Sweet Basil, Mountain Standard upgrade kitchen space
In a town filled with restaurant turnover, Sweet Basil is entering its 41st summer serving the community.
Five years ago, the owners started Mountain Standard in the same building, along Gore Creek in Vail Village. After 20 years of maintenance on its upstairs kitchen, now serving two restaurants, Sweet Basil owner Matt Morgan decided it was time for an upgrade.
If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, but feel free to upgrade it is how Sweet Basil continues to serve valley locals and tourists year-round with the quality of food and service expected of a Vail restaurant.
“At the end of the day, if we want to be a first-class restaurant, then we need a first-class facility,” Morgan said. “We want the best people and we want to give them a place they deserve to work in.”
Despite not necessarily needing a kitchen remodel, Morgan along with his executive chef Paul Anders decided it was time to revamp where the magic happens.
The doors closed right after winter and recently reopened May 29 with a reception and tours showing off the first-class kitchen.
“It’s awesome. It’s a game changer for sure,” Anders said. “We’re still figuring out some pieces, but it just makes for a happier person in general, having a nice work space. And then we have all of the tools we could ask for at our fingertips. We can’t really wish for much that isn’t here.”
The focus of the new kitchen layout is efficiency, functionality, safety and quality. There’s a specialty freezer that cools hot food quickly and keeps the food fresh. Almost all of the appliances are new, including items from Hestan, a favorite in the cooking world. There’s more space for prep, and lots of bells and whistles that are sure to show up on the plates this summer.
But what’s a world-class kitchen without quality ingredients?
“We use the best we can find,” Morgan said.
Between Mountain Standard and Sweet Basil, Morgan says there are about 115 employees. Whether working in the kitchen, the new office spaces or stopping in the updated locker room, the renovations on the second floor of Sweet Basil are sure to enhance the experience for employees and, in turn, the dining guests.
“At the end of the day, it’s about execution,” said Morgan, who has been with the restaurant for 30 years.
Both Sweet Basil and Mountain Standard will be executing on all cylinders now with a new and improved kitchen space.
Entertainment & Outdoors editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and email@example.com. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.
Melina Valsecia said her experience as an immigrant in Eagle County helped her understand the need for a new way of looking at how service providers engage with the growing Latino population, many of whom are first- or second-generation immigrants.