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The Nickel is launching Charc Week a few weeks before the Discovery Channel and National Geographic this year.EXPAND
The Nickel is launching Charc Week a few weeks before the Discovery Channel and National Geographic this year.
Courtesy the Nickel

The Seven Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

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.

Buy a burrito and help women and girls on July 10.EXPAND
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.

Come for the the empanadas, stay for the dancing.EXPAND
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.

Cook with beer.
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.

An American honey tasting panel at Slow Food Nations.EXPAND
An American honey tasting panel at Slow Food Nations.
Linnea Covington

Friday, July 19, through Sunday, July 21
Slow Food Nations appeals to everyone (except, perhaps, unrepentant fast-food aficionados). The international food fest kicks off its third year in town on Friday, July 19, and will run nearly forty chef demos, lectures, workshops, parties and dinners — plus the enormous Taste Marketplace, with over 100 vendors hawking their wares and handing out samples — through Sunday, July 21. About half the events taking place around town (but mainly around Larimer Square at Larimer and 14th streets) are free, but the rest require tickets, which start at $20. Visit the Slow Food Nations website to see the whole weekend's schedule and make sure you nab tickets for your can't-miss events.

Outdoor cooking over open flames is the name of the game at Heritage Fire.EXPAND
Outdoor cooking over open flames is the name of the game at Heritage Fire.
Heritage Fire by Cochon555

Sunday, August 11
If you missed June's Heritage Fire event in Snowmass, you've got a mulligan, because on Sunday, August 11, the organizer, Cochon555, is hosting an encore presentation at Stem Ciders' Acreage, 1380 Horizon Drive in Lafayette. Whether it was the timing of the event or the your inability to get mountain lodging during Aspen Food & Wine that derailed your desire to feast on whole beasts roasted over open flame, you've got a second chance to enjoy expansive views and delicious food, wine and craft beer from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Tickets ($150 to $200) are on sale now on Cochon's website, where the participating chefs should be posted soon. What we're hoping to see (in addition to the smoke that definitely signals fire)? Some of Colorado's skillful female chefs rounding out the all-male lineup that was our only complaint about the June event.

Tacolanda serves up tacos and esquites.EXPAND
Tacolanda serves up tacos and esquites.
Danielle Lirette

Saturday, August 17
Tacolandia returns to Civic Center Park, Broadway and Colfax Avenue, for a fourth year on Saturday, August 17, celebrating food, art, music and culture. Join us in honoring that great Mexican invention, the taco, in its many forms as presented by the city's top cantinas, taquerias and food trucks, including Adelitas Cocina y Cantina, Antojitos La Poblanita, Carniceria Aaliyah, El Gallo Blanco, Issai's Catering, Kachina Cantina, La Fiesta, Los Chingones, Lucha Cantina, Mariscos El Rey 2, Los Mesones, Neveria Jedany's, Taco Block, Torta Grill, Yareth's, El Coco Pirata and more. Tickets, $25 for general admission or $55 for VIP, are now on sale at westwordtacolandia.com.

2018's BrunchFest drew fans of sweet and savory breakfast (and sunny centerpieces) to Civic Center Park.EXPAND
2018's BrunchFest drew fans of sweet and savory breakfast (and sunny centerpieces) to Civic Center Park.
EmeryMediaHouse

Sunday, August 25
Over 200 restaurants opened in Denver last year — and it seems all of them started serving brunch within a few months of opening their doors. For brunchophiles trying to work their way through all the restaurants in town serving the meal, that's a tall order. But on Sunday, August 25, you can make a significant dent in your to-brunch list at BrunchFest 2019. The McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue, is the site of the boozy shenanigans, with over twenty restaurants serving brunch dishes, plus unlimited Bloodys and mimosas, from noon to 3 p.m. Tickets run $59 to $109, and you can pick them up, as well as see participating restaurants, on the event website.

Double-nozzled Kewpie mayo dispensers and okonomiyaki? Hai, arigato!EXPAND
Double-nozzled Kewpie mayo dispensers and okonomiyaki? Hai, arigato!
Mark Antonation

Tuesday, August 27, and Wednesday, August 28
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 August 27 and 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 can be purchased on Sushi Den's website, along with a complete list of participating chefs and menu details. As with everything manned by Toshi and Yasu Kizaki, the party generally sells out, so don't delay in guaranteeing your entry.

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

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