Learn how to cook smarter with Martie from Sweet Basil Cullinary Center | Connecting Scottsdale North

Scott introduces us to Martie, from the Sweet Basil Culinary Center located at Pinnacle Peak in Pima. He believes the center, with its cooking classes and a range of kitchen gadgets, could be an appealing solution for people approaching retirement and looking for new hobbies. Martie gives Scott a tour, demonstrating a wide range of kitchen tools, including a revolutionary carrot peeler, garlic peeler, and an efficient garlic mincer. They then explore sections of the store dedicated to Southwest cuisine, breakfast items, and high-quality cookware. Martie introduces gourmet food items like sauces, marinades, pasta, gourmet chocolate, and a unique bread mix called Soberdough. She also showcases their cooking school, equipped with induction cooktops and ample seating for classes. The center offers private parties, cooking events, and even couples’ gourmet classes paired with wine. Scott emphasizes that cooking together could be a great communal experience, helping people to open up and bond.

Interview Transcript

– Hey, gang, Scott with the Scott Gaertner Group, and we’ve got a good one for you today here. We’re at Sweet Basil Culinary Center, right down at Pinnacle Peak in Pima, and I think you’re really going to like it, even if you don’t cook now. You know, in my realtor job, I meet a lot of people who are just getting ready to retire, and they’re a little concerned about, “What the hell am I going to do with myself when I retire, or my spouse?” that kind of a thing. You know, I’m never going to have to worry about it. I still have twins at home that just turned 14, but you might have that problem, and this could be a good solution, really. So come on inside, want you to meet Martie, come on.

– [Scott] Martie.

– Hi, Scott.

– How are you today?

– I’m great, it’s nice to see you.

– Thank you.

– Welcome to Sweet Basil.

– Thank you very much. I want you to help our audience to see what you’ve got here. There’s so much. I want ’em to get a sense of it, you know, and this is really out of my wheelhouse. If we’re doing my stuff-

– Yeah.

– Here is the irons, and then the drivers are over here, the golf balls are there, the hitting bays are in the back.

– Right, right.

– Show me what this would be for somebody who likes to cook or who wants to learn how to cook.

– Okay, I would love to do that. So, can you walk over here with me? I want to just start out and show you just a few basic things that could be for anybody who cooks, or people that don’t cook so much. So no matter what, you need some real basic equipment in your kitchen, anything even as simple as a spoon or a bowl, but can I show you a couple of our favorite little gadgets?

– Oh, that would be-

– Because these are so great for making cooking fun and easy.

– That sounds good.

– Okay, okay. So let’s start with my very favorite carrot peeler. This thing is remarkable. It’s brand new on the market, and it is a sharp little thing, but what’s very special about it is it has a sharpener built right in. So if I take my carrot and I just peel, do you see how sharp that is? I put no pressure on that. It will peel the skin off a tomato, but once I’m finished with my peeling, if I just take the cover and move it up, do you see that? There’s a little knife sharpener in there, and it sharpens that blade.

– It sharpens it, it’s not just a cover like an X-Acto knife.

– No, sir. It is a sharpener, so this will stay sharp forever. Another little thing that I think we can hardly live without, this is a garlic peeler, so it’s just a little piece of silicone, and I’m going to take a clove of garlic. There’s nothing more tedious than trying to peel the little pieces off a clove of garlic. So we tuck it inside here, we put the the roller down on the counter and roll it back and forth a few times, and what this does is it breaks the skin off the garlic. Do you see there’s no skin?

– [Scott] Oh.

– Gone, okay? So how long did that take me, just a couple seconds? Now I’m going to pop it into my little garlic twister. This has teeth on both sides, so look what happens. We pop it in, put the lid on, we twist it, and now we’re going to have minced garlic, and I want you to count how many seconds it takes to do this. Three, four, five seconds?

– [Scott] So far, that’s all.

– Minced garlic. I don’t have it all in my hands.

– It’s not on your hands.

– And it’s done, it’s ready to go. So just a couple of our very favorite tools, and so just things that you could use for pretty much anything. So how about a tour of the store?

– That sounds great.

– Let’s see what we have here?

– ‘Cause we saw a bunch of tools back there too.

– We saw some. We’re going to go back there and take a look again.

– [Scott] What do you have here?

– Okay, so we have our Southwest corner, and all kinds of things to help make Southwest meals. Here are our little taco makers, so you stick your little taco shell right in here, and you can build your taco right inside this shell. I have taco spoons that are made specifically for the width of a taco, so just in like that.

– So it won’t spill out of my big spoon?

– So it won’t spill out of your big spoon.

– That’s so cool.

