Vail celebrates cultural exchange with San Miguel de Allende, Mexico |

Vail celebrates cultural exchange with San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Daily staff report
Chef Carlos Zamora Larios, from Restaurant Moxi.
Special to the Daily |

VAIL — Vail continues to enliven its sister cities relationship with San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, by participating in a cultural exchange this week that will feature a variety of Mexican chefs and performers in Vail.

The week-long series of events kicks off on Tuesday when Pilaseca, a funk, rock, Latin and soul music band, performs at the free Hot Summer Nights concert at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. Pilaseca formed in 1999 in San Miguel and came out with its first album a year later, “Humo de Cigarro,” an experimental project with guest musicians.

The band has performed at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, as well as Vive Latino in Mexico and famous American venues such as The Whiskey a Go Go and The Roxy Theater, both in Hollywood. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the shows start at 6:30 p.m.

Dinner at Sweet Basil

On Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m. popular Vail restaurant Sweet Basil will host a special dinner featuring chef Carlos Zamora Larios, from Restaurant Moxi, and chef Donnie Masterton, from The Restaurant. Masterton and Larios will cook alongside chef Chris Schmidt, from Sweet Basil, and chef Brian Brouillard, from Mountain Standard, as well as pastry chef Amy Andrews and Executive Chef-Owner Paul Anders from both restaurants. The five-course meal will feature a passed hors d’oeuvre and dinner course from each chef.

Larios’ specialty is developing original interpretations of Mexican classics using an interesting mix of local flavors. His inspiration comes from the Mexican tradition of markets, street stalls and those home-cooked meals that taste like tradition. He also adds styles and techniques that are collected from a tour around some cuisines of destinations such as Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Barcelona, Los Cabos and Veracruz.

Masterton is known for bringing global comfort food to San Miguel. His background stems from years of training in the United States under celebrated American chefs such as David Bouley. After working in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., Masterton returned to Mexico to open The Restaurant. He’s devoted to seeking out the highest quality ingredients, working with local farmers, ranchers and artisanal cheese makers and preparing the ingredients with skill, respect and simplicity.

Reservations for the Sweet Basil dinner are required and can be made by calling 970-476-0125. Cost is $150 per person and includes food, selected beverage pairings and tastings, tax and service charge.

Farm to Table Dinner Series

Alongside chefs Shawn Miller, of Terra Bistro; and Julian Smith, of bol, Larios and Masterton also will present some of their favorite dishes during the first Vail Farmers’ Market & Arts Show Farm to Table Dinner Series event of the summer on Saturday, from 6 to 8 p.m., on Meadow Drive in Vail Village. The Vail Farm to Table Dinner Series is a family-style setting that pairs the best of Colorado produce with Vail chefs.

“Everything that the chefs are using from Terra Bistro and bol and the Mexican chefs are all items that are from the market, which I think is pretty cool and it doesn’t happen very often,” said Angela Mueller, executive director of the Vail Farmers’ Market.

The dinner will consist of an appetizer, two side dishes, a main dish and dessert. Tickets are $95 each. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call 970-401-3320.

Vail established a sister cities relationship with San Miguel de Allende in summer 2015, mainly to promote a cultural exchange between the two communities. Surrounded by mountains at an elevation of 7,000 feet, San Miguel is located in the state of Guanajuato, about 170 miles northeast of Mexico City. The city has evolved from an agricultural center to an international tourism destination with a vibrant art scene, culinary offerings and cultural festivals.

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