Sister city culinary collaboration dinner at Sweet Basil on Thursday, June 23 |

Sister city culinary collaboration dinner at Sweet Basil on Thursday, June 23

Daily staff report
On Thursday, June 23, Sweet Basil chef-owner Paul Anders, pictured here, will host two of San Miguel de Allende's hottest chefs — Donnie Masterton, chef-owner of The Restaurant, and chef Carlos Zamora Larios, of the popular Moxi Restaurant — for a Chef Collaboration Dinner.
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If you go …

What: Chef Collaboration Dinner.

When: 6 p.m. Thursday, June 23.

Where: Sweet Basil restaurant, 193 Gore Creek Drive, Vail Village.

Cost: $150 per person, which includes hors d’oeuvres, specialty cocktails, a multi-course tasting menu, wine pairings, taxes and service charge.

More information: Reservations are required, and seating is limited. To book, call Sweet Basil at 970-476-0125 or visit To view the full menu for the dinner, click on “Chef’s Dinner” at

VAIL — Vail’s new sister city agreement with the 500-year-old community of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, kicks off in Vail this week with multiple cultural exchange events. The first event takes place Thursday at Sweet Basil with a Chef Collaboration Dinner.

The evening will highlight two of San Miguel’s hottest chefs: Donnie Masterton, chef-owner of The Restaurant, and chef Carlos Zamora Larios, of the popular Moxi Restaurant. The two will be cooking alongside Sweet Basil chef-owner Paul Anders, Sweet Basil chef Chris Schmidt, Sweet Basil and Mountain Standard pastry chef Amy Andrews and Brian Brouillard, chef of Mountain Standard.

“I’m very excited to represent (San Miguel de Allende), Mexico, and their delicious food in this amazing city in company with excellent chefs,” Zamora said. “I’ve never been to Vail, so I’m thrilled to have this opportunity.”

Cultural exchange

Eight delegates from local Vail businesses, the town of Vail and Vail Art in Public Places recently returned from a trip to San Miguel’s food and wine festival, Sabores San Miguel.

“It’s such a charming, artistic town, a perfect sister city match for Vail,” said Matt Morgan, owner of Sweet Basil and Mountain Standard, who led the delegation. “The chef dinner at Sweet Basil will be a unique opportunity to have six award-winning chefs together for this one night.”

Eleven representatives from San Miguel de Allende will travel to Vail on Wednesday, headed by Mayor Ricardo Villarreal Garcia. San Miguel city officials, artist Juan Ezcurdia and Zamora and Masterton and their teams will join him. The delegation will get a taste of summer in Vail, with dining, artistic and musical experiences.

The dinner at Sweet Basil begins with a cocktail party composed of two specialty cocktails and hors d’oeuvres created by the various chefs, all paying homage to the rich flavors and culture of Mexico. Dinner will consist of a multi-course tasting menu, with each chef creating his or her own course. Wines from Ole Imports will be paired with each course.

Highlighted artist

The evening at Sweet Basil will also highlight Ezcurdia, a popular San Miguel artist. Ezcurdia will bring some of his art, and his works will be featured on the menu backs and postcards on the bar. The artist will be at the dinner all evening to mix with diners and answer questions.

“His work will be weaved throughout the restaurant,” Morgan said. “It’s very bright and colorful, which is very indicative of his fun style.”

Born in Mexico City, Ezcurdia started painting as an untrained hobby. His first paintings were of arrangements of flowers that he eventually started selling at street fairs on weekends. This exposure soon led to a job offer to illustrate children’s books, and Ezcurdia became known for his wild and varied interpretations of animals and people and how they intermingle.

With art critics calling his work “artistic and humorous at the same time,” Ezcurdia is considered to be one of the most popular and best-selling painters in San Miguel, which is famous for being the home of many accomplished artists.

Other events

Other events for the weekend include the Vail Farmers’ Market Farm to Table Dinner on Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. This chef-crafted dinner is all sourced from the fields and farms of Colorado. Masterton and Zamora will again be featured guest chefs. Tickets are $95 and can purchased at

On Sunday, Ezcurdia will be highlighted with his own booth at the Vail Farmers’ Market & Art Show in Vail Village from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free.

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