The Seven Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

The Nickel is launching Charc Week a few weeks before the Discovery Channel and National Geographic this year.
The Nickel is launching Charc Week a few weeks before the Discovery Channel and National Geographic this year. Courtesy the Nickel
The Fourth of July has come and gone, but that doesn't mean that Denver restaurants and bars are slowing down. Here are seven savory events from Monday, July 8, through Friday, July 12, plus a handful more to plan for during the rest of this summer.

Monday, July 8

You're gonna need a bigger plate. For Charc(uterie) Week at The Nickel, 1100 14th Street, the restaurant is offering half-priced charcuterie boards from 7 p.m. until close from Monday, July 8, through, Friday, July 12. Want to learn how to put together a meat-and-cheese plate that will have your dinner guests swarming around it like a frenzy of great white sharks around a chum bucket? Attend the Study's workshop on building the perfect charcuterie board on Thursday, July 11, where you'll learn about flavor profiles and pairings while enjoying a cocktail and bites. Tickets are $35 and are on sale now at Eventbrite; grab yours before they've been devoured like poor Quint.

Tuesday, July 9

The Flatirons Food Film Festival won't hit the screens until October (10-13), but it's not too early to mark your calendars, or to support the fest at its July 9 fundraiser. Hot! Hot! Hot! takes over the Avalon Ballroom, 6185 Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder, from 6 to 9:30 p.m., with tiki cocktails; bites from ten top Denver and Boulder eateries (including beet poke with a tapioca crisp and furikake crumble from Mercantile Dining & Provision, a savory cherry churro with mole from Flagstaff House, and two varieties of a Peruvian potato dish called causa limeña from Chiporro Sauce Co.); a screening of the short film Charlie Trotter: After Love, There is Only Cuisine; and a silent auction with luxe prizes like a weeklong stay in Italy and a $1,500 gift card for culinary travel company Pack a Fork. Find out more and nab your ticket, $75, at the film festival's website.

The Discovery Channel first aired Moonshiners in 2011 and has been "documenting" the lives of overalls-clad country boys with a passion for distilling and a penchant for teeth-grindingly bad accents since then. On Tuesday, July 9, Denver Distillery's own Austin Adamson will make an appearance on the show, which will be aired at the distillery's taproom at 244 South Broadway. Adamson, who plans to open his own outfit, Ballmer Peak Distillery, later this year, will compete against two other makers on the episode. See how he fares (and whether he can understand the hosts' drawls) starting at 10 p.m.; details are up on the tasting room's Facebook page.

click to enlarge Buy a burrito and help women and girls on July 10. - COURTESY ILLEGAL PETE'S
Buy a burrito and help women and girls on July 10.
Courtesy Illegal Pete's
Wednesday, July 10
On Wednesday, July 10, Boulder-born burrito chain Illegal Pete's is raising money for women branded criminals in Alabama — where not only are women or girls who obtain an abortion for any reason (even rape or incest) breaking the law, but pregnant women who are physically attacked can also be charged. From 4 to 9 p.m., half of all sales at the 1744 East Evans Avenue outpost will be donated to the Alabama Women's Clinic, a center that is still offering health care and reproductive options to women in Alabama; find details on Illegal Pete's DU Facebook page. If you can't make it to the event but still want to rally to the cause, you can make a donation directly to the Linda D Foundation, a nonprofit organization that assists Alabama women with abortion costs.

The Denver International Wine Festival is celebrating its fifteenth year with a couple of big changes. First, the fall fest is moving to July 10 through 12, to better align with winemakers who can attend during the summer but are busy with grape harvests in the fall; second, it's relocating to a giant covered pavilion at Broomfield's Omni Interlocken Hotel, 500 Interlocken Boulevard, that has great views of the Flatirons. The event kicks off with a multi-course wine dinner at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10, with beverages from Oregon's Left Coast Estate ($99); continues at 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 11, with the Pairsine food and wine pairing contest, where guests vote for their favorite combo ($120 to $185); and wraps up on Friday, July 12, from 4 to 7 p.m. with the Grand Tasting, where over fifty beverage producers will be pouring delicious drafts ($100 to $185). Find all the details and tickets on the DIWF's website.

click to enlarge Come for the the empanadas, stay for the dancing. - MARK ANTONATION
Come for the the empanadas, stay for the dancing.
Mark Antonation
Thursday, July 11
Argentinean empanada authority Maria Empanada has hosted occasional salsa nights for years, but starting on Thursday, July 11, the bakery's location at 1700 Platte Street is clearing the chairs out of the dining room and rolling out the red carpet for Latin dancers each and every week. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., newbies can show up for a free 45-minute dance lesson teaching the basics of both salsa and bachata (a dance style that originated in the Dominican Republic), then stick around for social dancing from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. The best part: You'll work off all the calories from chef/owner Lorena Cantarovici's delicious pastries during the high-energy dance.

click to enlarge Cook with beer. - MILES CHRISINGER
Cook with beer.
Miles Chrisinger
Friday, July 12
While the media is running features on pink wine left and right during the summer months, there's actually more to drink during July than rosé — and the same goes for lagers and pale ales. On Friday, July 12, Cook Street School of Culinary Arts, 1937 Market Street, is hosting a Bites & Brews class from 4 to 6 p.m. Get a head start on the weekend by learning how to pair beer with delicious food in a class that goes way beyond the basics of food and drink pairings ("red wine goes with beef, white wine goes with fish"). For $70, you'll create three to five courses and pair them with brews from 10 Barrel Brewing Co., then head into the weekend with the knowledge to wow your family and friends (especially if all they were expecting was PBR and hot dogs). Sign up on the school's website.

Keep reading for future food and drink events.

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Amy Antonation knows that street tacos are infinitely superior to tacos that come covered in squiggles of crema, and she will stab you with her knitting needles if you try to convince her otherwise.
Contact: Amy Antonation