August 18, 2015 – Construction crews are working day and night to repair damage at Carmel’s Basil Seasonal Dining, which was closed by a smoky blaze on the first day of the Concours d’Elegance last week. Chef Soerke Peters says the fire broke out in old insulation in the wall between the stove and the dining room forcing the evacuation of diners and staff during lunch service on August 12. Firefighters managed to remove newly upholstered banquettes before hacking through the wall to put out the fire. “We are hoping to reopen by early next week,” says Peters.
“I feel bad for our customers who had reservations with us during car week that we had to cancel, so we’re planning to do a re-opening party for everybody as soon as we can,” added Peters. In addition to rebuilding the walls, crews are putting up new stainless steel paneling in the kitchen. The dining room is getting a fresh coat of paint and new flooring.
Basil Seasonal Dining is Carmel’s first green certified restaurant. Peters’ imaginative California cuisine—based on seasonal, locally grown produce and organic ingredients—is very popular with local residents, who filled the restaurant’s Facebook page with wishes for a speedy recovery following the fire.