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The Best Food and Drink Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

The Best Food and Drink Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week
Courtesy Steuben's
The next several days bring a bake sale for the modern era to combat an age-old problem, a free farm stand, quirky arts and craft beer, in-person Pride, a Native tasting menu, and — because it's summer — fried chicken and rosé. Keep reading for the eight best food and drink events this week, plus more to come.

click to enlarge Rebel Bread's sourdough loaves benefit Black Lives Matter 5280. - MARK ANTONATION
Rebel Bread's sourdough loaves benefit Black Lives Matter 5280.
Mark Antonation
Monday, June 15
The bake sale has long been a fundraiser for school kids and churches, but now one is being used as a tool to right some of the world's wrongs. From Monday, June 15, to Wednesday, June 17, participate in Bakers Against Racism by visiting Rebel Bread's online storefront to pre-order goodies from several local bakeries. The global movement is raising money for organizations working toward systemic change, so proceeds from sales will be donated to a variety of organizations working against racism, including Black Lives Matter 5280, Higher Heights for America, Center for Black Equity, National Black Food & Justice Alliance and ACLU of Colorado. There won't be a half-smashed, Saran-wrapped, questionable-looking cookie (are those chocolate chips or raisins?) in sight; instead, you'll get to choose from luscious items like salted honey-lavender chess pie from Long I Pie, strawberry creme cookie sandwiches from Ruby Jean Patisserie, iced sugar cookies from Cak, red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting from Sugar Bakeshop, and more. Then, pick up your haul from Rebel Bread, 675 South Broadway, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 20. Subversion has never tasted so sweet.

Whether your own garden is overflowing or you're in need of fresh, free veggies, stop by the Greater Park Hill Community's office, 2823 Fairfax Street, on Mondays to visit its free farm stand. The stand is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Monday through October 26. Folks who have extra goodies from their gardens are encouraged to donate (especially now that you can't pawn off your mountains of zucchini to your officemates), and anyone who is struggling to afford or access fresh produce — regardless of where they live or whether they're current clients of the neighborhood organization's food pantry — are welcome to take what they need. Find out more on Greater Park Hill's Facebook page.

click to enlarge Call to Arms Brewing Co. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Call to Arms Brewing Co.
Danielle Lirette
Wednesday, June 17
Call to Arms Brewing Co., 4526 Tennyson Street, has always championed local makers with its perennially popular (and sold out) CSA — Community Supported Artisans — program, and at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 17,  it's bringing in the owner of Regis neighborhood's quirky taxidermy and plant store, the Terrorium Shop, to lead a class on creating your own miniature globe filled with plants and natural objects. The $40 price tag includes a buck off pints all night, info on how to design, manage and drain the tiny landscape, and all materials (it won't be a true terrorium like the ones for sale on the shop's website without insects, skulls or mice, but you will get an itty-bitty dinosaur to live among your plants). Enroll on the Terrorium website.

Thursday, June 18
One of the many casualties of COVID-19 is the summer festival season. And while that pales in comparison to the loss of lives and jobs and the damage to our collective consciousness, it is a visceral reminder that things won't go back to normal for many months to come. Denver Pride decided early on to move its celebrations online, and while the joyous parade and much of the in-person partying won't take place in 2020, the Lobby, 2191 Arapahoe Street, is hosting four live drag shows — two per night, at 6 and 8:30 p.m. — on Thursday, June 18, and Friday, June 19. For $60 per person, you'll get two drinks, an app and an entree from the Lobby's menu, plus entertainment from local queens and burlesque dancers; $5 from each ticket purchase will be donated to the Transformative Freedom Fund (which helps trans people afford transition-related health care) or the Black Visions Collective (a community development organization for black Minnesotans). Just fifty seats are available for each show, so run as fast as you can in your highest heels to the Lobby's Facebook page for more info and tickets.

Avanti Food & Beverage, 3200 Pecos Street, is kicking off its summer movie series at 9 p.m. on Thursday, June 18. The inaugural film screening is 1989's Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, most likely picked in anticipation of Keanu Reeves and what's-his-face reprising their iconic roles in Bill & Ted Face the Music this August. Bring your own lawn chair and you'll get a free New Belgium brew, perfect for starting your own drinking game by sipping every time an overt, poorly aged homophobic "joke" is uttered (don't try that with anything stronger or you'll be getting your stomach pumped before the credits roll). Lea Jane's Hot Chicken and Meta Asian Kitchen will be serving special movie-night menus. Future installments in the series include Office Space, Top Gun, a Christmas in July double feature of Home Alone and Elf, a Grease sing-along and Trading Places; find the full lineup on Avanti's Facebook page.  NOTE: This series has been postponed because of technical issues, according to Avanti, and will now begin Thursday, June 25, with Office Space. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure will not be screened.

click to enlarge Keep an eye out for the Steuben's food truck in Arvada this week. - COURTESY STEUBEN'S
Keep an eye out for the Steuben's food truck in Arvada this week.
Courtesy Steuben's
Friday, June 19
Arvada residents who have been eagerly awaiting the reopening of Steuben's suburban outpost at 7355 Ralston Road are, unfortunately, going to have to wait a little while longer — but in the meantime, they can get their fix of the comfort food eatery's fried chicken on Friday, June 19, when Steuben's food truck will be rolling into the restaurant's parking lot from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. with a poultry pop-up to benefit local nonprofit organization Community Table. Pre-order no later than Wednesday, June 17, on Tock; choose from the fried chicken dinner (a breast, thigh and leg, biscuit, mashed potatoes and gravy, and salted butterscotch ice cream) or the six-piece bucket (two breasts, thighs and legs plus all the fixings above) and add on a pitcher of Old Fashioned or Hurricane cocktails. For every piece of bird purchased, Steuben's will donate one piece of chicken, plus grains and produce, to Community Table's food bank. Find details on the eatery's Facebook page.

