This week you can sink your teeth into a giant communal challah bake, Japanese food with a side of conversation that's spicier than any wasabi, and a pub crawl that helps the homeless. Here are seven savory food and drink events over the next five days. Dig in!
Monday, November 11
Denver is filled with great local taquerias: places you can chow down on wonderfully seasoned meats and veggies on fresh, housemade corn tortillas, try flavor combos you never knew existed, guzzle a cold Bohemia and meet friendly proprietors who are thrilled to have your business. But if that doesn't grab you by the huevos, there's another Torchy's Tacos opening in town this week. This one, at 6325 East Hampden Avenue, is technically opening Wednesday, but you can jump the fence a couple of days early, because the newest Torchy's is holding a grand-opening party on Monday, November 11. From 5 to 8 p.m., guests will get free tacos, chips and dip and more, so if you're in the mood for long lines and Tex-Mex tacos, get there early for the goods. Vamonos?
Food is universal — but tastes aren't. Sometimes preferences are just that, but just as often, food reveals prejudices. (Don't believe us? Take a deep dive into the comments whenever we write about African cuisine.) But as much as our culinary preferences can reveal our biases, they can also serve as a bridge between cultures. If we're curious about trying new flavors, perhaps we can be as interested in the people who create them and the cultures they come from. On Monday, November 11, at 6:30 p.m., put this theory to the test at the Infinite Monkey Theorem, 3200 Larimer Street, when it joins with RTE Cuisine and Breaking The Bias on A Taste of Curiosity dinner, a conversation facilitated by food and drink. Chef Jesusio Silva (Misaki) will provide the Japanese food, and folks from Breaking the Bias will be on hand to keep dinner from devolving into a food fight (perhaps literally). Tickets, $65, are available on IMT's website; get yours and feed your brain as well as your body.
Tuesday, November 12
The Seasoned Chef Cooking School was the most recent recipient of the Best Cooking School award in our Best of Denver issue, and on Tuesday, November 12, owner Dan Witherspoon is sharing his culinary knowledge for free. His cookbook, Mix Match Make Take, focuses on recipes that can be made for dinner, then easily transmogrified into lunch the next day. It's a perfect option for folks who don't like to eat the same meal twice or are reluctant to cook for one because of potential food waste, and starting at midnight, the Kindle version of the tome is available at no cost for 24 hours. In addition, the first 100 downloads will be entered into a drawing for a complimentary cooking class. You can get a preview of the book on Amazon now, but make sure you go to the Seasoned Chef's website to start your download.
Wednesday, November 13
The Shabbat Project is a global project with the aim of organizing Jews of all ages, areas and affiliation to observe Shabbat (the Jewish day of religious observance) on November 15 and 16. The period of rest and reflection involves both the delicious culinary tradition of an elaborate meal and strict prohibitions on working — which includes not only cooking and cleaning, but even turning appliances on and off. So in preparation for the day, all foodstuffs must be made and cooked in advance. Anyone looking to bake challah, the traditional braided bread, before November 15 will want to consider attending the Great Big Challah Bake, where Jewish women gather to bake loaves for their families and the community. On Wednesday, November 13, the Boulder JCC, 6007 Oreg Avenue, is hosting the bake from 6 to 8 p.m. Registration is $18, or $21 if you opt for gluten-free bread; details and registration are on the community center's website. Denver bakers can register for an event on Thursday, November 14, at the BMH-BJ congregation, 560 South Monaco Parkway, from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets, $20, are available on Eventbrite.
Thursday, November 14
You were going to head to RiNo for drinks tonight anyway, right? This Thursday, November 14, take advantage of the neighborhood's critical mass of craft breweries to both get your beer on and do some good for Denver's homeless community at Denver VOICE's Pints Fighting Poverty Pub Crawl. Kick off the evening at Epic Brewing Co., 3001 Walnut Street, at 6 p.m., then strike out to five other venues (the Block Distilling Co., Odell, Stem Ciders, River North Brewery and Infinite Monkey Theorem), where you'll get drink specials for every palate and hear speakers at each stop through 10 p.m. Tickets to the crawl are $25 — a small price to pay for not having to dress up in a ridiculous onesie to participate in a pub crawl — and participants are asked to collect pledges to benefit the nonprofit monthly newspaper. Find out more and register or donate on the event website.
The wine experts at Del Frisco’s Grille (100 St. Paul Street) are celebrating the flavors of the autumn season with a Masters of Napa five-course dinner, featuring Cakebread Cellars, Duckhorn Vineyards, Nickel & Nickel Winery and more. Each is paired with a chef-created dish designed to complement and enhance each wine and highlight autumn ingredients, including fig and serrano ham starters with bleu cheese fondue and olive oil lavosh; grape leaf-wrapped lamb loin with Peruvian drop peppers; Five Dot Ranch grass-fed strip steak with Peruvian purple potato and cauliflower risotto and a wild leek chimichurri; and butternut squash butter cake to finish, with miso-maple butter rum sauce and hazelnut crumble. The meal starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 14, at 100 St. Paul Street; tickets are $150 (plus tax) at 303-320-8529, or buy them online here.
Friday, November 15
Our state has been described as the "Napa Valley of beer" for decades now, but the continuing growth of the Colorado wine industry means it could be inching toward being known as the Napa Valley of wine. Okay, not really, but there are currently over 130 outfits making wine and mead in a state better known for its varietals of weed. On Friday, November 15, History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway, will host Colorado UnCorked, a tasting of wines that triumphed at this year's Governor's Cup competition. From 7 to 9:30 p.m., chefs from Julep, Logan Street, Woodie Fisher and Grand Junction's Bin 707 will craft bites to pair with fourteen wines. Awarded wineries include Denver and Boulder's Bonacquisti and BookCliff, as well as the Western Slope's Carlson and Plum Creek; varietals range from Cab Franc to Nebbiolo to vermouth and Riesling. Snag your tickets ($45 or $85) on Eventbrite, where you can see the complete list of award winners.
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