The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

What's more punk than a posh downtown development project? Answer: anything.EXPAND
What's more punk than a posh downtown development project? Answer: anything.
Danielle Lirette
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Show up for soup, silent film, succulents, sex and overall strangeness this week as Denver braces for more snow and an extended cold snap. But keep reading: While we can't predict the weather for the next two months, we can give you a heads up on great food and drink happenings around town.

Culinary Quick Start at Emily Griffith Technical College provides free food-service education.
Culinary Quick Start at Emily Griffith Technical College provides free food-service education.
Emily Griffith Technical College

Monday, February 10
The Emily of Emily Griffith Technical College, 1860 Lincoln Street, was indeed a real person (she had perfect skin and a fierce hat game) born on February 10, 1868, who also appreciated the value of a square meal. After founding the school that bears her name, she continued to support students who worked long hours and attended class in the evenings by providing free soup at dinnertime. Now the College is celebrating her birthday in the same spirit: From Monday, February 10, through Friday, February 28, the campus is accepting donations of shelf-stable lunch and snack foods to stock the student food pantry. You can drop off items anytime between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., but if you show up on Monday between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., you can get a free bowl of beef or veggie soup in the onsite cafe. It's the birthday gift that gives back to the community.

Don't just choose two: Get all the drinks at Bar Helix.EXPAND
Don't just choose two: Get all the drinks at Bar Helix.
Mark Antonation

Tuesday, February 11
Get messy at Bar Helix on Tuesday, February 11 — not because you'll drink too many of the swanky bar's excellent cocktails (though you definitely will) — but because the spot is partnering with A Damsel's Locket to host a gardening night. Starting at 6 p.m., the non-profit mobile art studio that provides therapeutic workshops to victims of domestic violence will guide customers through planting a miniature succulent garden. Tickets, $32 without drinks, $38 with one specially created cocktail of vodka, lemon and hibiscus, on Eventbrite include all your materials but don't cover food or additional drinks, so we recommend you arrive at the bar, 3440 Larimer Street, early and get your nibbles in before you start to get down and dirty.

The Preservery is bringing back its silent film series in conjunction with the Denver Public Library.EXPAND
The Preservery is bringing back its silent film series in conjunction with the Denver Public Library.
Danielle Lirette

Wednesday, February 12
On Wednesday, February 12, the Preservery, 3040 Blake Street, is continuing its occasional silent film series with a screening of 1920's The Symbol of the Unconquered. Writer/director Oscar Micheaux, one of America's first black filmmakers, made more than forty feature films — an impressive number by any definition, but especially since nearly half of them were released in in the decade after the massively influential, popular and racist Birth of a Nation (1915). The tale of Eve Mason, a black woman who inherits valuable land but is threatened by the Ku Klux Klan unless she sells, lights up the silver screen starting at 7 p.m.; to ensure a front-row seat, reserve a table by calling 303-298-6821 or book via OpenTable. Can't spare the time for dinner and a movie this week? Micheaux's 1925 film Body and Soul will be shown the next Wednesday, February 19. Visit the restaurant's website for more details. 

Find true love at Recess Beer Garden this week.EXPAND
Find true love at Recess Beer Garden this week.
Danielle Lirette

Thursday, February 13
Even if you're lucky enough to find your human soulmate, there's no guarantee they'll give you unconditional love, For that, you have to go to the dogs. On Thursday, February 13, the Tails & Ales event at Recess Beer Garden, 2715 17th Street, will help you find puppy love. From 5 to 8 p.m., $10 will get you admission, two drinks, two raffle tickets and the company of adorable, adoptable doggos from Life is Better Rescue. Gaze into the eyes of good boys and girls just begging you to take them home — it'll easily be the most productive (and rewarding!) evening you've spent trolling the bars in ages. All proceeds from ticket and raffle sales, as well as a silent auction, will go to the Life is Better; find out more and secure your entry on Eventbrite.

