November is shaping up to be a tasty — and busy! — time for culinary events. We publish two culinary calendars a week, but this is a month when you'll want to plan ahead if you want to hit a pastry chef's brunch, enjoy a week of good eats in Boulder, dine on bugs, try a chef-driven beer festival or stuff yourself at a Burmese feast.
Saturday, November 5
Bagels & Brews Brunch at The Source
Award-winning Chicago pastry chef Mindy Segal is coming to Denver this weekend and will be sharing her cooking at the Source with a pop-up brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Segal was the 2012 recipient of the James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Pastry Chef award; she'll be serving bagel toasts, doughnuts, cookies and her signature hot chocolate, along with tasters and full pours of New Belgium beers and cocktails from RiNo Yacht Club. Tickets are available for $30 each on Eventbrite. If tickets sell out or you don't want to spring for a full brunch, Segal's baked goods will be available for sale à la carte at the pop-up kiosk in the front of the Source's market hall.
Monday, November 7
Bugs at the Denver Film Festival
The Denver Film Festival is in full swing, with movies playing daily from now until November 13 in multiple locations. As part of the Culinary Cinema program, the festival will be screening Bugs, a Danish documentary about entomophagy — the practice of eating insects. Bugs will show at the Sie FilmCenter at 6:45 p.m., to be followed by a Q & A led by Westword Food & Drink writer Mark Antonation. Panel guests will include chef/restaurateur Justin Cucci, whose restaurant, Linger, has introduced insects on its menu; Lars and Dave Baugh of Lithic Nutrition, a company that makes insect-based protein bars; and Wendy McGill, founder of Rocky Mountain Microranch, Colorado's first and only insect farm. Tickets are available on the Denver Film Festival website and include a reception with cricket tacos courtesy of Linger.
First Bite: Boulder's Restaurant Week
Denver Restaurant Week just announced its dates and prices for 2017, but you don't need to wait until February to get good deals on a prix fixe meal at multiple restaurants for a full week. Boulder has its own version of Restaurant Week, called First Bite, now in its eleventh year. From November 11 to 19, more than forty Boulder-area eateries will offer three-course dinners for $29 per person. Participating restaurants cover all of Boulder County as well as Westminster this year, so you can set your sights on everything from Farmer Girl or Lyons Fork up north to Kachina Southwestern Grill in Westminster to 740 Front and Zucca in Louisville. See the First Bite website for a complete list of participating restaurants and their prix fixe menus.
Saturday, November 12
Burmese Village Dinner
Marin Toscano's Fooition (a community-based culinary venture) presents another in its series of Burmese Village dinners, prepared by chef Zin Zin, a refugee from Burma who has hopes of opening her own Denver restaurant. A five-course dinner will be served from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Spring Institute, 1373 Grant Street. Tickets are priced on a sliding scale of $70 to $90 per person, which includes the dinner, entertainment and one alcoholic beverage. Sponsorships are also available for local businesses that wish to reserve a table. Proceeds will go toward helping Zin Zin open her restaurant, which will be the first fully Burmese eatery in Denver, and 10 percent of ticket sales will also be donated to the Spring Cafe, a nonprofit coffee shop that employs and trains refugees. Tickets can be purchased on the Fooition website. For a preview of Zin Zin's cooking, head to the Spring Cafe (inside the Spring Institute), which sells her Burmese spring rolls.
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Thursday, November 17
Chef & Brew
The fifth annual Chef & Brew beer and food festival comes to the Exdo Event Center, with more than twenty food-and-beer pairings from top Colorado chefs and breweries. The event is judged, and the winning beers, dishes and pairings will be announced at the end of the night. Cast your vote for the people's choice awards in each category; tickets (available on the festival's website) are $49 for general admission or $69 for VIP, which includes early admission and a Belgian-style beer glass. Chef & Brew starts at 7 p.m. (6 p.m. for VIP). Come hungry and thirsty, as each chef prepares two dishes to be paired with two beers from each brewery. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Project Angel Heart.