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Great Chefs of the West welcomes El Five, which created these vibrant merguez sausage skewers.EXPAND
Great Chefs of the West welcomes El Five, which created these vibrant merguez sausage skewers.
Danielle Lirette

The Seven Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

This week, enjoy a pair of performances (one choral, one theatrical) with your dinner and drinks; choose from a trio of fundraisers (people, animals, kidneys); and tackle racism in agriculture. Oh, yeah, and drink some whisky (and whiskey). Here are seven food and drink events from Monday, March 9, through Friday, March 13, plus more through April:

On Mondays this month, Raíces will be filled with the sound of choirs singing and craft beer being poured.EXPAND
On Mondays this month, Raíces will be filled with the sound of choirs singing and craft beer being poured.
Courtesy Raices Brewing Co.

Monday, March 9
Looking for a little more cultura in your routine? Switch it up at Raíces Brewing Co., 2060 West Colfax Avenue, on Monday, March 9, when the brewery starts its six-week partnership with the Denver Choir League by providing rehearsal space for the choral group. Normally closed on Mondays, Raices is opening up its doors (and its taps) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Monday through April 20; singers will be rehearsing spirituals for their April 26 concert. The event is free (the beer is not); find out more on the  Raíces Facebook page.

"Drink sir, is a great provoker of three things….nose-painting, sleep and urine. Lechery, sir, it provokes, and unprovokes; it provokes the desire but takes away the performance."EXPAND
"Drink sir, is a great provoker of three things….nose-painting, sleep and urine. Lechery, sir, it provokes, and unprovokes; it provokes the desire but takes away the performance."
Courtesy Jovanina's Broken Italian

Tuesday, March 10
FrontLine Farming, an advocacy group working to improve equity and grow access for women and people of color to food systems, is holding a meeting to discuss the establishment of a Black and Brown Growers Collective on Tuesday, March 10. The gathering, scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. at Gypsy House Cafe, 1545 South Broadway, is free and open to everyone from farmers, herbalists and producers to fans and advocates, and will focus on collective action to address issues facing people of color in the agriculture industry in Colorado. Find out more and RSVP on FrontLine's website.

"Out, damned spot:" Whether it's because you dripped sauce on your shirt or because you're listening to the mutterings of a madwoman, you're sure to hear the refrain at Jovanina's Broken Italian, 1520 Blake Street, on Tuesday, March 10. Not only will the restaurant be filled with diners, but it will also play host to the murderous Lord Macbeth and his impatient, ambitious wife; diners will be treated to a three-course meal, discounted drinks and a performance of Shakespeare's Macbeth, starting at 6:30 p.m. The evening will set you back $65, though you can reserve your spot for just $20 on the Wit's website. Can't make it this week? A second performance at Jovanina's is scheduled for Tuesday, March 24, and Fort Greene will be the site of the spectacle on Tuesday, March 17 and 31. Now here's hoping the specter of a bloody nobleman doesn't steal your seat when you leave for the bathroom.

If you're very, very lucky, hand pies from Bistro Georgette will be on offer at Drink Red Wear Red.EXPAND
If you're very, very lucky, hand pies from Bistro Georgette will be on offer at Drink Red Wear Red.
Linnea Covington

Wednesday, March 11
St. Patrick's Day may be approaching, but forget about the Emerald Isle on Wednesday, March 11; it's time to scour the clothes rack for red — don dresses, shoes, shirts, an entire suit — in any shade of scarlet, from blood to fire engine to vermillion, for the Colorado Restaurant Association's Drink Red Wear Red industry party. The Studio Loft at Ellie Caulkins Opera House, 14th and Curtis streets, is hosting the shindig, which runs from 6 to 9 p.m. and also serves as a fundraiser for the Colorado Restaurant Association's Angel Relief Fund, which provides emergency grants to industry employees in crisis. Entry, $45 or $75, includes all-you-can-drink wine, spirits and Odell brews; food from eateries including Woodie Fisher, Bistro Vendôme and Bistro Georgette; music from Hazel Miller & the Collective; a silent auction; and exclusive bites and wine for VIP ticket holders. Visit the CRA website for details and ticket sales.

