The Seven Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

Chef & Brew returns for its eighth year this week.
Chef & Brew returns for its eighth year this week.
Danielle Lirette
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Bad kitchen behavior, bento boxes, brews and bites, and biotech and bubbly are all on the bill this week as part of an eclectic mix of movies, fundraisers, workshops and parties. Here are seven savory food and drink events from Monday, August 26, through Friday, August 30, with two more to plan ahead for in September and October.

Monday, August 26
Stop by Bistro Vendôme, 1420 Larimer Street, for dinner on Monday, August 26, and get a stomach full of bad kitchen behavior as the French restaurant screens Burnt, the 2015 drama about chefs behaving badly. Bradley Cooper digs deep into the stereotype of the angry, arrogant, macho addict running through kitchen staff and second (and third and fourth) chances like a Monaco Grand Prix racer. Luckily, the three-course dinner you'll be served along with the movie is sure to be delicious (and leave a much better taste in your mouth than Cooper's antics). Screenings start at 5:30 and 8:15 p.m.; call 303-825-3232 to reserve your spot for dinner and a show for $55.

Hanging out at a parking garage has never been so much fun.
Hanging out at a parking garage has never been so much fun.
Courtesy Sushi Den

Tuesday, August 27
Den Corner knows how to throw a party, and its annual rooftop party and fundraiser only gets better with age. What started out in 2016 with a handful of chefs flown in from Japan has morphed into even more festivities, with twenty Japanese chefs hopping the pond to raise funds for Colorado's We Don't Waste and southern Japan's Kumamoto Castle Earthquake Relief Fund. This year, local chefs Carrie Baird, Ian Wortham, Caroline Glover, Dana Rodriguez, Elise Wiggins, Alex Seidel, Paul Reilly, Alon Shaya and more will join the shindig on Tuesday, August 27, and Wednesday, August 28; beer, wine, cocktails and sake will be flowing, while ramen, hand rolls and Japanese street food will be plentiful. Tickets for the party, which runs from 7 to 10 p.m. both nights on the roof of the Den Corner parking garage at East Florida Avenue and Pearl Street, are $90 (includes three drink tickets), $110 (includes five drink tickets), or $135 (VIP early admission at 5 p.m., plus five drink tickets), and are still available on Sushi Den's website, along with a complete list of participating chefs and menu details.

Wednesday, August 28
Chew on this: America is the richest country in the world, but we designate September as Hunger Action Month — because children, seniors and rural and underemployed citizens still go hungry in our country. Starting August 28, Noodles & Company is starting a campaign through September 24 for customers to add a $2 donation to their order that will go to No Kid Hungry. The deal is especially tasty on Wednesday, August 28, because while you can (and should!) donate directly to No Kid Hungry at any time, the company will match your donation all day. Those looking to find out more about hunger in America can also visit Feeding America's food insecurity map for a sobering look at the extent of the problem.

Brace yourself: Come Wednesday, August 28, you're going to need all your fortitude — intestinal and liver — to make it through the evening. That's because Chef & Brew, the sprawling summer bazaar of bites and booze, is returning to town. Starting at 7 p.m., the Exdo Event Center, 1399 15th Street, will host a wonderland of sweet and savory bites and local craft beers. Forty dishes (two from each eatery) will be paired with forty different brews, so it's statistically impossible for you to leave without finding something to tickle your tastebuds. And more than honor is on the line here: Cash prizes will be handed out, so chefs and brewers will be on their A-game. Tickets are $49 or $69 on the event website, where you can also find a complete list of participants.

Colorado voters rejected Proposition 105 back in 2014, which would have required food labels to indicate whether the product had been made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). While similar measures haven't reappeared on the ballot, GMOs are a perennially hot topic in the state. And on Wednesday, August 28, CU Boulder and the Flatirons Food Film Festival are teaming up for an evening examining the issue. It starts with a free screening of the feature documentary Modified at 6:30 p.m., which takes on the relationship between chemical companies and the U.S. and Canadian governments that have resulted in looser labeling standards than those of 64 other countries around the world. Afterward, there will be a panel discussion with CU profs and local nonprofit Mad Agriculture. Tickets for the event in room 150 of the Eaton Humanities Building, 1610 Pleasant Street in Boulder, are free, but you must register ahead of time on Eventbrite.

