There's no excuse for not learning something this week: The calendar is jam-packed with educational edible experiences. Even if all you learn is how much Easter candy you can stuff in your mouth, knowledge is always power. Here are seven of the best food and drink events from Monday, March 26, through Friday, March 30.
Monday, March 26
Legendary LoDo restaurant Vesta, 1822 Blake Street, has been serving downtown diners for over twenty years, and now it's throwing Monday Night Suppers into the mix. Starting Monday, March 26, the kitchen will roll out a three-course prix fixe menu — based on a different theme each week — for just $35. You may be treated to empanadas, mojo pork and ancho pot de crème, or you could be in for a meal of mapo tofu, Peking duck and ginger egg tarts; you can find the week's menu at Vesta's website. The optional wine pairing runs a very reasonable $15. This deal may even make you look forward to Mondays.
Tuesday, March 27
If your kid has a fascination with kitchen knives, channel it constructively before they run off to join the circus as a knife thrower. Take advantage of the Teaching Kitchen at the Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, 2121 Children's Museum Drive. While the Kitchen offers cooking classes six days a week, its French Chef series on Tuesday, March 27, takes the level of sophistication up a notch: Instructors from Alliance Française will be on hand to teach your enfants terribles how to make crepes and pastries, a welcome change of pace from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Classes, free with museum admission ($13), are at 2 and 3 p.m., but we recommend you get there early. Classes are first come, first served, and you'll need to sign up outside the Teaching Kitchen.
For food less familiar to most Americans than French fries and French toast, consider the Middle Eastern Cooking Class put on by Meet the Middle East, an organization dedicated to developing relationships between the U.S. and the Middle East through classes, cultural consulting and travel to the region. You'll only need to travel to the Posner Center for International Development, 1031 33rd Street, on Tuesday, March 27, at 6 p.m. to learn how to make the food of the many cultures of the Middle East. Tickets are $45 and include not only the meal, but leftovers to take home, so don't forget your Tupperware. Sign up at Meet the Middle East's website.
Wednesday, March 28
Like everyone in Colorado, you don't hydrate with anything other than craft beer. In fact, you'd rather die of thirst before putting plain old water down your gullet. But where are you going to set that sweaty pint glass when your arm gets tired? You can't possibly mar the finish of your beetle-kill pine coffee table. Enter Drink Ink, a collaboration of Little Machine Beer and Ink Lounge. On Wednesday, March 28. From 6 to 8 p.m., the taproom at 2924 West 20th Avenue will host a screen-printing class where you'll create four custom coasters, take a tour of the brewery and taste some beer, all for just $25. Sign up at inklounge.com, where you can find future Drink Ink events at breweries and distilleries around town.
Anyone with even a cursory interest in this state's history of brewing should attend Brewed at Altitude: A Colorado Brewing History on Wednesday, March 28 — mostly because this lecture at Left Hand Brewing Company, 1265 Boston Avenue in Longmont, comes with dinner and, yes, beer. You'll certainly work up a mighty thirst while listening to the presentation, which claims to cover "the complete history of Colorado's brewers." And while we're skeptical of that claim — an hour isn't even long enough for your annoying neighbor Doug to expound on the rickety homebrew setup in his garage — the lecture will cover beer-making in the Centennial state from 1860 through the present day. Tickets, $25, are on sale now at Left Hand's website.
Thursday, March 29
If you make your own pickles and bake your own bread but there's still a hole in your culinary soul, try stretching your own mozzarella. On Thursday, March 29, The Art of Cheese, which teaches cheesemaking classes at Haystack Mountain Creamery, 505 Weaver Park Road in Longmont, is teaching a mozzarella, ricotta and burrata class from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The beginner-level class will teach you two mozz-making methods, a ricotta recipe and how to blend the two for burrata. You'll also get a glass of wine at the end of class — to either toast your success or wash the taste of poorly made cheese out of your mouth. Enroll for $49 at theartofcheese.com, where you can find a complete schedule of classes. Animal lovers, keep an eye out for events including this spring's baby goats.
Friday, March 30
Easter means interminable church services and overcooked ham with your parents. While we can't make Sunday morning more bearable, we can let you know about an event that will start the weekend off right: Englewood's Easter Egg Hunt for Adults. On Friday, March 30, businesses along South Broadway including Englewood Grand, The Whiskey Biscuit, and Brew on Broadway will encourage grownups to scramble about on their hands and knees clutching at plastic eggs. Liberal drink specials should aid the action (but don't drink so much it takes you three days to rise from the dead). Find out more on the event's Facebook page.
Keep reading for future food and drink events.
Saturday, March 31
Imagine that old stalwart The Dating Game was still on the air. Imagine you went on it and didn't end up on a date with a serial killer; instead, you went out with a nice boy or girl and had to brew a beer together the first time you met. In a nutshell, that's the premise of Collaboration Fest. The beer festival has spent the past five years teaming up breweries and seeing what maniacal brews come from the partnership. This year, the fun is moving to bigger digs at the Hyatt Regency Denver, 650 15th Street, where on Saturday, March 31, you'll be able to imbibe creations from nearly 100 teams of brewers. Our most anticipated collabs? Local favorites Our Mutual Friend and TRVE Brewing Co., and Renegade Brewing Co. and French brewery Brasserie du Baril. The event runs from 4 to 7 p.m., though VIP ticket holders get in at 3 p.m. Get your ticket before the fest sells out at the Collaboration Fest website.
Wednesday, April 4
Just because we live in landlocked Colorado doesn't mean we can't enjoy quality oysters — sadly, it just means they cost a lot more. But the High West Oyster Fest hosted by Jax Fish House on Wednesday, April 4, is a great deal for anyone who enjoys the slippery little suckers, as the ticket price of $45 entitles you to drinks, a half-dozen of Jax's proprietary Emersum oysters, and bites from ten of the top fish houses around town, including Fish N Beer, Tammen's Fish Market, Stoic & Genuine, Wewatta Point and Lola Coastal Mexican. And if you can put together a team of four bivalve-loving buddies, you can compete in the oyster-eating competition (start practicing: the record is 147 oysters in two minutes). This shucker starts at 6 p.m. at Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th Street. Visit any Jax Fish House to purchase tickets, or get them online at the restaurant's website.
Saturday, April 7
The chefs cooking at Chef's Table Colorado on Saturday, April 7, are Denver's best. Justin Brunson (Old Major), Elise Wiggins (Cattivella), Bill Minor (Il Porcellino), Goose Sorensen (Solera) and Zoe Deutsch (Hinman's Bakery) are just some of the talent showing up at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, 7711 East Academy Boulevard, from 6 to 9 p.m. to dazzle you with unlimited bites and beverages to raise funds for Denver Urban Scholars, which provides mentoring and academic support for high-performing low-income students from middle school through college. Get your ticket, $125, at chefstableco.com, where you can find a full roster of participating chefs.
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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 be donating 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.
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