The Nine Tastiest Events on This Week's Culinary Calendar

There's definitely guacamole in your future.
There's definitely guacamole in your future.
Danielle Lirette

You treated your mother right on Mother's Day, so this week it's time to treat yourself. You can check out a culinary tribute to a legendary pop star, a pair of anniversaries (one boasts beer, one whiskey), a guacamole throwdown and more. Here are the nine best food and drink events in Denver May 15 through May 19.

Chef Paul C. Reilly and George Michael invite you to dinner.
Chef Paul C. Reilly and George Michael invite you to dinner.
Danielle Lirette

Monday, May 15

Beast + Bottle, 719 East 17th Avenue, is bringing you another Musical Chairs Dinner (previous honorees include the Beatles and Pink Floyd); this time, the late, great George Michael will be the inspiration for the four-course tasting menu that includes dishes inspired by "Careless Whisper" (beef, strawberries and rhubarb — very seasonal) and "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" (orange mocha cappuccino panna cotta). They May 15 dinner will run you $55 and the optional wine pairing another $25; the full list of musical masterpieces and their resulting bites are up on the eatery's Facebook page. Call 303-623-3223 to reserve your seats.

Tuesday, May 16

This month, Strange Craft Beer, at 1330 Zuni Street, is celebrating its seventh anniversary as one of the leaders of the craft-beer movement in Denver. Among the festivities is a screening of the feature-length documentary Blood, Sweat and Beer on May 16, which follows the journeys of two startup breweries and examines the beer industry nationwide. Get your tickets at eventbrite.com for $5, or pay $7 at the door. There will be two seatings, at 6 and 8 p.m. Sip local suds while learning about the ups and downs of small-business ownership in a fast-growing industry. Cheers to more beers!

Native Coloradan Jesse Katz – who's made custom wines for the likes of Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel and Von Miller – has created a custom wine for Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar locations throughout Colorado. The 2016 Jax-Aperture “Unlikely Native” Chenin Blanc White Blend will be introduced at a five-course winemaker’s dinner with Katz at 6 p.m. May 16 at the Jax Glendale location, with food from chefs Sheila Lucero and Ricky Myers; find out more on the Jax website. Katz will also host a winemaker's dinner at Frasca on May 15 and Parker Garage on May 17.

Coohills will host a Dinner Under the Stars on the terrace of the LoDo restaurant with Bill Spence of Matua at 6:30 p.m. May 16. Matua founding brothers Bill and Ross Spence played a major role in establishing New Zealand’s reputation as a major winemaking region. Not only were they the first vintners in New Zealand to really match microclimate and terroir to specific varietal growing requirements, but they were also the first to commercially plant and produce sauvignon blanc — now the signature wine of New Zealand — in their homeland. Chef/owner Tom Coohill will be pairing dishes with spring ingredients to the wines. Cost for the five courses and five wine pairings, plus an initial glass of wine during the reception, is $85 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Make your reservation at 303-623-5700; find out more at coohills.com.

There'll be a whole lotta shakin' going on when the Make it Exotico Cocktail Competition comes to the Tavern Wash Park, 1066 South Gaylord Street, from 6 to 8 p.m. on May 16. Mixologists from across the country have been submitting cocktail recipes using Exotico tequilas; at this semi-final event, each of the ten contestants will have seven minutes to make their cocktails and wow the four judges. The judges will pick six bartenders to move on to the final round; they'll get an all-expenses paid trip to New Orleans, site of the final contest. The semi-finals are free to watch, and audience members get to vote on a crowd-favorite cocktail that will be named at the event. Find out more at Exotico's Facebook page.

Keep reading for more events.



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