– And it will fill that taco. This is for microwaving your tortillas. So you stick your tortillas in the bag, stick it in the microwave for about a minute, and your tortillas come out hot, and it will stay hot for about an hour.

– So think of this section right before Cinco de Mayo, you’re getting somebody a gift, perfect.

– There we go, that’s right.

– So this is our breakfast section.

– Yes, it is, and most people love breakfast, don’t they?

– Yup.

– So we’ve got everything you need for making waffles, for cooking poached eggs, for doing soft-boiled eggs, for making Bloody Marys, and of course, French press coffee. We have all kinds of fresh beans. It’s some of the best coffee you can find anywhere.

– Coffee and the alcohol, now we’re good, we got it.

– There we go, perfect combo.

– Yeah, for sure.

– Very good.

– No, you know, my son, the only thing he can make is scrambled eggs, and that’s what he does for his mom on her birthday and Mother’s Day.

– Aww, that’s sweet.

– So this is perfect. Yeah, we’ll just teach him another thing?

– That would be great, we’ll have to get him in here.

– For sure. All right, now we’re starting to get to the real cooking stuff.

– Really, the real root of the kitchen. So one of the most important tools in your kitchen is a good couple of pans, and I say that based on experience. So right here we have a line of cookware from Denmark. This is called Scanpan cookware. It has a titanium ceramic non-stick surface, so anything that you cook in here is going to act like it’s on a piece of non-stick cookware because it really is. It disperses the heat very evenly and cooks perfectly. When you’re finished with it, if you just put it in hot, soapy water, the food releases from the pan, and it’s super easy to clean up. So no scrubbing, no scouring, just hot, soapy water, and then take it out, dry it, and put it away, you’re done.

– I keep thinking, in college, I can think of twice, where my roommates left it on the stove, cooked it too much, there was no way to clean it. We literally threw it away, and went and bought another one.

– Right, so you got another one that was going to just-

– Sure, same thing.

– Probably not work real well for you after a while anyway. So we have sold these Scanpans for about 30 years. I still would never go with another form of non-stick cookware. It’s just, it’s great to use all the time, and it has a lifetime warranty.

– A lifetime warranty, how good is that? All right, good, so now we’ve kind of shown ’em the, you know, the way you can cook, the tools to cook, now we’re getting to the food.

– Well, you’re so right, and you know, you like to cook, don’t you, Scott?

– Yup.

– Well, you know, sometimes, when you have a meal coming together, you just need a little something special to add to it just to finish it off? So right here we’ve got a whole array of sauces and marinades, things like that, that just help you kind of finish off a meal.

– So this is the stuff you can lie to your friends about and say, “No, it’s nothing special, I didn’t do anything different.”

– Exactly, and Stonewall will do the job for you.

– I love that.

– Works every time.

– No, so just the final finishing touches.

– Exactly, exactly.

– And there’s more, there’s kind of…

– There are lots of snack foods, there are dips and crackers and cheese ball mixes. We’ve got pasta and pasta sauces, soups, baking mixes, gourmet chocolate, oils and vinegars, so lots of things for people who enjoy good food.

– Yeah, and good food, and this is not, we’re not talking about walking down the aisle at Safeway and picking up the normal stuff. This is stuff-

– Probably not.

– That will set your dinner apart a bit.

– Exactly.

– I’m not putting words in your mouth, but that’s what I’m seeing.

– Well, we like to help people make their food very special. So that’s what a lot of these ingredients will do for you.

– [Scott] What’s this?

– Oh my gosh, you’ve discovered one of our little prized ingredients. This is Soberdough. So it is some of the best bread you’ll find anywhere. You take this packet of bread ingredients, you put it in a bowl, you add a beer, you stir it, you put it in a bread pan, put it in the oven, and an hour later, you have a beautiful loaf of bread. Oh no, no, let’s go by the front desk before we head out.

– Do you have any beer?

– I do, I do.

– Okay.

– We can make one right now, right here. That would just be wonderful. You pick your flavor.

– I love this.

– Okay, all right. Okay, let’s take a look at the school. So, Scott, this is where we hold all of our classes. We’ve got seating down here, all the way around this U-shaped counter, and then we’ve got additional seating up here on what we call the balcony. So you can get a little bit higher up if you like. There’s a mirror right there, so you can watch the chef. We decided to put induction cooktops into our kitchen because they’re so easy to work with, and if you’re not cooking on them, then the heat goes off immediately, but they heat up just so quickly and cook very evenly, we’ve just fallen in love with them. So we have two of those, then we’ve got three ovens inside here. We can do 15 racks of cookies at a time. It’s really just a lot of fun.

– And, as she mentioned, we can drink, it’s even safe, right, if this thing isn’t that hot?