Chocolates in mid-February are nothing new — but dinosaur-themed sweets paired with a lecture on the sex lives of the giant reptiles? That's an evening not to be missed. On Thursday, February 13, join Dinosaur Ridge Discovery Center, 17681 West Alameda Parkway in Golden, for Salacious in the Cretaceous. Not only will you learn how the gorgosaurus got it on, you'll also be making your own chocolate lollipops and leptoceratops. The fun runs from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; visit Dinosaur Ridge's website for details and to purchase your tickets ($20) to the steamiest, sexiest, sweetest scientific lecture in town.

Friday, February 14
Give Valentine's Day the finger by heading to the Dairy Block, 1855 Blake Street, to hang for perhaps the most unusual (and frankly, mildly incomprehensible) event of the month: French Punk. Starting on Friday, February 14, every weekend boasts new events: an un-Valentine's drag show and a pair of drag brunches with performers from the unsettling and deeply entertaining Dragula on February 14 through 16; a French Punk disco and bazaar on February 21 and 22; and live music and a leap year party on February 28 and 29. Cocktail bar Run for the Roses will also be running a pop-up with presumably anti-establishment drinks (hopefully served at an anti-establishment price) all three weekends. A look at event planner Thrice's website raises more questions than it answers: Will there be mimes,  will slam dancing be allowed, and just how punk can something on the Dairy Block really be? But that's where you can find event details and a link to tickets, which start at $65 for Friday's show and run the gamut for the rest of the events. One thing we are sure of: A portion of proceeds will be donated to the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which works to end hate crimes and support the LGBTQ+ community. 

Keep reading for more food-related fun through mid-March.

Don't miss a full day devoted to grilled cheese and beer.
Don't miss a full day devoted to grilled cheese and beer.
Danielle Lirette

Saturday, February 15
Had a lackluster Valentine's Day? Cheese and booze will never let you down, so forget your disappointing date and opt for a solo expedition to the Grilled Cheese & Beer Fest on Saturday, February 15; it's a lovefest in the form of crispy, crunchy sandwiches washed down by craft beer. Show up for unlimited bites from Blake Street Tavern, Maine Shack, Cheese Love Grill and the Brutal Poodle, among others; bottomless brews are courtesy of Horse and Dragon, Mockery, Spice Trade and Zuni Street. Tickets are currently on sale on Eventbrite or Facebook for $54 or $89 (the Big Cheese option gets you early entry and full-sized beers instead of samples), though prices are set to increase as the event approaches. Choose from the afternoon (12:30 to 3:30 p.m.) or evening (5 to 8 p.m.) session at Runway 35 Park, 8863 East 47th Avenue.

Thursday, February 20
It's a rare day when you can go to the Children's Museum of Denver, 2121 Children's Museum Drive, without having to protect your ears from the unbridled shrieks of children's joy (indistinguishable from all their other screams) and your shins from tiny bodies careening into them. So mark your calendars for Thursday, February 20, when the museum is only letting kids over the age of 21 through the doors for its annual Ales, Apps & Barrels of Fun bash. From 7 to 10 p.m., you can wander the halls with beer in one hand and bites in the other; your fellow museum-goers will know how to share (we hope!) and you'll actually get the chance to interact with the exhibits for a change. Let's just hope everything's been disinfected thoroughly — but if it hasn't, maybe the booze (from local outfits like Little Machine, Briar Common, Epic and Comrade) Tickets, $40, are available along with a full list of participating breweries on the Museum's website.

The Bindery's Restaurant Week menu comes in at $45 and includes options like handmade pasta, braised oxtail and Meyer lemon custard.EXPAND
The Bindery's Restaurant Week menu comes in at $45 and includes options like handmade pasta, braised oxtail and Meyer lemon custard.
Lucy Beaugard

Friday, February 21
An offshoot of the Slow Food movement, the first Slow Wine Guide was published in 2010 and covered only Italian wines; a decade later, it's expanded into California and Oregon. And on Friday, February 21, the Slow Wine Tour lands in Denver. The free tasting is open only to industry folks (business cards and work credentials are required for entry), highlights products from nearly 65 vineyards, and takes place at Asterisk, 1075 Park Avenue West, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit the Slow Wine website for more details and a list of producers that will be in attendance, then hit up Eventbrite to RSVP.

