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The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

To alcohol: the cause of — and solution to — all of life's problems.EXPAND
To alcohol: the cause of — and solution to — all of life's problems.
Danielle Lirette
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You have a big decision to make this weekend: Do you go to a beer festival dressed in a goofy costume or not? Consider your options as you peruse this list of six of the best food and drink events in Denver from Friday, January 26, through Monday, January 28.

Mile High Station is hosting Winter Brew Fest again this year.EXPAND
Mile High Station is hosting Winter Brew Fest again this year.
Danielle Lirette

Friday, January 26
Cambodian food is scarce in Denver — so scarce that you generally need to make it yourself if you have a craving. Learn how on Friday, January 26, when the Posner Center for International Development, 1031 33rd Street, will host a Cambodian cooking class starting at 6 p.m. You'll whip up chrourck (pickled veggies), num pang (a barbecue sandwich similar to bánh mì) and nom pum (coconut waffles) while sipping beer and cider. Instructor Virouth Cheng is the son of Khmer refugees and currently works for Yeak, Inc., which manufactures Cambodian-American hot sauces; he'll also award prizes for the prettiest plates of the night. It's a bargain at just $35 ($60 per couple), which will go toward Children's Future, an organization providing social and educational services to kids in Battambang, Cambodia. Secure your seat at the Cooks for Books website.

To paraphrase the USPS: Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night nor month of the year nor day of the week stays beer drinkers from the swift completion of their appointed pint. No matter the time of year, there's a beer fest happening somewhere in Colorado. On Friday, January 26, and Saturday, January 27, it's the Denver Winter Brew Fest. Mile High Station, 2027 West Colfax Avenue, hosts the bacchanal, which runs from 7 to 10 p.m. each day, with more than forty breweries in attendance. To plan your weekend, visit denverbrewfest.com for each day's participating brewers, then get your ticket, $40, at eventbrite.com (a VIP ticket for $50 will get you in at 6 p.m.). Now, get out there and do your duty!

Get your grog on at UllrGrass.
Get your grog on at UllrGrass.

Saturday, January 27
Be honest: A big reason you hit the farmers' market is for the samples. No one can get enough free chips and salsa, honey or freshly squeezed juice. On Saturday, January 27, hit up the year-round Four Seasons Farmers and Artisans Market, 7043 West 38th Avenue, for free breakfast. The early bird gets the pancake, as shoppers who show up between 8:30 and 10 a.m. can sample hotcakes made with a variety of grains (buckwheat, red winter wheat, white wheat and seven-grain mix), then buy a bag of their favorite flour. The flapjacks are free, but we can't be held responsible for the cost of any other treasure you might find that morning.

If you fancy yourself a modern-day Ragnar (or, better yet, Lagertha) Lothbrok, don't miss UllrGrass, where you can don your horned helmet to drink and pillage your way through Golden on Saturday, January 27. The beer festival takes place at Parfet Park, 701 10th Street, from 1 to 4 p.m., when thirty breweries and cideries will be pouring glorious grog. Beer fest tickets, $45, include live music on the park's main stage from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; access to all stages and the additional days of the festival range from $35 to $250 (Vikings know how to party, after all — UllrGrass runs from Friday, January 26, through Sunday, January 28). Get tickets, along with a complete schedule and band lineup, at ullrgrass.com.

Saturday, January 27, is forecast to be sunny with a high of 45 degrees (and if it's not, don't shoot the messenger). It should be the perfect Colorado winter day — and the perfect day for eating chili. Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street, is celebrating the chill with its inaugural Stanley Chili Cook-Off. Six businesses (including Comida, Rolling Smoke BBQ and Stanley Beer Hall) will vye for soup supremacy; from 4 to 8 p.m., you can sample the chilis, cast your vote and listen to some live music. Attendance is free, but chili samples will be $2 each or six for $10; find out more at Stanley's Facebook page.

Sunday, Janguary 28
Boulder's Settembre Cellars has been making and aging all-Colorado wines for a decade now (although its first bottle release wasn't until 2009), and on Sunday, January 28, the winery at 1501 Lee Hill Road will offer a cabernet sauvignon vertical tasting, which will include that very first 2007 cab. The tasting will focus on single-vineyard cabernets, offering six wines from four vintages and three vineyards; oenophiles will truly be able to taste the difference terroir can make. You can drop by the tasting room any time between 1 and 6 p.m., but if you call ahead to 303-532-1892 to reserve your spot, you'll pay just $20 instead of the $22 door price. It's a deal worth planning ahead for.

Speaking of planning ahead, keep reading for future food and drink events.

Lion dancers at last year's Chinese New Year celebration.
Lion dancers at last year's Chinese New Year celebration.
Courtesy of Nathan Yip Foundation

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.

Sliders at CineCHEF 2015.EXPAND
Sliders at CineCHEF 2015.
Westword file photo

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, 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.

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 apps 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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