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The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

Big gatherings are off limits this year, but you can still get in on the chili, booze and beer tasting action.EXPAND
Big gatherings are off limits this year, but you can still get in on the chili, booze and beer tasting action.
Courtesy of the Morgan Adams Foundation

This week marks the start to your quest for the best chili in town, the best wine pairing of the month (Halloween candy plus Infinite Monkey Theorem) and your last chance to nab some taco omakase. Keep reading for six of the best food and drink events in Denver.

Monday, October 26
Over the past three years, the Chili, Booze & Brews festival has been one of the biggest fundraisers for the Morgan Adams Foundation, which raises money for pediatric cancer research. But this year, the festival will be a little more spread out. Instead of multiple restaurants, distilleries and breweries competing for top honors under one roof, Chili, Booze & Brews takes the form of a passport filled with deals and dozens of participating dining and drinking establishments. The fun runs from November 1 through December 13, so you can eat your way through many different styles of chili (red, green, veggie and wild card) as well as sip spirits and suds from some of Colorado's best purveyors. Passports are on sale now; there at three different levels, ranging from $30 to $90 per person, but all of them come with the chance to vote for your favorites and get stamps at each stop to earn points for prizes and online auction opportunities. Visit the Chili, Booze & Brews website for a complete list of participating establishments and to purchase your passports.

Tuesday, October 27
Has there ever been a more delightful fusion phrase than "taco omakase"? We think not. On Tuesday, October 27, hit up Bruto (1801 Blake Street) for the final dinner in chef Michael de Leon's Pinchi Umami dinner series. In true omakase style, there are no menu details to be found; just show up with a taste for tacos and a sense of adventure. )If you're willing to scour social media, though, posts hint at mole negro and beautiful plating.) Dinner is $75 for seven courses and—booze pairings are extra—and seats are still available for the 5:30 p.m. seating on Tock.

The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This WeekEXPAND
Infinite Monkey Theorem

Wednesday, October 28
Everyone loves Halloween candy; not everybody loves dressing up in public, battling costumed crowds and acting a drunken fool on a night when drinks skew weak, sugary and overpriced. Adults who have kids' taste in candy and over-30 taste in drinks will enjoy Infinite Monkey Theorem's wine and treat event on Wednesday, October 28. From 4 to 9 p.m. the tasting room, 3200 Larimer Street, will be selling two different wine flights for $15 each; each varietal is paired with a classic confection. Whether it's a trick or a treat will depend on your palate; we're especially looking forward to Sauvignon Blanc paired with Butterfingers and the Blind Watchmaker paired with Reeses' peanut butter cups. Riesling with Laffy Taffy and rosé with Twizzlers? Not so much. Reservations aren't required; see the winery's Facebook page for details.

Cook Street School of Culinary Arts
is teaming up with Burns Family Artisan Ales for an online cooking class on the nuances of using brews in your food, how hops react to heat, and how to retain the bitter or sweet flavors of a particular beer in your cooking. For $50, you'll get all the ingredients, recipes and a Zoom link to turn out IPA-spiked mushrooms on toast (call it "elevated shit on a shingle" if you're feeling saucy), juniper steak with tartiflette (the Savoyard version of cheesy potatoes), amber ale pan gravy and IPA ice cream. Pick up your ingredients at the school, 43 West Ninth Avenue, on Wednesday, October 28, then tune in at 6 p.m. for the class. We'll also be stopping by the brewery, 2505 West Second Avenue, to pick up some of Burns's delicious and notoriously high-ABV brews to sip with dinner. 

Katrina sets up an ofrenda each year for Dia de los Muertos.
Katrina sets up an ofrenda each year for Dia de los Muertos.
Kachina Cantina

Thursday, October 29
The Teutonic inability to situate Oktoberfest in the correct month has nothing on Americans' stubborn refusal to celebrate Día de los Muertos on the correct date (at least Oktoberfest actually extends into October). No matter what us Yanquis say, the holiday actually falls on November 1 and 2. That doesn't bother Kachina, which is happily touting its (admittedly delicious-sounding) Día de los Muertos-inspired specials—chileatole verde, a corn soup with epazote, cotija and lime; chicken chile rellenos; and pato con mole, roasted duck breast with mole, cranberry and sweet potato hash—from Thursday, October 29, through Saturday, October 31. The dishes will be served from 3 to 10 p.m., and while you're there, you can  Visit the eatery's website for details and reservations.

The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This WeekEXPAND
Denver Distillery

Friday, October 30
Denver Distillery has released its first bourbon, and it's marking the occasion with a boozy dinner party for two. It's teamed up with Bird, the comfort food restaurant from the folks behind Kaos, Mas Kaos and Uno Mas Taqueria, for a special menu that will be offered with a bottle of bourbon from Friday, October 30, through Sunday, November 8. The appropriately autumnal meal includes your choice of kale or pumpkin salad, honey roasted chicken or sweet potato pot pie and pumpkin panna cotta or chocolate silk pie for two plus a full bottle of booze for just $100. Choose from dine-in or pickup from the restaurant (1529 South Pearl Street) by calling 303-777-0500 to book reserve your dinner. Delivery is also available; visit Denver Distillery's website for details. 

Keep reading for more tasty happenings beyond this weekend...

Pick up baked goods at Brightmarten while helping people avoid eviction.EXPAND
Pick up baked goods at Brightmarten while helping people avoid eviction.
Danielle Lirette
Pick up baked goods at Brightmarten while helping people avoid eviction.EXPAND
Pick up baked goods at Brightmarten while helping people avoid eviction.
Danielle Lirette

Saturday, October 31
Is Halloween even a thing when we've already had a solid eight months of abject terror alternating with merely mind-numbing fear?  Probably not, so if your appetite for dressing up like something disturbing and downing shots of something equally horrifying isn't what it was in 2019, we understand. If you're looking to take it easy on Saturday, October 31, consider stocking up at the CHOW (Culinary Hospitality Outreach & Wellness) fundraiser for rent relief in Colorado. Pre-order goodies like pumpkin Danishes, hand pies, cookies (for both humans and dogs), cinnamon rolls, hot fudge and more on the event website no later than 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 28, for pick-up between 9 a.m. and noon on October 31, at Brightmarten, 730 South University Boulevard. Proceeds will benefit the Resident Relief Initiative, which provides emergency grants to people facing imminent eviction. The Colorado Restaurant Association is matching $2,500 in purchases, so feed that carb monster for a good cause.

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Friday, November 13
Surprise! Denver Restaurant Week is just around the corner. No, February hasn't snuck up on us quite yet. Visit Denver has announced a fall version of the popular event that will run for ten days, from Friday, November 13, through Sunday, November 22. Menus will be released on Monday, October 26, on the event website, so mark your calendar and get Tock and OpenTable cued up for quick reservation-making. 

Know of an event or activity that belongs here? Send information to cafe@westword.com.

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