Thursday, August 29
YouTube is great for a lot of tutorials: knitting, frying an egg, installing a ceiling fan. But one skill you might appreciate a little more hands-on instruction in is sabering — lopping off the top of a champagne bottle with a sword (or maybe just a big knife). Between exploding corks and shards of glass, this party trick probably isn't something you should attempt on your own. But on Thursday, August 29, The Nickel, 1100 14th Street, is arming drinkers with daggers and teaching them how to decapitate their bubbly. The cost of the 6 p.m. workshop ($40) includes charcuterie, a bottle of sparkling wine, and a mixing station to create your own champagne cocktails after the carnage. Sign up now on Eventbrite and get ready for the most fun you can have with a sword.

Friday, August 30
ViewHouse wants to turn your Labor Day into a four-day party, with food, drinks and festivities at its Littleton (2680 West Main Street) and Centennial (7101 South Clinton Street) restaurants. Start out at 6 p.m. on Friday, August 30, with viewing parties for the Rocky Mountain Showdown, the annual CU/CSU football game. Go old-school with a retro dance party beginning at 9 p.m. on Saturday, August 31, then dress up in all whites for an all-you-can-eat buffet brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Centennial ViewHouse on Sunday, September 1. Littleton's brunch that day is à la carte and also includes a White Out Work Out beginning at 9 a.m. in the courtyard. And if you're not worn out by then, there's a special à la carte brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, September 2, at both locations. Visit the ViewHouse website for more details.

Keep reading for future food and drink events.

Cattivella will be the site of the Denver Food and Wine Fest's patio party.EXPAND
Cattivella will be the site of the Denver Food and Wine Fest's patio party.
Danielle Lirette

Wednesday, September 4, through Sunday, September 8
September brings cooler temps (we hope!), as well as the return of the annual Denver Food and Wine Festival. From Wednesday, September 4, through Sunday, September 8, restaurants around town will be turning out immaculately plated food, and the wine will be flowing freely. There are annual events (the Riedel wine glass seminar, good for those who want to appear über-sophisticated while sipping — or just those who've broken the majority of their glassware, since you'll be going home with a set of four glasses); bougie events (Dinner Under the Stars, this year taking place at our favorite Italian restaurant in a brewery, Liberati); crowd-pleasers (a patio party at Cattivella and the Bartender's Bash cocktail competition); the marquee event (the Grand Tasting, with over 700 wines and spirits, chef demos and food from forty top Denver restaurants); and a Sunday brunch (again at Liberati) that's sure to pave your way smoothly from hangover to Sunday Funday. Tickets run from $45 to $150 and are available on the festival's website.

Roaming Buffalo's BBQ tamales made an appearance at 2018's Feast.EXPAND
Roaming Buffalo's BBQ tamales made an appearance at 2018's Feast.
Danielle Lirette

Thursday, October 24
Feast, Westword's annual celebration of the Denver restaurant scene, will make its delicious return to the McNichols Building on a new day and time: 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday evening. As always, though, Feast will be a true feast for the senses, with music, beverage samplings and dishes from more than forty favorite restaurants. Among those already signed on to sample their food are Uchi, Jackdaw, Milk & Cake, The Veggie Whisperer, Roaming Buffalo Bar-B-Q and more. This year, VIP ticket-holders will again be treated to a special menu, this year courtesy of the word-renowned Matsuhisa. Bites from Matsuhisa will include spicy tuna crispy rice, chicken gyoza, black cod miso in limestone lettuce, and more, as well as special VIP cocktails to complement the menu. VIP tickets also include early entry into the event at 6 p.m. and a VIP gift bag. Tickets are now on sale for $30 general admission, $55 VIP at westwordfeast.com.

If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to cafe@westword.com.

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