Vail’s Sweet Basil shares trade secrets |

Vail’s Sweet Basil shares trade secrets

Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – Sweet Basil’s bi-annual weekly cooking and entertaining series Love Our Locals is back beginning this Monday and set to run Monday nights through Nov. 8.

“It’s a fun way to take advantage of a quieter time of the year and to share our experience of what we’re truly passionate about,” said Matt Morgan, managing partner of Sweet Basil.

The eight-week series, held in Sweet Basil’s private dining room, is filled with interactive demonstrations and instruction on new techniques to enhance home cooking and entertaining.

The restaurant’s executive chef, pastry chef, bar manager and sommelier are a few of the instructors for the series this fall. Demonstrations include everything from canning your own vegetables to butchering and preparing fish at home.

“I book as many (Love Our Locals) as I can each year. I just love them,” said Lynn Gregg, a 34-year Vail local. “I’ve cooked all my life, but these classes give me a new slant on the old ways. There are always so many interesting topics.”

Not your grandma’s canning

Executive Chef Paul Anders will kick off the new LoL series Monday night with a class about canning and pickling summer vegetables – appropriately named Can Do. A few seats remain for Monday night, and Sweet Basil added a second class, on Sept. 26, as a part of Vail Restaurant Week.

When most people think of canning, they think of sweet elderly ladies wearing frilly flower aprons slaving away for hours in their kitchens. Not anymore. Canning has new devotees – 20- to 40-year-olds who have discovered new techniques to save time and money while having a pantry full of preservative-free products for their families.

“We all know the growing season here in the mountains is all too short. That fact, coupled with the cold spring we had this year, made many crops late to ripen,” Anders said. “The farmer’s markets are just now getting in some amazing fruits and vegetables we usually see in late August.”

Monday night’s Can Do class will take attendees through the process of canning, pickling and preserving from start to finish.

“We’ll then talk about and demonstrate how to make bread and butter pickles, canned whole tomatoes and peach preserves,” Anders said.

“I signed up for the class to learn how to save some money this winter by not buying those $8 blueberries in January,” Julie Nagle said. “I want to be able to buy blueberries now at $2.99 – can them – then pop open the jar on a cold winter morning for my oatmeal.”

For more information about Sweet Basil, or to make reservations, visit or call 970-476-0125.

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