May is proscuitto di Parma month at Cattivella. Go hog wild.EXPAND
May is proscuitto di Parma month at Cattivella. Go hog wild.
Danielle Lirette

The Seven Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

This Saturday commemorates both the Battle of Puebla and the Run for the Roses, and is therefore destined to foster some legendary parties. See our list of epic benders dedicated to Derby Day and Cinco de Mayo, but if you're looking for something a bit tamer, a bit more subdued, keep reading for seven events from Friday, May 4, through Sunday, May 6, that won't involve chugging bourbon or wearing outlandish hats.

Le Creuset's Factory to Table Sale will have shapes and colors not usually available on the U.S. market.EXPAND
Le Creuset's Factory to Table Sale will have shapes and colors not usually available on the U.S. market.

Friday, May 4
Le Creuset's heavy, brightly hued cookware is undoubtedly aspirational: There's no point in owning it unless you've got some serious kitchen skills, and it's too expensive to buy just for looks. Steep discounts on the world's prettiest cast-iron cookware at Denver's first Factory to Table Sale kicked off yesterday and will continue through Sunday, May 6, when the National Western Complex, 4655 Humboldt Street, will be taken over by cooks and collectors. The Friday event is divided into shopping sessions throughout the day, and you still have a chance to shop a great selection at one of Friday's $10 early-entry sessions. Find out more and run — don't walk — to lecreuset.com to reserve your spot.

Saturday, May 5
Farmers' markets are just beginning to sprout around town, and while you won't find the full bounty of Colorado's farms quite yet, there will still plenty to throw your money at when Cherry Creek Fresh Market opens at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 5, in the parking lot on the southeast corner of First Avenue and University. Handmade soaps and lotions, early-morning coffee, jars of jewel-toned jam and loaves of freshly baked bread are always in season, and they'll be there in abundance. The market is open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October 27, and will be open Wednesdays from June through September; find the details on this and other markets at Colorado Fresh Markets' website.

If you'd rather do your food shopping inside this weekend, Marczyk Fine Foods is the place to be. The local grocery stores at 770 East 17th Avenue and 5100 East Colfax Avenue will be celebrating sixteen years of the brand with a storewide 16 percent discount, plus a whole-hog butchery demo by Jimmy the Butcher at the 17th Avenue shop and a whole tuna breakdown at the Colfax Avenue store. Chocolate, honey, cheese, coffee, ice cream and wine will also be sampled at both locations. Visit Marczyk's Facebook page for more info, and get started on your shopping list.

The ninth installment of a pizza chain opening in the suburbs isn't usually something we'd get too excited about — but this one comes with a screamingly good deal. From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., the newest Parry's Pizzeria & Bar, 2154 East Commons Avenue in Littleton, will be serving nine-cent beers. And we're not talking about Coors Light, either; Dogfish Head's SeaQuench Ale and 120 Minute IPA, New Belgium's Mural Agua Fresca Ale, Avery's IPA and Ska's Mexican Logger are the brews in question. Visit parryspizza.com for a full schedule of the day's events, including times and a pizza-eating contest (though our bellies are going to be so full of beer, we can't imagine fitting slices of pie into them).

Intrepid Sojourner Brewing is hosting a travel-inspired art show on Saturday, May 5.EXPAND
Intrepid Sojourner Brewing is hosting a travel-inspired art show on Saturday, May 5.
Jonathan Shikes

Need a little something to spice up the walls of your apartment? Need a beer? (The answer is, "Yes, always.") Combine the two most pressing needs in your life at Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project, 925 West Eighth Avenue, on Saturday, May 5. The brewery is hosting a show by online photography gallery Axe & Hammer (whose prints are categorized as "bold and vibrant," "subtly authentic" and "abstract and interesting") from 2 to 7 p.m. The art is surprisingly affordable — online prices start at just $100 — and a portion of the print and beer sales will go to the currently beleaguered National Park Service. Find out more on Facebook.

This isn't your mother's ham.EXPAND
This isn't your mother's ham.

Even if your dominant mental image of ham is that of your mom's dry, overcooked Easter variety, you shouldn't let that deter you from visiting Cattivella, 10195 East 29th Avenue, for a month of ham done right. May is prosciutto di Parma month at the restaurant, and each Saturday starting May 5, diners will be able to sample different ages of the famed pork product, as well as order from a special prosciutto tasting menu. The restaurant opens daily at 4 p.m. for dinner service; visit cattivelladenver.com to book your table — and, if you're feeling generous, take your mom so she can find out what a real ham should taste like.

Aquaponics systems rely on a symbiotic relationship between plants and fish.
Aquaponics systems rely on a symbiotic relationship between plants and fish.
Courtesy of Colorado Aquaponics

Sunday, May 6
If you can drag yourself out of bed on Sunday morning (chances are you had at least one mint julep or marg yesterday), your body is probably craving fresh veggies or some other healthy bullshit to cleanse your system and give your organs a break. While it won't provide immediate gratification, the Aquaponics Basics and Build class at The GrowHaus, 4751 York Street, can provide a foundation in designing and building a system that will let you grow your own food without having access to a traditional garden. The class runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 6, and covers system types, fish and plant health, farm-scale aquaponics, and building and maintenance workshops. Learn more and reserve your spot ($95) at the Aquaponic Source's website.

Keep reading for future food and drink events.

In addition to the bird, there will also be booze and boobs at Chicken Fight!EXPAND
In addition to the bird, there will also be booze and boobs at Chicken Fight!
Brandon Marshall

Thursday, May 24
The fight is on! No, it's not a cockfight (though there will certainly be some of that, especially after all the whiskey is consumed), it's Chicken Fight!, Denver's celebration of fried yardbird. From 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, the pecking order will be established as Birdcall, Injoi Korean Kitchen, the Post, Au Feu and more go head to head. River North Festival Grounds, 3715 Chestnut Place, will host the unlimited food-and-drink fest (so plan ahead, as the second-most hotly contested death match will be for parking); tickets will run you $69 to $125 at the Chicken Fight! website.

Brews and views are our favorite thing about Telluride.
Brews and views are our favorite thing about Telluride.
Courtesy of Telluride Blues and Brews Festival

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 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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