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The Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

When was the last time you saw sexy burlesque performers? It's been too long, we're sure.EXPAND
When was the last time you saw sexy burlesque performers? It's been too long, we're sure.
Kenneth Hamblin III
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It's a weekend of burlesque, broth, brunch and bluegrass. If none of those scratch your itches, keep reading for more food and drink happenings in the days ahead.

Friday, January 15
You've already binged Bridgerton; what are you going to watch for the rest of January? While you can always tune into poorly produced made-for-TV-movies (now known as "Netflix originals"), we have a better idea: Support local restaurants and performers at the new (Home) Dinner (Couch) Theater. Visit the website to sign up; every other Thursday, you'll get an email recommending local places to pick up dinner, dessert and drinks. Place your takeout order, then pay $10 for access to the inaugural livestreamed aerial and burlesque variety show at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, January 15. The effort will be teaming up with eateries like Bar Nun, Little Man Ice Cream, Il Posto and Victory Love & Cookies. Visit the theater's Instagram page for sneak peeks of the sexy performers and its website for more details and to sign up. And don't forget to mark your calendar for future shows every two weeks.

Saturday, January 16
It's soup weather, and if you've been wanting to cook up a pot of something a little more complex than crockpot chili, now's your chance. On Saturday, January 16, Zoe Ma Ma owner Edwin Zoe is taking to Zoom at 5 p.m. for a cooking class where he, along with food writer John Lehndorff, teaches you how to make the Chinese eatery's roast duck wonton soup. For $25, you'll get a meal kit that includes duck broth, fresh noodles, roasted duck and bok choy (pick it up at Zoe Ma Ma's Boulder location, 2010 Tenth Street, on Saturday), plus a cooking class filled with food history, lore and instructions for using chopsticks in a way that won't embarrass you too badly. See Zoe Ma Ma's Facebook page for more info and ordering instructions.

Get to Station 26 early if you want a seat for its Bluegrass Brunch.EXPAND
Get to Station 26 early if you want a seat for its Bluegrass Brunch.
Courtesy Station 26 Brewing

Sunday, January 17
Station 26 Brewing Co., Park Hill parents' favorite craft brewery, is resurrecting its Bluegrass Brunch on Sunday, January 17. Show up at the taproom, 7045 East 38th Avenue, after noon for a seat on the patio (or inside, but at limited capacity with wide-open garage doors); music starts at 1 p.m. Farm to Truck Colorado will be slinging sandwiches. Arrive early if you want to be guaranteed a seat; visit the brewery's Instagram page for more details.

The January 1 Drag Queen Bingo Brunch at Denver Milk Market on January 1 was such a hit that it's returning every Sunday this month. From noon to 3 p.m., chef Frank Bonanno's sixteen-concept food hall is hosting the event in the Alley; admission is free (but food is not). Several other Dairy Block restaurants will also be serving Sunday Brunch in the Alley, including Blanchard Family Wines, Seven Grand, Poka Lola Social Club and BRUTØ; Kachina Cantina will host a pop-up bar in the alley. Find more information here.

Plan ahead for these food and drink events:

Wednesday, January 20
On Wednesday, January 20, Denver soul food and barbecue expert Adrian Miller is celebrating the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris with Presidential Soul: A Virtual Presidential Inauguration Event. Attendees will get recipes for four tribute menus being prepared by chefs around the country; music and dancing; discussions with Black chefs who worked for previous presidential administrations and were subjects of Miller's second book, The President's Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families From the Washingtons to the Obamas; and author Jesse J. Holland, who's written two books on the history of enslaved people in Washington, D.C., and the White House. Buy your ticket ($46 before January 15, $70 after) on Eventbrite, where you can also find the program for the entire evening, starting at 6:40 p.m. A portion of ticket sales goes to food-related organizations benefiting BIPOC people, including the food-studies program at Spelman College and the James Beard Foundation Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans.

Yuan Wonton's signature chili-garlic wonton dumplings.EXPAND
Yuan Wonton's signature chili-garlic wonton dumplings.
Penelope Wong

Thursday, January 21
Dumpling maven Penelope Wong hasn't stopped bringing pot stickers, bao and noodles to spots around the city since she launched her scarlet food truck in 2019, so her appearance at the Infinite Monkey Theorem (3200 Larimer Street) on Thursday, January 21, isn't so much an event as it is the chance to sit on a great patio (yes, in the middle of January) and warm up with wontons and wine. Wong's Yuan Wonton will be at the winery from 4 to 7 p.m., but the truck only accepts pre-orders, so keep a close eye on its Instagram stories for details.

The Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This WeekendEXPAND
Courtesy Stranahan's

Friday, January 22
Stranahan's whiskey distillery is offering up the cheapest virtual cocktail class you've ever seen — sort of. From 6 to 7 p.m. on Friday, January 22, Stranahan's head bartender will run through how to make two drinks: the Snow Dance (whiskey, rosemary-infused grapefruit juice, lime and spiced coconut and pineapple nectar) and the Lady Soul (whiskey, simple syrup and orange). The class is a mere $10 per device —  if you already have all the ingredients and tools at home. You can add on a cocktail shaker and jigger set for $50 (not essential, especially if you have a shot glass, pint glass and spoon at home) or an ingredient kit for two for $20 (more essential, especially if you can't be bothered to make the mixers listed above). And...oh, yeah, the whiskey, which is not included in the ingredient kit and which starts at $45 per bottle. So...maybe it's not as cheap as you thought. But remember in the Before Times, when you'd pony up $75 for four cocktails in a bar on a Friday night without a second thought? Visit Stranahan's website to book the class, then pick up your mixings and fixings at the distillery, 200 South Kalamath Street, starting at 5 p.m. Thursday, January 21.