A hearty breakfast sandwich at American Elm, one of the restaurants participating in this year's Great Chefs of the West.EXPAND
A hearty breakfast sandwich at American Elm, one of the restaurants participating in this year's Great Chefs of the West.
Mark Antonation

Thursday, March 12
A wealth of Denver's A-list restaurants are uniting under one roof on Thursday, March 12, to raise money for the National Kidney Foundation at its annual feast, Great Chefs of the West. Starting at 6 p.m., Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th Street, will play host to talent from Death & Co., Mercantile, the Bindery, Dos Santos, American Elm, El Five, Woodie Fisher and over fifteen other restaurants and bars serving their most extravagant bites and beverages. And while tickets aren't cheap at $200, you'd spend that much on Lyft rides alone trying to navigate from one end of town to another to hit up each and every participating eatery. Find out more about the event on the NKF website.

If you want to do good and drink well on Thursday, March 12, but don't much care for the company of humans, drive up to Golden's Foothills Animal Shelter, 580 McIntyre Street, for its Wine & Wags fundraiser. From 6 to 8:30 p.m., the rescue will open its doors to local wineries including Infinite Monkey Theorem and Blanchard Family Wines, blues band the Delta Sonics and fellow animal lovers. While that may sound like too many Homo sapiens to endure in one evening, take heart: There will be plenty of adoptable members of the Canis familiaris and Felis catus species to meet. All proceeds from the $25 tickets (which include six wine tastings and all the animal love you can handle) go to the shelter; get yours now on the shelter's website and get ready for a night of fine wine and furry family members-to-be.

Women have to wear blouses and slacks, but men can dress like 1970s tennis instructors at Whiskies of the World (formerly the Whisky Extravaganza).EXPAND
Women have to wear blouses and slacks, but men can dress like 1970s tennis instructors at Whiskies of the World (formerly the Whisky Extravaganza).
Danielle Lirette

Friday, March 13
The touring whiskey-tasting festival Whisky Extravaganza has become Whiskies of the World in 2020, but otherwise much remains the same about the high-end event that's landing in Denver on Friday, March 13. The dress code, for instance, still encourages female guests to don "blouses and slacks" — so, whiskey-loving women, better raid your mom's wardrobe in search of clothing that no one in Colorado has worn since 1983 (if you can find a vintage pink power suit with padded shoulders and a peplum jacket, all the better). But provided your vestments pass muster at the door, you'll be treated to the same expansive tasting, with more than 200 brands, light appetizers and the chance to register for tasting classes. The event runs from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Four Seasons, 1114 14th Street, and tickets ($100 or $150) are on sale now at Whiskies of the World's website. Pro tip: Use code PIGLOVE (don't ask) to save 20 percent at checkout.

Keep reading for upcoming food and drink fun....

Thursday, March 19
City Park's SAME Cafe, 2023 East Colfax Avenue, is celebrating fourteen years in business this year; it's a major accomplishment for any restaurant, made even more impressive because the cozy lunch spot is a nonprofit, donation-based eatery that has never put a price on its menu. Diners pay what they can, either in greenbacks or volunteer hours, and regardless of financial status, everyone enjoys healthy food while being treated with dignity. And in keeping with its mission, the enterprise's annual fundraiser on Thursday, March 19, the So All May Eat Gala, is an egalitarian affair: Attire is "Colorado dressy," which means anything from cargo pants to custom gowns, and while tickets cost $75 (which includes small plates from SAME chefs and students in the cafe's Cook to Work culinary education program; desserts from local sweet shops, including the Inventing Room; a silent auction; and wine provided by Wines off Wynkoop), there are also pay-what-you-can and volunteer options. The fun runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Space Gallery Annex, 95 South Cherokee Street; find all the details on SAME's website.

