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The Five Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

Canadians know a thing or two about poutine.EXPAND
Canadians know a thing or two about poutine.
Courtesy Air Canada
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This week, the five Gs are actually goats, gravy, greenhouses, good works and grana padano. Choose one (hell, choose all five) of these five great food and drink events from Monday, April 9, through Friday, April 13.

Monday, April 9
Monday, April 9, marks the start of Boulder's Conference on World Affairs and an influx of influential speakers covering everything from science to music to business to the environment. One of those speakers, Valentino Achak Deng, is a South Sudanese refugee, the subject of Dave Eggers's 2006 book What Is the What and head of the VAD Foundation, which promotes education and sustainable development in Deng's home country. Frasca, at 1738 Pearl Streetin Boulder, is hoping to benefit the Foundation's work by donating 15 percent of the evening's food and wine sales to the cause. Reservations for the night's $55 prix fixe menu start at 5:30 p.m.; get yours by calling the restaurant at 303-422-6966. And while you're in town, be sure to attend one of Deng's presentations; his engaging style and incredible journey will make knowing you're supporting his work all the more delicious.

Culinary Quick Start has been providing free food-service education for the past year.
Culinary Quick Start has been providing free food-service education for the past year.
Courtesy of Emily Griffith Technical College

Tuesday, April 10
Welcome to spring in Colorado: The weather is vacillating wildly between sunny patio temperatures and heavy, wet snowstorms, and we're all weary of winter squash and the unrelentingly brown and gray Denver landscape. Bring on the green Tuesday, April 10, when Fly by Night, a partnership of chefs Ben Whelan and Blake Stine (both alumni of Frank Bonanno's restaurants) will put on a pop-up dinner at The GrowHaus, 4751 York Street, to benefit Emily Griffith Technical College's Culinary Quick Start program. You'll be surrounded by sprouts while dining on a five-course dinner inside a working greenhouse; the menu feels equally springy, boasting a veggie terrine with pea shoots and dill foam, roasted chicken with egg-yolk jam, and grapefruit cake with white chocolate. Dinner includes beverages and will run you $75; make your reservation to banish the vestiges of winter at Fly by Night's website.

Wednesday, April 11
If you didn't make it out of town for spring break, make it up to yourself by setting aside the night of Wednesday, April 11, to take a culinary journey to Torino, Italy. Firenze a Tavola, 4401 Tennyson Street, is dedicating this year's wine dinners to specific cities, and this installment focuses on the capital of the northern Italian state of Piedmont. The four-course menu includes porcini mushroom risotto, braised short ribs with truffle mashed potatos, sabayon semifreddo with hazelnuts and cocoa, and four regional wines. For $65, that's the cheapest vacation you'll have all year. Reserve your seat (there are only 27, so act quickly) by calling or texting 940-367-2977; find a complete menu and information at the restaurant's website.

The Air Canada Poutinerie takes over a space in LoDo this week.EXPAND
The Air Canada Poutinerie takes over a space in LoDo this week.
Courtesy Air Canada

Thursday, April 12
Leave it to the always-polite Canadians to invent a dish with a name that sounds dirty but really isn't. In its purest form, poutine is nothing more than fries, cheese curds and gravy, an exquisite if messy combination that always loses a little in translation from the Quebec roadhouses where it originated to modern Denver restaurants. But Air Canada wants our city to experience poutine done right, so the airline is hosting a poutine pop-up eatery that opens April 12 at 1523 Market Street. The Poutinerie will serve a classic poutine along with
several international variations, all for $5 each, influenced by Air Canada destinations, including Brisbane, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei and Melbourne; wine and Colorado beers will also be available for $3 a pour. Stop by from 1 to 10 p.m. through April 14, or 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 15 through 18. Don't blame us if you miss out; there will be no poutine pouting!

Kids ruin everything.
Kids ruin everything.
Courtesy Mountain Flower Goat Dairy Facebook page

Friday, April 13
Your little one needs to meet other kids, right? Schedule a memorable play date at Mountain Flower Goat Dairy, 3240 Broadway in Boulder, when the outfit hosts Kidding Around on Friday, April 13. From 9 to 11:15 a.m., you and your child can hang out with newly kidded additions to the herd; you'll tour the farm, meet goats and alpacas, watch a milking demonstration and walk a goat on a leash. If that's not enough, the four-legged kids can probably teach you and yours about kicking up your heels and living in the moment. Book your spot for $36 (includes one adult and one child between five and twelve years old) at Eventbrite.

Keep reading for future food and drink events.

You can get Hop Alley's beef and noodles at Dining Out for Life on April 26.EXPAND
You can get Hop Alley's beef and noodles at Dining Out for Life on April 26.
Kelsey Colt

Thursday, April 26
The 24th annual Dining Out for Life is just around the corner. On Thursday, April 26, more than 230 Denver and Boulder restaurants and breweries will donate 25 percent of their sales to Project Angel Heart, an organization that prepares and delivers medically tailored meals to people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, heart disease and other life-threatening illnesses, so you can enjoy a great meal while doing a good deed. Plan ahead by making a reservation at one of the participating eateries, some of which will donate a percentage of bar sales as well as food sales. Visit the Dining Out for Life website for a list of all restaurants taking part.

Telluride Blues and Brews Festival is worth the planning.EXPAND
Telluride Blues and Brews Festival is worth the planning.
Barry Brecheisen

Friday, September 14, through Sunday, September 16
You've got to be wildly optimistic to make plans for a weekend six months away, but sometimes the event merits the commitment. Such is the case with the Telluride Blues and Brews Festival. There's beer, blues and incredible views, yes, but there's also the six-hour drive from Denver, not to mention the challenge of finding accommodations that won't have you wailing like an old drunk who's out of hooch and whose woman took his dog and left. The festival runs from Friday, September 14, through Sunday, September 16, with the more than fifty breweries pouring at the Grand Tasting on Saturday, September 15. Three-day festival, camping and late-night show passes are on sale now ($30 to $200), and single-day tickets ($70 to $75) go on sale June 13 on the festival's website. Don't wait to make your purchase: VIP and RV camping passes are already sold out.

Watch for our weekend culinary calendar on Friday. If you know of a date that should be on these calendars, send information to cafe@westword.com.

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