In Denver, it's not officially summer for another 24 hours, but in Peru, the capital of Cuzco is celebrating the Festival of the Sun, a tribute to the return of the sun god Inti on the winter solstice. Pre-Columbian brewery Dos Luces Brewery, 1236 South Broadway, is kicking off its celebration of the momentous event (which, happily, coincides with the ability of Denverites to finally, finally, leave our damn houses) on Friday, June 19. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., chef Andrea Murdoch (Four Directions Cuisine) will serve three courses inspired by indigenous food — Inka trail mix with Denver's own Cultura Craft Chocolate, bison arepas with avocado and elderberry, and frozen custard with blue corn sugar cookies — all paired with Dos Luces chicha and pulque, including a preview of its newest imperial chicha, Tupac Amaru III, made with mango and chiles de arbol. The entire feast runs $50 per person. On Saturday, June 20, guests have two more opportunities to try the brand-new brew: at a 2 p.m. vertical tasting of four varieties (bourbon and barrel-aged, sour cherry and mango-chile, $20) and at 5:30 p.m., when you can guarantee a seat inside the brewery, taster of the Tupac and a plate of bites from Four Directions Cuisine, all for $15. Get tickets — which are in extremely short supply because of limited seating inside the brewery — now on the Dos Luces virtual storefront.

Remember the summer of 2019? It was a simpler time: Ordering a glass of wine at a tasting room didn't involve donning head-to-toe protective gear, and you didn't even think about what you were going to drink — you ordered rosé, because wine lists were saturated with it. Things have changed this summer, but you can still get plenty of pink wine. Case in point: Blanchard Family Wine's virtual Rosé All Day tasting on Friday, June 19. Visit the winery's website to order (you'll get a four-pack of rosé cider, a sparkler and grenache and pinot noir rosés for $60), then tune into Zoom at 7 p.m. for a guided tasting. You don't even have to leave the house to pick up your beverages; order by Wednesday, June 17, for Denver delivery.

click to enlarge The Bindery welcomes SoulNia to its  socially distanced soul food pop-up. - COURTESY THE BINDERY
The Bindery welcomes SoulNia to its socially distanced soul food pop-up.
Courtesy the Bindery
Monday, June 22
So you've spent months mastering that finicky sourdough starter and you can't bear the thought of taking on another months-long project, but you're not quite ready to rush down to LoDo for un-socially distanced mingling with maskless, sweaty bar-goers. The Art of Cheese, a Longmont cheesemaking school, is setting a completely safe and achievable goal with its Seven Day Cheese Challenge, which starts Monday, June 22. Join an instructor via Zoom every day at noon through Sunday, June 28, and learn to make seven different cheeses (which can of course be used to top your perfect sourdough boules): mascarpone, paneer, chèvre, quark, cottage cheese, feta and a hard Italian-style variety. You'll also get bonus recipes that pair nicely with cheese as apps or dessert, recordings of the sessions for reference, and access to three months of weekly Cheese Chats, where you can follow up with live questions, troubleshooting and show and tell. Find out more and register for just $89 on the Art of Cheese's website, and by the time the second wave of COVID-19 hits, you'll be a skilled enough maker to ride out quarantine redux in style.

On Monday, June 22, the Bindery's kitchen at 1817 Central Street is being taken over by SoulNia, a Denver catering company that crafts soul food with all the love you might expect, but none of the meat. Starting at 6 p.m., SoulNia will be serving a four-course vegetarian menu that includes zucchini fritters with savory dill, shallot and cumin crème fraîche atop salad, pepitas and garlic dressing; homemade cornbread with slow-braised collard greens and vegan mac and cheese; and sweet-potato casserole with pecan crumble and ginger, honey and cardamom whipped topping. Drink pairings are included in the $79 price (which includes tax and tip). In addition, 20 percent of ticket sales will be split between donations to the Center on Colfax (an LGBTQ+ community center) and Black Lives Matter 5280 — and the Bindery will match those donations. Call the restaurant at 303-993-2364 to reserve a table or to order the feast for takeout.

click to enlarge Drink some Stranahan's, send an elaborately hand-lettered booty call to to your ex. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Drink some Stranahan's, send an elaborately hand-lettered booty call to to your ex.
Linnea Covington
Thursday, June 25
What happened the last time you drank four cocktails in one night? Hopefully, you didn't text an ex, and hopefully, it wasn't too sloppy (spoiler: yes, you did, and yes, it was). If that's how you roll, Stranahan's has an event that will keep you from drunkenly hitting "send": its virtual cocktail and calligraphy class on Thursday, June 25. For $60, you'll get a half-bottle (four servings) of one of the distillery's classic or seasonal cocktails (such as the Strawberry Swing or Stranhattan), pens and pencils, a lettering workbook, Lettermate diecut, and blank cards with envelopes, plus virtual instruction via Zoom from 6 to 8 p.m. Order your kit on Stranahan's website no later than Wednesday, June 24, then retrieve your supplies from the distillery, 200 South Kalamath Street, between noon and 7 p.m. from Tuesday, June 18, through Thursday, June 25. And if you just can't resist dredging up a postage stamp and mailing a beautifully lettered card requesting a booty call to your last hookup....well, at least it will look lovely.

Keep reading for ongoing online events every day of the week...

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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