Saturday, March 21
Note: This event was canceled on Thursday, March 12: Italy has prosciutto and Spain has jamón ibérico, both of which are sought after and savored by discerning Stateside diners. But America has its own version of cured pork — country ham — and Allan Benton, of Benton's Smoky Mountain Country Hams, is one of the country's foremost purveyors of pig so succulent you won't let your mom anywhere near it for fear she'll egregiously overcook it come Easter dinner. And while you usually have to order the goods from Tennessee, on Saturday, March 21, and Sunday, March 22, the hams are arriving in Denver for a lavish Allan Benton tribute dinner and a casual meet and greet. Saturday night, Acorn, inside the Source at 3350 Brighton Boulevard, is hosting a three course, family-style meal with dishes like cornmeal lavash with pimento cheese, pickled shrimp with ham cracklings and peach vinegar pie; get tickets for a 6 or 7 p.m. seating ($100 without booze, $145 with) on Eventbrite. The next afternoon, join Benton at Isabel (also at the Source) from 2 to 4 p.m. for a less fussy but no less flavorful event that includes bacon-washed cocktails, more bites from Acorn, and stations for both shaved ham and caviar; tickets are $65 on Eventbrite.

Tuesday, March 31
On Tuesday, March 31, the National Western Complex, 4655 Humboldt Street, will host the fifth annual Eat Colorado Food Show, where food buyers and producers can connect. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., approximately 100 Colorado growers, food and beverage makers and distributors — including Ela Family Farms, ACRES at Warren Tech, Cooper's Small Batch Hot Sauce, Happy Leaf Kombucha, Wood's High Mountain Distillery, Polidori Sausage and Strava Craft Coffee — will be on hand to discuss their products. In addition, expect speakers talking about the Colorado grain industry and the increasingly popular "zero proof" beverages and gathering spots. Attendance is free and open to the public; register on the event website.

You might think Steamboat Springs is too far to travel for dinner, but when some of the state's best chefs are converging there for a five-course feast for a worthy cause, you should think twice. On Tuesday, March 31, Aurum Steamboat, 811 Yampa Street, is hosting a meal to benefit chef Patrick Ayres of the Periodic Table, who was diagnosed with incurable brain cancer at just 32. A team of mountain chefs from Steamboat and  Breckenridge (including Ayres himself) will take on visiting chefs that include Caroline Glover (Annette), Josh Niernberg (Bin 707 Food Bar in Grand Junction) and Alex Seidel (Mercantile & Provision); both Glover and Niernberg were recently announced as semi-finalists for the James Beard Foundations Best Chef Mountain region (Seidel took home the title of Best Chef Southwest in 2018). Diners will receive two dishes in each course — one hot, one cold, both using the same theme ingredient — then vote as a table as to which preparation they prefer. To reserve your spot for this fundraiser, $250, email phil@destinationhospitality.com.

Chef Caroline Glover of Annette will be turning up the heat at Women Cook.EXPAND
Chef Caroline Glover of Annette will be turning up the heat at Women Cook.
Danielle Lirette

Monday, April 27
A woman's place is in the (professional) kitchen, according to Women Cook. The sixteenth annual fundraiser for Work Options for Women, a nonprofit organization providing free culinary training to women, is scheduled for Monday, April 27, and the chef lineup is a veritable who's who of the Denver restaurant scene: Liliana Meyers (Safta), Cindhura Reddy and Austin Nickel (Spuntino), Dana Rodriguez (Super Mega Bien, Work & Class), Penelope Wong (Yuan Wonton), Caroline Glover (Annette) and many more will be turning out their best bites from 6 to 9 p.m. at EXDO Event Center (1399 35th Street). Tickets ($75 for standing room, $125 for general admission on WOW's website) include all you can eat and drink, plus the satisfaction of knowing you're helping someone on the road to a delicious career.

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

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