For ten days in late February, Denver eateries are going to be crammed with diners seeking great deals. Yes, Denver Restaurant Week returns on Friday, February 21, and runs through Sunday, March 1; both longstanding institutions and trendy hot spots will be serving multi-course prix fixe menus offered at just $25, $35 or $45. Visit the event website, where you'll find scrumptious pics of some of last year's most delectable dishes, as well as over 200 participating restaurants and their 2020 menus (some of our favorites include AJ's Pit Bar-B-Q, Il Posto, the Bindery and Denver Milk Market). The race for reservations is on! It's you vs. the rest of Denver scrambling to book the best tables in town.

Saturday, February 22
Of all Denver's city regulations, the cutest and cuddliest is section 11.8.5 of the Denver Zoning Code, under which residents are allowed a maximum of two rabbits, 25 pigeons, eight chickens (or ducks!), two dwarf goats and an unlimited number of fish on their property. Sadly, we haven't come across any urban goat husbandry classes — but on Saturday, February 22, the Four Seasons Farmers & Artisans Market, 7043 West 38th Avenue in Wheat Ridge, will help you get started in poultry with a backyard chicken-keeping class from 10 a.m. to noon. For just $5, you'll learn how to house, feed and water your feathered friends and get the basics on how to keep the little cluckers healthy. Sign up on Eventbrite.

Tuesday, February 25
Three cheers for restaurateur Troy Guard, whose calendrical skills rival his kitchen chops. The man is hosting a Fat Tuesday event on the day itself: Tuesday, February 25, not the weekend before or (abomination of all abominations) the weekend after, when Lent is already in full swing. From 6 to 8:30 p.m., Commissary (the former Mister Tuna at 3033 Brighton Boulevard), hosts the bacchanal with bites, beverages and a brass band. Guard is bringing in reinforcements in the form of Louisiana boy and Houston chef Drake Leonards of Eunice, and the evening's menu boasts instant classics like shrimp po' boy sliders, crawfish hand pies and Cajun duck poppers. Entry ($45 or $65 on Night Out) includes a drink, unlimited apps and a chef demo for VIP ticket holders.

Fish N Beer's key lime pie is a mile high.EXPAND
Fish N Beer's key lime pie is a mile high.
Linnea Covington

Wednesday, February 26
Regular readers will already know of our affinity for pies: sweet, savory, elegant, rustic, handheld, served by the slice — all are the way to our heart and guaranteed to put us in a blissful, pie-induced trance. But we have nothing on Boulder pie expert John Lehndorff, who has served as organizer of the Great American Pie Festival and head judge of the National Pie Championships (be right back; we're taking a break to seethe with jealousy). On Wednesday, February 26, the man, the myth, the pie legend will be giving a lecture at Niwot's Left Hand Grange, 195 Second Avenue, on the history of pies in Boulder County. Attendees will get "pie-related" refreshments (hmmmm) starting at 6:30 p.m., followed by a talk that spans the genesis of National Pie Day, pie-adjacent artifacts, tips and tricks to judging a slice and a Q&A on how to turn out your own flaky, tasty masterpiece, all for just $5 at the door. Details are up on Lehndorff's Facebook page, and you can see more of his writing — including a list of Denver's top hand pies — on his website.

Thursday, March 5
The annual kickoff to the Boulder International Film Festival, CineChef, returns on Thursday, March 5, with a literal battle of the sexes (there are knives involved, after all). It's the men versus the women as the chefs go head to head at Boulder's Rembrandt Yard, 1301 Spruce Street; each team will turn out film-inspired fare, with guests voting on the most scrumptious cinematic bites. Participating chefs include Linda Hampsten Fox (the Bindery), Becca Henry (ChoLon) and John Platt (Riffs Urban Fare). Further details and tickets for the 5:30 p.m. event ($100 or $145) are up now on the festival's website.

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, 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 eatery. Find out more about the event on the NKF website

Offerings from the 2016 Whisky Extravaganza.EXPAND
Offerings from the 2016 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, whisky-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.

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

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