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The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

Don't worry: Dinner at Urban Farmer won't be based on a basket of mystery ingredients.EXPAND
Don't worry: Dinner at Urban Farmer won't be based on a basket of mystery ingredients.
Danielle Lirette
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The culinary calendar is loaded with spicy wings, a Supreme Court justice, skiing and stout. Serve yourself at one of our six favorite food and drink events this week, and keep reading for more dates to remember.

Monday, January 29
Think you're tough? Prove it at Denver Deep Dish, 1200 West 38th Avenue, on Monday, January 29. From 7 to 9 p.m., the joint is holding a Spice Challenge with help from Flatiron Spice Co. For a $15 entry fee, you'll have the chance to polish off four chicken wings prepared with three different spice blends: hot (chipotle, ghost and habanero peppers), hotter (chipotle, jalapeño and scorpion chiles) and hottest (chipotle, ghost and Carolina Reaper peppers). Prizes will be awarded to the intrepid chile chompers who complete each level, and word on the street is there may be a fourth wing level with an as-yet-undisclosed, super-secret, super-hot spice rub. Call 720-619-3337 to sign up or go to DDD's Facebook page for more info — and get ready to defend your fiery rep.

Drink every time this guy opens his mouth.
Drink every time this guy opens his mouth.
Brandon Marshall

Tuesday, January 30
Donald Trump has certainly been a major factor in every American drink consumed between November 8, 2016, and this writing — every incomprehensible tweet and vulgar statement brings with it the urge to block it all out with just one more shot. Walter's 303 Pizzeria & Publick House, 1906 Pearl Street, is capitalizing on the zeitgeist with its Impeach Vodka and State of the Union Bingo on Tuesday, January 30. From 6 to 9 p.m., stop in for themed drinks with anti-Trump names like Peach Russian/The Influencer, Bankrupt Ass and Mor on Lago, and Bingo cards with categories like The Wall, Fake News, Obamacare and, of course, Hillary, while the Commander in Chief holds TV audiences (not to mention the entire nation) hostage with garbled sentences and really, really bad hair. It's official: Trump is why you drink.

Wednesday, January 31
On Wednesday, January 31, do something slightly more stimulating than drinking beer and scouring the Internet for escapist entertainment that's a step above Netflix originals (we're looking at you, Bright). Halfpenny Brewing, 5150 East Arapahoe Road, is hosting Arapahoe Library's monthly Books on Tap meeting at 7 p.m., and this month's tome is the fourth-wave feminist classic Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
There's no need to RSVP; just show up for drinks (including a new beer brewed specially for the meeting) and discussion of everyone's favorite Supreme Court justice. Visit arapahoelibraries.org for details and information about future meetings and February's book, The Poisoner's Handbook, which promises to be full of helpful guidelines for all sorts of situations.

STK's one-year anniversary will have you dancing on the tables, too.EXPAND
STK's one-year anniversary will have you dancing on the tables, too.
Danielle Lirette

Thursday, February 1
Chef Chris Starkus of Urban Farmer, 1659 Wazee Street, is teaming up with Portland chef and restaurant owner Stacey Givens to kick off the restaurant's first Chef in Residence dinner on Thursday, February 1. Starkus and Givens met when they competed on an episode of Chopped, where they first recognized their mutual passion for cooking while creating haute cuisine out of weird ingredients. Luckily, the tasting menu cooked up by the two chefs should be much more refined, and is being served at 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday for $85. Menu highlights include potato-wrapped sole with nasturtium capers and marigold oil, and tri-tip fried in tallow. To cap off the weekend, the two will host a Q&A brunch on Saturday, February 3, at 11 a.m. for just $29. Visit urbanfarmerdenver.com to make your reservation.

STK, 1550 Market Street, is celebrating its first anniversary on Thursday, February 1, by transforming from a clubby, neon-bathed "steakhouse" to an après-ski lodge perfect for snow bunnies to see and be seen. For $15.50, guests can enjoy an open bar from 7 to 9 p.m.; shot skis and an ice luge will also be available for those who want to maximize their drinking while minimizing their dignity. To find out more and score your ticket, visit the restaurant's Facebook page.

Friday, February 2
Technically, Mountain Sun's Stout Month started on the first of the month, but a school night is a less than optimal time to start a serious exploration of the black beer that will be taking over all five Sun locations for the month of February. So start your weekend off right on Friday, February 2, with a taproom visit to this longstanding local tradition celebrating its silver anniversary this year. Thirty Mountain Sun stouts will be on tap throughout the month, and suds from another 26 Colorado breweries will make appearances. That's a lot of beer to drink, so get started early with a few pints of everybody's favorite inky brew — and if stout isn't your preferred style yet, it's high time you got over your bias against dark beer. With offerings like Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Chocolate Milk Stout and Two-Alarm Cherry Chile Stout, you're sure to become a convert. To see the month's menu (plus a handy countdown), visit Mountain Sun's website

Planning ahead? Keep reading for future food and drink events.

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.

Up in smoke, indeed.EXPAND
Up in smoke, indeed.
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, 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.

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.

Master the fundamentals at Stir Cooking School.EXPAND
Master the fundamentals at Stir Cooking School.
Courtesy of Alana Watkins

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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