Six Fantastic Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

It's an eclectic weekend in Denver. Beer is flowing through the city, with the Great American Beer Festival at the Colorado Convention Center and related events around town. But there's more, lots more, on the culinary calendar; from pierogi and tapas to oysters and cider, there's something on the menu (and at a price point) for everyone. Here are six delicious events on the culinary calendar for Friday, October 6, through Sunday, October 8....and other activities to plan for.

Learn how to do small plates right at Cook Street School of Culinary Arts. - COURTESY OF COOK STREET SCHOOL OF CULINARY ARTS
Learn how to do small plates right at Cook Street School of Culinary Arts.
Courtesy of Cook Street School of Culinary Arts
Friday, October 6
Even people sick of the small plates trend that has dominated dining over the past several years have to admit that the Spanish do small plates right. Tapas somehow miraculously transcend all the criticisms leveled at those mix-and-match menus: They're overpriced, they're too tiny to share, they're not filling. Learn about the art of crafting satisfying small plates at the Cook Street School of Culinary Arts tapas class on Friday, October 6. Show up at 6 p.m. ready to cook, as this is no lecture; you'll be preparing your own meal and ending your evening by pairing your creations with wine, as God and Spain intended. Reserve your spot for $89 at

Legendary burger purveyor the Cherry Cricket will be providing bites for Cherry Creek's Art Feast. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Legendary burger purveyor the Cherry Cricket will be providing bites for Cherry Creek's Art Feast.
Danielle Lirette
Saturday, October 7

Marczyk Fine Foods in Uptown (770 East 17th Avenue) will bust out its pig rig for the fifteenth straight year to cook up two Niman Ranch hogs on Saturday, October 7, beginning at 11:30 a.m. The pigs roast overnight (with one of Marczyk's butchers sitting watch as late-night swine sentry), and on Saturday morning, the juicy meat is separated from the glossy brown skin. Pete and Paul Marczyk and Jimmy the Butcher do the shredding honors until 2:30 p.m., or until the pork runs out, whichever comes first. The feast is expected to feed about 200 hungry neighbors at $15.99 a plate, so come early to grab a platter of pork, housemade sauce, baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad and cornbread. Then grab a lemonade to wash it all down. Come rain or shine; if the weather's bad, the market will set up a few tables inside, or you can take your feast to go.

Are dumplings the perfect food? It's possible: Nearly every culture has some form of meat or veggies nestled in a dough pouch, and they're universally beloved. Empanadas, samosas, shu mai, hand pies — even pigs in a blanket qualify (by our estimation, at least). But on Saturday, October 7, the dumplings of eastern Europe will be celebrated at the Mile High Pierogi Festival. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Anderson Park, 4355 Field Street in Wheat Ridge, Pierogies Factory will be serving up fat little half-moons of love; you can get yours smothered in traditional onions and sour cream, or opt for the completely modern but equally delicious green chile-topped pierogi. You'll also see Polish folk singers and dancers, a pierogi-eating contest and a DJ spinning Polish tunes. The festival is free, but the dumplings aren't; find out more at the event's Facebook page. Na zdrowie!

There's more to art in Cherry Creek than the famed summer art festival. Consider the 3rd Annual Art Feast, which is going on from 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 7. Start at Fillmore Plaza, 2nd Avenue and Fillmore Street, and receive a map to ten participating galleries in the neighborhood. Start your free walking tour, and along the way you'll encounter music from the Denver Young Artists Orchestra and food from the Cherry Cricket, Del Frisco's Grille, Victoria's Chocolates and more. Find all the details at It promises to be a feast for all your senses.

Apple cider is the quintessential fall drink, and hard cider? Even better. Lakewood Cider Days covers all the bases, with family-friendly fall activities like tractor rides, a vintage car show and an apple pie-eating contest. Your little ones can even press their own cider. But when the adults need a break from kid stuff, they can retreat to the tasting area, where they can sample fifty ciders from producers around the country. The festival kicks off on Saturday, October 7, at Lakewood's Heritage Center, 801 South Yarrow Street, and runs for two days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $28 at, and just $6 if you're a teetotaler (or a kid).

click to enlarge No Broncos? No problem! Eat oysters instead. - COURTESY OF THE OCEANAIRE
No Broncos? No problem! Eat oysters instead.
Courtesy of The Oceanaire
Sunday, October 8
The Broncos bye week couldn't have come at a better time. On Sunday, October 8, you can spend your afternoon slurping unlimited oysters on the half-shell instead of watching commentators make inane remarks about the national anthem or mansplaining rules of the game. We think The Oceanaire's Oyster Bash sounds like the better deal. Not a fan of raw bivalves? There will be plenty of other seafood on hand: Shrimp, lobster rolls, crab cake sliders and clam chowder are just a few of the dishes planned for the affair at the restaurant, 1400 Arapahoe Street. Wine, spirits and Oskar Blues suds will be flowing as well. The seafood feast runs from 4 to 8 p.m., and tickets ($85) are on sale at, along with a complete menu. Feeling hungry — and flush? VIP tickets get you in at 3 p.m. for just $10 more.

Plan ahead for these food and drink events....