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The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

The Big Blue Bear isn't the only bear in town these days.
The Big Blue Bear isn't the only bear in town these days.
Danielle Lirette
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Take a globe-trotting culinary journey this week. From the food of Peru to a Chinese New Year celebration to the Slow Food movement born in Italy to wherever crazy burgers are born (somewhere in the American South?), there are plenty of food and drink events. Here are six of our favorites from Monday, February 5, through Friday, February 9.

Nutella (apparently) goes with everything.EXPAND
Nutella (apparently) goes with everything.

Monday, February 5
There are only a handful of condiments that deserve their own day — and Monday, February 5, is World Nutella Day (yes, seriously). The Pint Room, 2620 West Belleview Avenue in Littleton, is paying homage to the chocolate-hazelnut spread by incorporating it into its Burger of the Week — along with graham crackers, marshmallow fluff and bananas. Whether you think this is the greatest thing since sliced bread or a sign of the impending apocalypse, it's too bizarre to pass up. Find details and a picture of the creation (spoiler: Someone really likes burgers) on the restaurant's Facebook page.

Enjoy the Kitchen Upstairs.
Enjoy the Kitchen Upstairs.
The Kitchen Restaurant Group

Tuesday, February 6
If you were inspired by last summer's Slow Food Nations, you'll be glad to know that the festival is returning this July. In the meantime, though, you can take get involved in Denver and Boulder chapters of the movement. On Tuesday, February 6, the Boulder group is making it easy with a cookbook swap at The Kitchen Upstairs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Perhaps you've gone vegan since buying that barbecue manual? Bring it along and trade with someone who decided life wasn't worth living without pork belly. Then belly up to the bar and enjoy some of the eatery's excellent cocktails and appetizers. Find out more at Slow Food Boulder's Facebook page. 

Señor Bear is spending the month of February in Peru.
Señor Bear is spending the month of February in Peru.
Danielle Lirette

Wednesday, February 7
When your stomach starts growling on Wednesday, February 7, check out any Colorado Chipotle location. That day, the burrito experts will be donating half of their sales to Denver-based Project Angel Heart, the nonprofit organization that delivers free meals to Coloradans dealing with serious illness. The only catch? You have to mention Project Angel Heart at the register. So don't forget to have a heart when you're piling on all those free salsas.

Señor Bear
, 3301 Tejon Street, took Denver by storm when it opened last year, and in 2018 it's taking on Latin America one country at a time with its Escape Series. Each month, the Bear will offer specialties from a different country, and on the first Wednesday of the month, the kitchen will turn out a four-course menu based on the region. The series kicks off on Wednesday, February 7, when Peruvian food will be the focus for $50 ($75 with drink pairings). If you can't make it in this week, don't despair: dishes like lamb-shoulder skewers with nut salsa and squid ceviche will be on the menu through the end of the month. Upcoming months will highlight Uruguay, Colombia and Venezuela; guests who attend all eleven dinners will be invited to a grand fiesta at the end of their travels. Make sure you reserve your spot by calling 720-572-5997.

Thursday, February 8
End your work day by spending your evening in the office. Laws Whiskey is catering to the corporate class at The Corner Office, 1401 Curtis Street, with its whiskey tasting on Thursday, February 8. From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., execs and middle management will mingle over whiskey cocktails, tastings and food stations; think honey-bourbon wings and smoked baby back ribs with Korean barbecue sauce. Tickets, $50, are on sale at eventbrite.com, and with some creative accounting, you can probably get that expense report approved without too much trouble. We promise: This is an office party you won't want to miss.

Lion dancers are part of a traditional Chinese New Year celebration.
Lion dancers are part of a traditional Chinese New Year celebration.
Miles Chrisinger

Friday, February 9
Lunar New Year isn't until February 16, but why wait to celebrate the Year of the Dog (obviously the best year)? The Nathan Yip Foundation, which funds educational projects for children in rural Colorado and China, is putting on the dog at the biggest Chinese New Year bash in town on Friday, February 9. From 6 to 11 p.m., three floors of the McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue, will be transformed into a Chinese night market; from the traditional (lion dancers, calligraphers, fortunetellers) to the modern (silent disco, karaoke), revelers will be treated to pawsome entertainment while wining and dining at mastiff food stations and enjoying the open bar(k).  Tickets are $100 for those under 35 (called "young professionals" tickets) and $225 for everyone else; fetch yours at nathanyipfoundation.org and get ready to party your tail off.

Keep reading for more worthy food and drink events in the weeks to come.
Friday, February 23 through March 4
Denver Restaurant Week returns not for a week, but ten full days of eating opportunities at hundreds of restaurants, which will offer  $25, $35 or $45 options. Find the full roster of restaurants and many menus on the Denver Restaurant Week website.

CineCHEF: The only part of the Boulder International Film Festival that comes with pork belly.EXPAND
CineCHEF: The only part of the Boulder International Film Festival that comes with pork belly.
Mark Antonation

Friday, February 23
Gentle readers who still get bent out of shape that Westword covers Boulder as well as Denver: CineCHEF 2018 is the event for you. The event's fourth iteration happens on Friday, February 23, 2018, at Rembrandt Yard, 1301 Spruce Street in Boulder, when Boulder chefs face off against Denver chefs to prove who can create the tastiest, most creative bite based on a beloved film. Last year's roster included Daniel Asher of River and Woods serving smoked scallops, ceviche and Peruvian chile in an homage to Up in Smoke, and Steven Redzikowski of Oak at Fourteenth tapping Mia Wallace to hand out miniature burgers and a $5 shake à la Pulp Fiction. Tickets, $95, are on sale now at ticketfly.com and include admission to the film Michelin Stars: Tales From the Kitchen. So, gentle readers, etc., purchase your tickets and start planning the long and dangerous trip up to The Town That Totally Isn't Part of Denver to support your hometown heroes as they compete in hostile territory.

Blue Moon Brewing Co. hosts the Colorado Symphony on March 7.EXPAND
Blue Moon Brewing Co. hosts the Colorado Symphony on March 7.
Danielle Lirette

Wednesday, March 7
Elevate that oh-so-crafty Blue Moon beer with Beethoven and Brews on Wednesday, March 7, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., when the Colorado Symphony's ongoing series hits Blue Moon Brewing Company, 3750 Chestnut Place; its largest performance group to date will take advantage of the expansive taproom to serenade drinkers with a selection of classical music while the suds flow. For $65, guests will enjoy a performance by symphony musicians, plus appetizers and two pints; $85 VIP tickets include a brewery tour, VIP seating, souvenir glassware and an additional tasting. Because no one in Colorado can truly enjoy a happening without a beer in hand, these events sell out quickly, so nab your ticket at coloradosymphony.org. And if you miss out on this one, you can always book the next event in the series, at Left Hand Brewing on Wednesday, May 30.

Saturday, March 31
The adorably retro Stir Cooking School, 3215 Zuni Street, is going back to basics. If you're tired of stopping by the nearest fast-casual joint for dinner five nights a week but the idea of tackling Thai cuisine or pasta from scratch is way over your head, consider Stir's Learn to Cook series starting on Saturday, March 31. The three-class curriculum starts small on the stovetop (sautéeing and pan-searing), then shows you how to turn on your oven (roasting and grilling) and finally helps you figure out the difference between salt and sugar (seasonings and flavorings). Classes start on Saturday, March 31, at 11 a.m. and run weekly through Saturday, April 14; tuition is $200 — a bargain when you consider how much you're going to save in the long run. To see the menu and reserve your spot, visit stirtolearn.com.

If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to cafe@westword.com.

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