The Eleven Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend — and Beyond

Linnea Covington
This could be you at the Festival of Cheese.
What an educational weekend Denver has in store for you, the intrepid seeker of culinary knowledge! Choose from a seminar on surf-and-turf, a tea school, a cheese conference and a Peruvian festival; you're sure to learn something new if you just apply yourself. And if you're not the studious type, fear not: We've got less intellectually taxing events — paella, a pig roast and a 5K race — on the curriculum as well. Here are seven events from Friday, July 28, through Sunday, July 30, plus a few more further out.

click to enlarge Authentic Irish roast pig makes an appearance this weekend. - WESTWORD FILE PHOTO
Authentic Irish roast pig makes an appearance this weekend.
Westword file photo
Friday, July 28
So you're planning a last-minute weekend in the mountains but also need to finish that thinkpiece on food politics ASAP — what's a lifestyle blogger to do? Kill two birds with one stone at Eat. Drink. Think. Good Food Talks 2.0 in Crested Butte on Friday, July 28, and Saturday, July 29. As part of the Crested Butte Food & Wine Festival, the panel discussion includes chefs Jennifer Jasinski, Alex Seidel and Kelly Whitaker alongside representatives from the mountain farming community, who will be exploring issues around seafood and meat. Tickets are just $5 for each seminar at Center for the Arts Crested Butte, 606 Sixth Street, and you'll have your choice of two days — Friday or Saturday — from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale at the event website.

Who says nothing fun ever happens in the suburbs? Lots of people, actually — but forget those naysayers for a moment and focus on the positive. Maggie Smith's Irish Pub, at 6631 South Peoria Street in Centennial, is hosting a free pig roast on Friday, July 28, at 7 p.m. Go down south for a taste of the cuisine the Irish are best known for — pork — and a beer from a surprisingly New World-centered beer list. Sorry, Professor McGonagall has neither confirmed nor denied her attendance.

Saturday, July 29
Bonacquisti Wine Company
is hewing closer to its culinary origins with a Paella Party on Saturday, July 29 (at least it got the continent correct, if not the country). From 4 to 7 p.m., the outdoor shindig will be offering portions of the rice-based dish for $10 and pours of white and red sangria as well as Bonacquisti Spanish Red for just $5. Though we can't imagine anyone not being a fan of this fragrant, chorizo- and mussel-stuffed meal, the winery will also be offering small plates for those with daintier appetites.

It's back to (tea) school time! Teatulia's Tea Bar, 2900 Zuni Street, continues its curriculum with Preserving With Tea on Saturday, July 29, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Since peaches are in season, students will be pickling peaches, using tea as a primary flavor component. Just $25 pays for the ninety-minute class, and aspiring preservation prodigies will leave with a jar of peaches, tea samples and recipes. RSVP at Teatulia's Facebook page or by calling 303-573-0710.

There are two types of people in the world: those who believe in balancing diet and fitness, and those who believe the most important culinary balancing skill is holding a wine glass on one knee while using a plastic knife and fork to cut a T-bone steak that's soaking through a paper plate perched on the other. For the first type of person, we present the Fit Foodie Festival & 5K/10K. Starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, July 29, you can choose from two race distances; both provide bites at each mile marker, drinks at the finish line and access to a beer and wine garden after the race (or before — we don't judge). Registration fees range from $45 to $55 and include a donation to No Kid Hungry. The run takes place at Westminster City Park, 10455 Sheridan Boulevard in Westminster; see the event website for registration details and race routes.

click to enlarge Never was there a spread more beautiful. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Never was there a spread more beautiful.
Linnea Covington
Denver has a secret that’s ripe for discovery: The American Cheese Society is headquartered right here in town. That means that when the ACS decides to throw a party, the best cheesemakers in the country will descend on Denver with wheels and wedges of their finest dairy products. On Saturday, July 29, the organization is hosting the Festival of Cheese as part of its three-day Cheese With Altitude industry conference. The good news is that, unlike most conference activities, the Festival of Cheese is open to the public. For $65, you’ll gain admission to the Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th Street, at 7 p.m., where you’ll find more than 2,000 cheeses along with other food and beverages to complement the cheese-tasting experience: chocolate, cured meats, cider and craft beer, to name a few. Sample to your heart’s content, but take notes so you’ll remember your favorites, because once you’re done with the festival, there’s also the ACS Cheese Sale, where you can buy cheese to enjoy at home from an array of award-winning artisan producers. Tickets for the cheesy affair can be purchased at; proceeds from sales at the event will go toward the American Cheese Education Foundation.

Sunday, July 30
Celebrate nearly two centuries of Peruvian independence from Spain at the Fifth Annual Peruvian Independence Festival on Sunday, July 30. Columbus Park, 1500 West 39th Avenue, will become a hotbed of Peruvian culture, with plenty of live music and dancing (reggaetón, salsa and cumbia, among others) as well as cuisine from the South American country. Expect anticuchos (skewers of marinated beef heart) and ceviche, but sadly, cuy probably won't be on the menu — so you won't be able get your first taste of guinea pig. The free festival kicks off at 9 a.m. and runs until 8 p.m., so you can sample all the culture you can handle. For more information, see the event website.

Keep reading for more food and drink events beyond July 30.