BolderLife Festival benefit, beer v. wine and more on this week's culinary calendar

You've made a dent in those Thanksgiving leftovers -- it's time to get out and about again and enjoy the wine and beer battles, cooking lessons, vegan dinners and more on this week's culinary calendar.

For starters, tonight the various filmmakers and artists involved with the Bolder Life Festival will join forces with WaterCourse Foods to raise funds for this year's festival, which runs December 5 through December 8. The popular vegetarian restaurant regularly hosts a "Nonprofit Monday" fundraer; today it will donate 10 to 15 percent of the day's sales to the Boulder Life Festival. Come mingle with directors, actors, filmmakers and other BoulderLife Festival supporters at WaterCourse Foods from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. See also: The menu has expanded at WaterCourse -- and so has its market

MONDAY, DECEMBER 2 Tonight marks the only wine dinner this month at Frasca Food & Wine; the regular schedule resume in January. This evening's event will feature John Paine from importer Neal Rosenthal, pouring "northern Nebbiolos" from northern Piedmont. Tickets are $50 per person for four courses, not including optional wine pairings (ranging from $45 to $50). Make a reservation by calling 303-442-6966.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3 It is never too late to learn how to cook, and chef Dan Witherspoon of The Gourmet Spoon and The Seasoned Chef Cooking School will show you the ropes in his two-part class, Basic Skills Every Cook Should Know. In addition to teaching healthy alternatives, Witherspoon will also demonstrate essential culinary techniques such as knife skills, sauteing, roasting, grilling, sauce-making, pastry skills and more. Part one of the cooking lesson will take place tonight from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at the Seasoned Chef Cooking School (part two will be held the following Tuesday, December 10). Tuition runs $155 per person for both sessions and can be purchased online.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 4 Celebrate the end of Prohibition at Stuart Jensen's Repeal Day Carnival, starting at 7 p.m. at Green Russell, one of our best bars on Larimer Street. Find more information here.

It's time for the monthly community dinner, Chomp!, presented by Plants & Animals Denver, a local vegan advocacy group. A suggested donation of $8 to $10 is encouraged; bring your own plates and utensils. The dinner gathering will start at 7 p.m.in its new home event space, The Horse Barn. Help the planners by making a reservation on the Chomp! Facebook Page. If you are interested in volunteering, e-mail info@plantsanimals.org.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 5 Head to TAG Burger Bar at 6:30 p.m. tonight for a battle of alcoholic proportions when Infinite Monkey Theorem and Prost Brewing will battle it out to see who wins the pairing contest with TAG's five-course meal. With each course, Prost and Infinite Monkey will be able to defend its choices; guests can vote with either a bottle cap or a cork for the beverage that paired best with the food. Tickets are $65 per person; make a reservation by calling the restaurant at 303-736-2260.

For information on dozens of culinary events around town, visit our online Food & Drink listings -- and if you have information for a culinary event you'd like included in our online calendar, send it to cafe@westword.com.

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