– Safe, if you have too much to drink, you come over, put your hand down, you’re not going to hurt yourself.

– I love that ’cause we’re going to be drinking, and speaking of that, you do private parties, like we could bring clients or friends?

– You sure can. We have private parties here all the time. So, again, we can accommodate 14 or 15 people. We have a group of menus that you can choose from with about nine different themes, and as a group, you cook six or seven recipes, everybody’s in the kitchen together, and after a couple of hours of cooking, we lay out a buffet, everybody sits down, has a wonderful meal, and you have a party in your three hours here.

– You know, and I was thinking this is off-topic, but as I was thinking about this, about the cooking and if you learn to cook, you know, so it’s hard to get 14-year-olds to talk.

– Right.

– But what I’ve noticed, we’ve been volunteering at this diner, and so, my son and I, in particular, we’ll just be cutting, doing potatoes or making orange juice.

– Right.

– And like, just doing a thousand oranges.

– Right.

– The whole time we’re working, he’s talking, saying things I’ve never heard him say before.

– Isn’t that amazing?

– So, you know, for family gatherings, to cook is a way to do something and open people up.

– Together, together.

– Together.

– And it’s really such a beautiful thing because you’re working together, you’re making a meal, you’re having to rely on each other, you have to kind of work through a recipe together, so it’s very much a communal experience, and it is a way to get people together, have a really nice time.

– And then at the end…

– And in the end, you have some wonderful food to enjoy, that’s right, that’s right.

– Yeah, that’s not bad. Pretty good couples therapy, how about it?

– Absolutely, so as you mentioned that, we do a class every Friday night, and we call it Gourmet Couples. It’s otherwise known as a date night, and with that class, we make a three-course gourmet menu, we pair it with two different kinds of wines. So each couple takes part of that menu and prepares it as a team, and the team figures out how they’re going to plate it, and once they’ve completed the first course, everybody sits down, we serve some wine, everybody enjoys their food. When they’re finished, they come back in the kitchen, work on the second course. That all comes together, we sit down again and serve a second wine, and so it’s just completely a lovely evening where couples can be together and just have a relaxed, wonderful time.

– Oh, well, I think that ties it together. So you’ve got the retail, you’ve got a lot of gadgets, you’ve actually got the food, you could say soup to nuts.

– Soup to nuts.

– That’s a cooking thing, isn’t it?

– Yeah, it certainly is.

– You’re supposed to go from the soup all the way to the nuts?

– That’s exactly right.

– How good is that?

– We do it all here, that’s right.

– Martie, thank you so much for having us.

– It’s been such a pleasure to have you. Thank you for coming today. I hope you’ll come back and take many classes with us.

– We’re going to.

– Okay, thank you.

– Hey, thanks for watching. I hope we gave you a little bit of a sense of what a special place this is. So if you want, we’re going to have some events here. Let us know if you want to come, or go down to the bottom of the video, there’s a place to click. You can sign up for your own events, bring your own friends here. Sweetbasilgourmet.com, I think, is that right?

– [Martie] Correct.

– But really, come on over here, you’re going to love this place, we do, and don’t forget to share this with other people. Thanks for listening and make it a great one.

About Scott Gaertner

Scott Gaertner

Scott Gaertner

Since 1984 Scott’s real estate career has always been committed to exceptional results and his business philosophy has always been “If you want extraordinary results, find out what the ordinary do – and then don’t do it!” Consequently his career has been a trail of astonishing successes created from ground-breaking methods.

His first year in real estate selling new homes for a large builder, Scott sold 101 homes and became the first recipient of the Arizona Homebuilders Association’s “Most Net Units Sold Award.” The Association created the award that year because they said nobody had ever heard of that many homes being sold in one year before! Later, due to his continued successes, he became the first recipient of the Homebuilder’s Association’s “Lifetime Achievement Award.”

In the resale home business, Scott continued his innovative trends by opening Scottsdale’s first real estate company devoted solely to representing real estate buyers. This pioneering event in 1990 was long before most had ever heard of the term “buyer’s agency” or considered buyer representation. After years of teaching classes and bringing much needed media exposure to the cause, buyer’s agency has become the accepted standard of practice. That cause complete, Scott moved on to a more traditional role with Keller Williams Northeast Realty. But of course, not in an ordinary way . . .

Shunning the conventional wisdom in resale real estate that says “Specialize in everything!” Scott adopted one small corner of the Scottsdale market to call his own. Using typically unconventional marketing methods and strategies, he became the dominant agent in one zip code of Scottsdale North. Dominant not only in numbers of sales, but in pricing successes for his clients.

By 2018, Scott’s techniques have proven so successful that he is now guaranteeing his results, and expanding his business to a much larger market in the North Valley.