 2008, Salas returned to Mexico City to join the team at the restaurant Orca and as executive chef of Tec-Emotion. In 2014, he launched Aperi, the restaurant in Dos Casas Hotel in San Miguel de Allende, and just last year opened his second restaurant, Jacinto 1930.

"Matteo is truly a talented chef on a global level," Anders said. "He's bringing such an excitement and buzz to our kitchen this week."

Special menu

In addition to the regular menu at Sweet Basil, chef Matteo Salas has added four selections available for dinner service on Thursday, Feb. 23, and Friday, Feb. 24, only, all created and cooked by Salas himself.

• Foie gras mousse, with hibiscus, passion fruit, pistachio and prickly pear chutney and grilled toast, $25.

• Stone bass crudo, with chilmole, pineapple, charred scallion, watercress vinaigrette and rice chicharrones, $20.

• Suckling pig, with crispy skin, sweet potato puree, grilled chard and sherry gastrique, $35.

• Banoffe tart, with soft toffee, Ecuadorian banana and aged rum, $15.

The chef’s tasting menu, which includes all four of the above items, is $85. Dinner is served from 5 to 10 p.m. Reservations are required, and seating is very limited. To book, call Sweet Basil at 970-476-0125 or visit http://www.sweetbasilvail.com.