Culinary calendar for the week ahead: Vail Restaurant Month and Oktoberfest celebrations

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Well, Denver Beer Fest and the Great American Beer Festival have come and gone -- but there's still plenty to do, including a great excuse to head for the hills: Vail Restaurant Month starts today. Learn more about that, plus see what else is on the menu, below.

Monday, September 20:

Morton's, 8480 East Belleview Avenue in Englewood, presents Savor the Grape for Charity, an evening of fine wine, food and an auction to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, with special guests Champ Bailey and John Lynch. It starts at 7 p.m. and costs $75 to $250; call 303-409-1177.

Venue, 3609 West 32nd Avenue, presents the Loire Valley Wine Dinner, four courses paired with wine for $60. It starts at 6:30 p.m.; call 303-477-0477 or visit www.venuebistro.com.

Vail presents Vail Restaurant Month through Sunday, October 17, with different weekly themes and special activities. Visit www.vailrestaurantmonth.com.

Tuesday, September 21:

The City of Aurora presents a cooking class, Japanese Comfort Food, 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.

The Denver Botanic Gardens, 1005 York Street, hosts the Sustainable Food Film Series. This round's film: Food Fight. It runs from 7 to 9 p.m., and admission is a suggested $10 donation. Call 720-865-3500 or visit www.botanicgardens.org.

Cooking for Our Coast, a multi-venue event to benefit the business owners in the Gulf who were affected by the oil spill, will take place at participating area restaurants for $62.80. Visit www.noaahh.org.

The Kitchen, 1039 Pearl Street in Boulder, presents its monthly Wine and Beer Class, a four-course meal paired with wine and beer, with sommeliers available to answer questions. This month's theme: corn. It starts at 5:30 p.m., and admission is $60; call 303-544-5973 or visit www.thekitchencafe.com.

Cook Street School of Fine Cooking, 1937 Market Street, offers a Grilling: Southwest Grilling cooking class from 6 to 9:30 p.m. for $79. Call 303-308-9300 or visit www.cookstreet.com.

Terroir, 246 Main Street in Longmont, features the Meet the Winemaker Dinner at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $45. Call 303-651-0630 or visit www.terroir-restaurant.com.

Wednesday, September 22:

Arugula Bar e Ristorante, 2785 Iris Avenue in Boulder, features an Infinite Monkey Theorem Wine Dinner. It starts at 6:30 p.m. and costs $75; call 303-443-5100 or visit www.arugularistorante.com.

Cook Street School of Fine Cooking, 1937 Market Street, offers an Italian Classics cooking class from 6 to 9:30 p.m. for $79. Call 303-308-9300 or visit www.cookstreet.com.

The Margarita, 7350 Pine Creek Road in Colorado Springs, presents a Harvest Dinner featuring local ingredients in six courses paired with wine (a vegetarian option is also available). The dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and costs $55; sign up by calling 719-598-8667.

Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th Street, is the site of the annual Westword Dish celebration of food, featuring mixology, live music, entertainment and, of course, food from some of the city's top restaurants. VIP admission starts at 6 p.m. and general admission at 7:30; tickets are $30 to $50. Visit westword.com for details.

The Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street, present the Cancer Food Project, a seven-part nutrition and cooking class on how food can fight and prevent disease. This week's topic: Fueling Up on Low-Fat Foods. It runs from 6 to 8 p.m., and admission is $28 to $210; call 720-865-3500 or visit www.botanicgardens.org.

The Wine Loft, 1527 Wazee Street, presents World of Wine, an evening of adventurous wine tasting and food pairings; proceeds benefit LoDo Cares. It runs from 6 to 10 p.m. and costs $50 general admission, $100 or VIP; visit www.lodo.org/lodoevents.htm.

Thursday, September 23:

Great Divide's tap room, 2201 Arapahoe Street, presents Hop Disciples, the monthly discussion on beer and all things beer-related. RSVP via e-mail to info@greatdivide.org; call 303-296-9460.

Cottonwood Cellars, 4640 Pecos Street, presents a Ladies Night Wine Tasting. Call 720-855-6500 or visit www.cottonwoodcellars.com.

8 Rivers Cafe, 1550 Blake Street, presents a Tommy Bahama Rum Tasting and Dinner, four courses paired with rum and featuring live music by Selasee Atiase. It runs from 7 to 10 p.m. and costs $50; make reservations at 303-623-3422, and get information at www.8riverslodo.com.

Izakaya Den, 1518 South Pearl Street, presents a Celebration of Food and Wine, a six-course dinner featuring wines from select vineyards in Spain. It starts at 6:30 p.m. and costs $75; call 303-777-0691 or visit www.izakayaden.net.

Grand Junction presents the Local Flavors Food & Arts Fair, featuring a cheesecake-tasting contest, food and drink, and much more, from 4 to 7 p.m. Call 970-243-5242.

The Celtic Tavern, 1801 Blake Street, is celebrating ten years in business with food and drink specials, live music and dancers through Saturday, September 25. Call 303-308-1795 or visit www.theceltictavern.com.

Friday, September 24:

The City of Aurora presents a cooking class, Couples Cook: Herb Garden Appetizer Buffet, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Expo Recreation Center, 10955 East Exposition Avenue in Aurora. Admission is $48 to $112; call 303-326-8630.

