Culinary calendar for the week ahead: A Taste of Colorado, beer vs. wine dinners and a salsa fiesta

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We're sure you're all aware that this weekend, the Taste of Colorado will be taking over Civic Center Park. But there's a lot more going on -- including the annual Creede Salsa Fiesta -- to whet your appetite. Here's a taste of what's ahead this week:

Monday, August 30:

Head to Zolo Southwestern Grill, 2525 Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder, for the second dinner in its Table to Farm series at 4:15 p.m. Call 303-449-0444 or visit www.zologrill.com.

Frasca presents its Monday Night Wine Dinner. This week: Frasca sommeliers favorites. The four-course seasonal menu is $45; wine pairings are an additional $30 to $45. Frasca is at 1738 Pearl Street in Boulder; call 303-442-6966 or visit www.frascafoodandwine.com.

BookCliff Vineyards, 1468 Pearl Street in Boulder, hosts the Beer vs. Wine Dinner: BookCliff Vineyards will face off against Upslope Brewing in a six-course dinner prepared by Black Cat chef Eric Skokan. It starts at 6 p.m. and costs $65; call 303-449-7301 or visit bookcliffvineyards.com.

Head to City Hall, 1144 Broadway, for Moonlight Movie Mondays, featuring a screening of Food, Inc. for $5. Doors open at 6 p.m.; call 303-832-8628 or visit www.coclubs.com.

Seattle Fish Company, 6211 East 42nd Avenue, hosts a Sustainability Open House to celebrate its accomplishments in sustainability and unveil one of the largest privately owned solar arrays in the city, with music from Marty Jones and the Great Unknowns and refreshments by Steuben's Truck and New Belgium. It runs from 1 to 4:30 p.m. and is free to attend; call 303-329-9595 or visit www.seattlefish.com.

Tuesday, August 31:

Le Central, 112 East 8th Avenue, presents a Cooking Class Demonstration Dinner, featuring assiette Mediterranene, poulet aux herbes and trio de macarons. Admission is $26; sign up by calling 303-863-8094, and visit www.lecentral.com for the full menu.

Sturm Hall, 2000 East Asbury Street, hosts A Taste of Languages, a free sampling of different cultures; RSVP to 303-871-2291.

Wednesday, September 1:

The City of Aurora presents a cooking class, Mexican Cooking Menu 1, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Expo Recreation Center, 10955 East Exposition Avenue in Aurora. Admission is $43 to $56; call 303-326-8630.

Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, 2466 South Colorado Boulevard, throws a Grand Opening Celebration with giveaways, a prize wheel and more. Visit www.eatgarbanzo.com.

Goosetown Tavern, 3242 East Colfax Avenue, presents the Gorilla Gathering, a preparation for the seventh annual Denver Gorilla Run, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Get information at www.denvergorillarun.com.

Thursday, September 2:

Bring in your home-grown zucchinis to the Parks & Gardens Office, 4309 West 44th Avenue, between 4 and 7 p.m. for the Northwest Denver Heaviest Zucchini Contest. The $5 entree fee will benefit a school of your choice. Call 303-455-3779 or visit www.parksandgardens.com.

Friday, September 3:

The Anderson Ranch Arts Center, 5623 Owl Creek Road in Snowmass, hosts a Summertime Auctionette, a barbecue lunch with an ice-cream bar and art auctionette. It runs from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., and admission is $10. Call 970-923-3181 or visit www.andersonranch.org.

Head to the Infinite Monkey Theorem, 931 West Fifth Avenue, for First Fridays with Drunken Monkey: Art Under the Influence, offering live music and wine by the glass starting at 5 p.m. Visit www.infinitemonkeytheorem.com.

Visit Civic Center Park for A Taste of Colorado through September 6, the annual festival of local food. Visit www.atasteofcolorado.com. There you'll find the Dunkin' Donuts RV, Dunkin' Turbo, on its Big Taste Tour; the RV will offer present free coffee, coupons, reusable grocery bag totes and more. Visit www.dunkinathome.com.

Saturday, September 4:

Gateway Canyons Resort, 43200 Highway 141 in Gateway, hosts BBQ Blues, featuring blues bands, barbecue and more starting at 11 a.m. Admission is $25. Call 970-931-2458 or visit www.gatewaycanyons.com.

Upslope Brewing Company, 1501 Lee Hill Road in Boulder, presents Upslope BBQ: music, barbecue from the West End Tavern's smoker, and beer. Visit upslopebrewing.com.

Creede hosts its annual Salsa Fiesta through September 5, featuring salsa judging in red, green fruit, freestyle and "hot tamale" categories, plus other activities. Call 719-658-2374.

Sunday, September 5:

The West End Tavern hosts a five-course beer dinner at the Golden City Brewery, 12th and Cheyenne Streets in Golden, at 6 p.m. Admission is $50; call 303-444-3535.

Parker Station in Parker is the site of the Smokin' Brew BBQ through Sunday, September 6, a Kansas City Barbecue Society and Rocky Mountain BBQ Association competition with more than fifty teams, vendors, live music and more. Admission is free; visit www.smokinbrewbbq.com.

Belmar, Wadsworth Boulevard and Alameda Avenue in Lakewood, hosts a Summer Pie Baking Contest. This round's flavor: apple pie. Entry fee is $5 per pie. Visit www.coloradooutdoormarkets.com/events.htm.

For information on dozens of culinary events around town, visit our online Food & Drink listings.

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