Pie cures all ills (this version is a savory pot pie from Hinman Pie).EXPAND
Pie cures all ills (this version is a savory pot pie from Hinman Pie).
Courtesy of Hinman Pie

Saturday, January 23
Americans managed to get a whole five days into 2021 before it experienced an attempted terrorist takeover of the U.S. Capitol by a bunch of white supremacists (and God knows what's happened by the time you're reading this). So for all you pie pedants out there thinking, "Actually, Pi Day isn't until March 14..." we say to you: Who cares? Life is too short and too crazy; eat pie every day of every month. (And also, National Pie Day is not the same as Pi Day, and actually, Chad, it's on Saturday, January 23 — and it has been since Charlie Papazian created the holiday in 1975.) The Inventing Room, 4433 West 29th Avenue, is marking the occasion with a pie showdown to benefit the nonprofit Project Angel Heart, which makes and distributes meals to people living with serious illnesses. At noon you'll join Boulder pie expert John Lehndorff via Zoom to taste and judge seven pies from local bakers including Bubby Goobers Baked Goods, Nadine Donovan from Steuben's, Granny Scott's Pie Shop, Hinman Pies and more. Order on the Inventing Room's online storefront and pick up your pie package at the shop on Friday, January 22, between 5 and 7 p.m.

Yellow cacao pods from the documentary Setting the Bar: A Craft Chocolate Origin Story.
Yellow cacao pods from the documentary Setting the Bar: A Craft Chocolate Origin Story.
Courtesy Flatirons Food Film Festival

Thursday, January 28
Major props to the Flatirons Food Film Festival, one of the few food events that knows the true meaning of the word "postpone." As in: The festival was postponed from October 2020, to January 2021. We implore other food event organizers to take a page out of FFFF's book and stop claiming, "Our bacon-brownie-burger bash has been postponed from July 2020 to July 2021," when what they really mean is, "We've canceled our overcrowded festival this year because the world is on fire." In addition to the correct and not-common-enough understanding of the term, the fest has made another great decision in moving the celebration completely online from Thursday, January 28, through Friday, February 5. See films about about Los Angeles chef Evan Funke's life after walking away from his restaurant Bucato (Funke); indigenous chefs fighting to maintain their traditional food ways (Gather); the quest for elusive wild cacao and the perfect, sustainable chocolate (Setting the Bar); and a period piece about a cook seeking his fortune in the early-nineteenth-century Wild West (First Cow). You can get an all-access pass to watch the complete festival schedule — ten features and three short films — for just $90, or two-, four- and six-packs for $22 to $80 on the Fest's website.

Sunday, February 14
Normally, we can predict with some degree of accuracy what a Valentine's Day meal in a restaurant is going to look like (prix fixe menu, crowded dining room, harried servers). This year? Making any kind of prediction is a fool's errand, especially when the world's most beloved epidemiologist (call me, Dr. Fauci) can't predict whether or not eateries are going to be open. So stay home and put your money toward a good cause at a Sunday, February 14, fundraiser for Denver Urban Gardens (DUG), a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the development of community gardens across the city. From 5:30 to 7 p.m., join chef Biju Thomas (of Mixn Match and the late, lamented Biju's Little Curry Shop) making a cocktail or non-alcoholic beverage, fattoush, winter veggie roast with chicken, falafel or tofu, and a pistachio pastry for dessert. Order a VIP meal kit for two, $250, on DUG's website and pick it up at the outfit's offices, 1031 33rd Street. You can also opt to purchase your own ingredients with the Table for Two package (includes an ingredient list and access to the party) for $150.

Sunday, February 21
If your love affair with boxed wine is waning at the same time your income is soaring, enroll in Frasca's series of wine classes. Each lesson includes six bottles of wine, a workbook, a pre-recorded course video and access to a live Q&A. Visit Tock to choose from one of three classes (or sign up for them all, though at $350 a pop, you'd better be one loaded learner): the Rhône Valley (Q&A scheduled for Friday, March 19); Reisling (Q&A takes place on Friday, March 26); and soil and minerality (Q&A on Friday, April 2). You'll pick up your course materials on Sunday, February 21, so you'll have a month to sip, study and mull over questions before the Q&As (all of which are scheduled at 5:30 p.m.). Pick-up locations in both Denver and Boulder are available; visit Frasca's website for details.

Wednesday, March 24
Denver's Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center generally hosts its expansive JAAMM (Jewish Arts, Authors, Movies and Music) Festival over several months in the fall, with live cultural events across the city. In 2020, of course, that was upended. The silver lining: The fest is going on for a full twelve months (starting last year and well into 2021), and all programming is virtual. On Wednesday, March 24, James Beard Award-winning author of The Cooking Gene, food historian and deeply engaging Instagram presence Michael Twitty will discuss the holiday of Passover. Tickets for the 7 p.m. lecture, $18, are on sale now at the festival's website, where you can also see previous events on demand.

Know of an event that belongs on this calendar? Send information to cafe@westword.com.

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