Randolph's Restaurant and Bar, 1776 Grant Street, presents another Choose Our Menu event; sample eighteen dishes in six courses from chef Garrett Whitlow and vote for your favorites, which will become part of Randolph's fall/winter menu, from 6 to 8 p.m. Call 303-318-7272 or visit www.randolphsdenver.com.

Larkspur Restaurant, 458 Vail Valley Drive in Vail, presents a Harvest Dinner and Cookbook Signing with Thomas Salamunovich, one of the eight featured chefs in the Colorado Organic cookbook. It starts at 6:30 p.m. and costs $55 to $75 and up; call 970-754-8050 or visit www.larkspurvail.com.

Pueblo presents its annual Chile and Frijoles Festival through Sunday, September 26, chiles and pinto beans plus vendors, crafts and more. Visit www.pueblochamber.org.

Saturday, September 25:

Six local chefs will compete in the Battle of the Burners in Fort Collins; audience members will enjoy the dishes, live music and a beer garden. Visit www.beetstreet.org.

Jared's Nursery, 10500 West Bowles Avenue in Littleton, is the site of this year's Rocky Mountain Giant Vegetable Growers Pumpkin Weigh-Off: Watch this year's contenders get weighed. It starts at 10 a.m., and admission is free; visit www.coloradopumpkins.com.

The City of Aurora presents a cooking class, Stock & Sauces, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Expo Recreation Center, 10955 East Exposition Avenue in Aurora. Admission is $70 to $90; call 303-326-8630.

The City of Aurora offers a kids' cooking class, Princess and the Frog Bayou Bash, for ages 6 to 12. It runs from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Expo Recreation Center, 10955 East Exposition Avenue in Aurora, and costs $24 to $31. Sign up by calling 303-326-8630.

The Village at Castle Pines, 858 Happy Canyon Road, presents an Oktoberfest celebration with grubologyblog.com's Thrilla on the Grilla backyard brawl grilling competition, plus drinks, vendors and more. It runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; visit www.thrillaonthegrilla.com.

Grant Family Farms, 1020 WCR 72 in Wellington, hosts Dinner on the Farm, featuring music, cocktails, informal farm tours and a four-course dinner for $120. It starts at 4 p.m.; call 970-568-7654 or visit www.grantfarms.com.

Aar River Gallery, 3707 West 73rd Avenue in Westminster, hosts the Historic Westminster Orchard Festival Bake-Off; bakers of all ages are invited to enter pies, cakes, cookies, breads and jams into the contest, and the recipes will be used in a Bake-Off cookbook. It runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and there is a $5 entry fee; call 720-333-4908 or visit www.aarrivergallery.com.

Culinary Connectors hosts a Denver tour, visiting Solera, Strings and one location to be announced, from 1 to 4 p.m. Visit www.culinaryconnectors.com.

Culinary Connectors hosts a Boulder tour, visiting Cafe Aion, Colterra and one stop to be announced, from 1 to 4 p.m. Visit www.culinaryconnectors.com.

Colorado State University hosts the CSU Ag Day Barbecue, a pre-game barbecue dedicated toward celebrating Colorado agriculture and raising money toward ag scholarships. Admission is $15, and it runs from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; call 970-491-6497 or visit www.csuagday.com.

Chef Ian Clark will be roasting, cooking and bagging chiles to go at the Centro Hatch Green Chile Festival at Centro Latin Kitchen & Refreshment Palace, 950 Pearl Street in Boulder. There will also be food, beer, live music and more; a portion of the proceeds will benefit victims of the Fourmile Canyon fire. It runs from 1 to 6 p.m.; get details at 303-442-7771 or visit www.centrolatinkitchen.com.

Mile High Marketplace, 7007 East 88th Avenue in Henderson, presents Oktoberfest Weekend through Sunday, September 26, offering beer, brats, German entertainment and more from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $3; call 303-289-4656 or visit www.milehighmarketplace.com.

Celebrate the advent of autumn with bands, brats and beer at Autumn Gold in Estes Park through Sunday, September 26. Visit www.facebook.com/estespark.

Sunday, September 26:

The City of Aurora offers a cooking class, Couples Cook: Japanese Sake Dinner. It runs from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and costs $48 ($96 for couples) for Aurora residents and $56 ($112 for couples) for the general public; it takes place in the Expo Recreation Center, 10955 East Exposition Avenue in Aurora. Call 303-326-8330.

Jump on the Boulder Brew Bus North, visiting the West End Tavern, Left Hand Brewing, Oskar Blues and Boulder Beer Company; tours will run through Sunday, October 24. Tours begin at 5:30 p.m. and cost $50; sign up by calling 303-444-3535.

Space Gallery, 765 Santa Fe Drive, hosts the Hoi An Foundation Mid Autumn Moon Festival Harvest Dinner. Enjoy a five-Course Colorado harvest Dinner prepared by Parallel 17's Mary Nguyen, followed by a cocktail reception, auction and live entertainment. It starts at 5 p.m. and costs $40 for the reception, $125 for the dinner. Call 720-904-1088, www.spacegallery.org.

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

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