Culinary calendar for the week ahead: Backyard chickens, mixology and more

If you want to expand your culinary knowledge, there are tons of classes this week, covering everything from backyard chicken-keeping to advanced pastry skills. Here's a taste of what's ahead:

Monday, March 22

A pastry class for serious home bakers starts today at Culinary School of the Rockies, 637 South Broadway in Boulder; the Pastry Skills session runs Mondays and Tuesdays through April 20. The cost is serious, too: $1,185. For more info, visit www.culinaryschoolrockies.com or call 303-494-7988.

Tuesday, March 23:

Heirloom Gardens presents Backyard Chicken Keeping, a hands-on introduction that will provide information on choosing chickens, chick care, housing and fencing, feeding, common challenges, financial considerations, permits and more. It starts at 6 p.m. and costs $30; Heirloom Gardens is at 4460 Winona Court. Call 303-956-7203 or visit www.eatwhereulive.com.

From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., the Park Hill Golf Club and Argonaut Liquors offer an Italian Wine Tasting at the club, 4141 East 35th Avenue; tickets are $30 to $35 and proceeds benefit the Positive Project. Call 303-821-7788 for reservations.

Slow Food Denver holds its annual meeting from 5:30 p.m to 7:30 p.m. today at Green Spaces Colorado, 2590 Walnut Street. Gather to mingle, nibble on small bites and hear the Slow Food plans for the year. Free, but bring a beverage to share and RSVPs are requested to rsvp@slowfooddenver.org.

Wednesday, March 24:

Chefs James Rugile and Frank Bonanno are collaborating on a six-course Collaboration Dinner with wine pairings; the dinner, $65, starts at 6:30 p.m. at Venue, 3609 West 32nd Avenue. Call 303-477-0477 or visit www.venuebistro.com.

Brush up on your cooking skills with a two-part series on Classic Techniques-Sauces that starts tonight and continues on March 31. Class runs from 6 to 9 p.m. at Cook Street School of Fine Cooking, 1937 Market Street, and the series costs $189; call 303-308-9300 or visit www.cookstreet.com.

Asti D'Italia, 14648 Delaware Street in Broomfield, offers A Taste of Veneto, a four-course dinner paired with an array of wines. Tickets are $50 to $60; call 303-357-3900 or visit www.astiditalia.com.

The Blending Cellar, 946 Pearl Street in Boulder, offers A Taste of Spain & Portugal, featuring seven Spanish wines from different regions and three styles of ports from Portugal, with sommelier David Miller and a light serving of paella. The event runs from 7 to 10 p.m. and costs $27.50; call 303-447-0475 to make reservations.

Thursday, March 25:

Starting at 6:30 p.m., Vic Bourassa of Napa's Bourassa Vineyards will host a Bourdeaux Blending Seminar, followed by a three-course meal paired with Bourassa's wines at Strings, 1700 Humboldt Street. The evening is $75; for reservations, call 303-831-7310 or visit www.stringsrestaurant.com.

At 6 p.m., Rock Bottom Brewery, 6025 Sky Pond Drive in Loveland, hosts a Fire Chief Ale Tapping with local fire departments, silent auctions, giveaways and more. For info, call 970-622-2077 or visit www.rockbottom.com.

From 7 to 8:30 p.m., the Bonfils-Stanton Lecture Series features Kitchen Garden Planting and Design with garden writer Anna Pavord; a Slow Food Denver tasting precedes the talk at 6 p.m. It's all at the Denver Botanic Gardens, 1005 York Street; admission is $20 to $30, or $110 to $140 for series tickets; e-mail your reservation to registrar@botanicgardens.org, and visit www.botanicgardens.org or call 720-865-3580 for information.

The Denver Public Library hosts Mixology, a Dewey After Hours event with appetizers, signature cocktails and more, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Vida Ellison Gallery in the Central Library, 10 West 14th Avenue Parkway. Admission is $35, and it benefits the summer literacy program; call 720-865-2051 or visit www.dplfriends.org.

Friday, March 26:

Stop by Randolph's, 1776 Grant Street, from 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. for eighteen items over seven courses -- and help decide which will make Randolph's spring and summer menu. The event costs $26; call 303-318-7272 or visit www.randolphsdenver.com.

At 6 p.m., Heirloom Gardens, 4460 Winona Court, offers a class titled Simple From Scratch. Learn to make multigrain bread, homemade mozzarella, marinated asparagus salad, vegetable barley soup, apple dumplings and ice cream. Tuition is $50; call 303-956-7203 or visit www.eatwhereulive.com.

Learn to become a personal chef in this accelerated course at Cook Street School of Fine Cooking, 1937 Market Street. The class costs $1,195 and runs through Sunday, March 28; call 303-308-9300 or visit www.cookstreet.com.

Saturday, March 27:

St. Julien Hotel & Spa, 900 Walnut Street in Boulder, offers an Earth Hour Happy Hour from 5 p.m. to close. Enjoy locally grown, sustainable food and beverages; there will also be a toast and lights-out ceremony at 8:30 p.m. Call 720-406-9696 or visit www.stjulien.com.

The Wynkoop Brewing Company, 1634 18th Street, hosts Kegs & Curds: A Toast to Beer and Cheese. Fromage to Yours cheese shop has offered the artisan cheeses, which will be paired with brews from at least ten local breweries. The event runs from 1 to 4 p.m. and costs $25 for unlimited samples; call 303-297-2700 or visit www.wynkoop.com.

The Gabby Gourmet pairs up with John Lehdorff to present In Search of the Perfect Pie, a pie contest from 1 to 3 p.m. at Steve's Snappin' Dogs, 3525 East Colfax Avenue; call 303-333-7627 or visit www.stevessnappindogs.com. Sunday, March 28:

Comedy Works South, 5345 Landmark Place in Greenwood Village, is hosting a Gospel Brunch with R&B gospel music and a Southern-style brunch starting at 11 a.m. Admission is $28 in advance and $35 at the door; call 720-274-6800 or visit www.comedyworks.com.

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

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