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The Seven Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

Bistro Vendôme pays tribute to the legendary Julia Child on Monday.EXPAND
Bistro Vendôme pays tribute to the legendary Julia Child on Monday.
Scott Lentz
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It's the second week in January, and while your New Year's resolutions have probably already gone the way of the dodo, it's not to late to resolve to enjoy all that the Denver dining scene has to offer. Here are seven of the best food and drink events in town this week.

Monday, January 8
Ah, Monday: the unceremonious return to your cubicle and the harbinger of another five days of micromanagement. At least you can start off your week with a nice dinner and the inspiring tale of a woman who escaped her own soul-crushing job by buying up all the butter and cream in New York City and making every recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Bistro Vendôme's Monday Movie Nights return on January 8, with a screening of Julie and Julia at 8:15 p.m. accompanying a three-course dinner. Reserve your seat at the classier, French-ier version of Alamo Drafthouse, 1420 Larimer Street, by calling 303-825-3232.

Tuesday, January 9
For mountaineering enthusiasts, understanding avalanches could be a matter of survival. A matter of survival for many Coloradans? Having a craft beer in hand at all times. Combine your two passions at Gunbarrel Brewing Company's Science on Tap: Avalanche Science 101 on Tuesday, January 9. The brewery, at 7088 Winchester Circle in Boulder, will host Ethan Greene, director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, speaking about forces that cause avalanches and the mechanical properties of the powdery white stuff. Just make sure you have a thorough understanding of the principles of state-dependent learning before heading out into the backcountry. Details are on Gunbarrel's Facebook page.

Has it only been four years since The Post Brewing Co. came onto the scene? You'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise, given how rapidly outposts have spread across the Front Range and how rabidly fans flock to them. But it's true: The Post is just four, and on Tuesday, January 9, customers will reap the benefits of the brewpub's youth, when it celebrates its fourth anniversary with $4 beers, shots and apps, as well as a specially brewed Belgian quad. The party runs from 6 to 9 p.m. (late for a toddler) at 105 West Emma Street in Lafayette; find details on this four-year-old's party on the Post's Facebook page.

Element Kitchen & Cocktail wants the gluten-free to get their bar food fix on Wednesday.EXPAND
Element Kitchen & Cocktail wants the gluten-free to get their bar food fix on Wednesday.
Courtesy of Element Hospitality

Wednesday, January 10
It's hard out there for the gluten-free sports-bar lover. The beer, the mozzarella sticks, the deep-fried everything: They're a siren's song when you're whiling away the hours watching those giant screens. Element Kitchen & Cocktail, 1134 Broadway, feels the pain of those who have chosen the path of the GF, and wants to comfort you with its Gluten-Free Beer Dinner on Wednesday, January 10. Starting at 5 p.m., diners can enjoy a four-course dinner paired with gluten-free suds from Holidaily Brewing Co. There will be pulled pork with IPA, chicken and waffles with a red ale, and an oatmeal cream sandwich with stout — all guaranteed to satisfy your bar-food cravings without messing with your gut. See the whole menu and get more info at Element's Facebook page.

Thursday, January 11
It's never too late to up your adulting game, especially when it comes to party planning. While there's something carefree about those last-minute bashes you used to throw, there comes a time in everyone's life when the appeal of keg stands and half-empty bags of tortilla chips on the kitchen counter wanes just a bit. At least learn to give your guests something to dip the Doritos into with Seeds Library Cafe's Adultology: Sauces and Dips. The class runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 11, at Boulder's Main Library, 1001 Arapahoe Avenue, and is sure to result in an exponentially more sophisticated party experience. You may even find yourself buying real glasses. The event is free, but registration is required; sign up and find out about future Adultology happenings at boulderlibrary.org.

Nothing gets you through the coldest days of winter like whiskey. If you haven't been imbibing it in all its glorious forms over the holidays (bourbon in nog, rye in Manhattans and, oh yeah, Scotch on the rocks at your in-laws' politically charged Christmas dinner), it's not too late to get going. The Preservery, 3040 Blake Street, is starting the year off right with a month of whiskey tastings; the first happens on Thursday, January 11. For $35, drinkers get a cheese-and-charcuterie plate, a four-whiskey flight paired with steak four ways (or mushrooms — because whiskey is vegan, after all), and a surprise gift from the eatery. The drinking and dining run from 6:30 to 8 p.m.; get your ticket at eventbrite.com. Can't make it this week? Future installments occur on Thursday, January 18, and January 25. Find out more on the restaurant's Facebook page.

Friday, January 12
January usually isn't the time to see a show at Red Rocks, but that's changing this month with the introduction of Local Set Dinners. On Friday, January 12, music lovers and fans of the iconic amphitheater can hear a performance by Colorado bands Dynamic Distraction and Venture Still while enjoying apps, a complimentary cocktail, dinner and dessert. Afterward, a backstage tour will head behind the scenes to point out some of the notable performers who have graced the stage since 1941. The unique night out starts at 6:30 p.m., and (luckily) takes place inside the toasty warm Red Rocks Amphitheatre Visitors' Center, 18300 West Alameda Parkway in Morrison. Tickets ($53 including the tour, $45 without) are on sale now at redrocksonline.com.

Keep reading for food and drink events worth planning for...

Thursday, January 25
Host Padma Lakshmi might be the most recognizable face on Bravo's Top Chef, but we think Gail Simmons has the better job — she gets to eat (and judge) the food in a no-nonsense manner without having to deliver awkward sexual innuendo. After fifteen seasons on the show, Simmons recently penned Bringing It Home: Recipes From a Life of Adventurous Eating, and will be hosting a dinner at Frasca on Thursday, January 25, that showcases recipes from the cookbook. Diners will get a five-course dinner with wine pairings and an autographed copy of Bringing It Home for $160 (a veritable bargain at the Boulder restaurant); seatings start at 5 p.m. Call Frasca, 1738 Pearl Street, at 303-442-6966 to reserve your seat for a dinner with true foodie royalty.

Lion dancers at last year's Chinese New Year's celebration.
Lion dancers at last year's Chinese New Year's 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.

Sunday, February 18, and Monday, February 19
If you love cured meats — and we mean really, really love cured meats — you know who Brian Polcyn is. The George Clooney of salumi, James Beard Award nominee and author of Charcuterie and Salumi  is coming to Denver on Sunday, February 18, and Monday, February 19, to teach a two-day charcuterie and whole-animal butchery course. The class will be held at Il Porcellino, 4334 West 41st Avenue, starting at 9 a.m. both days. And while this course isn't for the casual learner (Polcyn will cover topics like European vs. American butchery and how to purchase and break down whole animals and still turn a profit) or the squeamish (a whole pig will be used for demonstration), it's a unique opportunity for chefs and serious hobbyists. See Polcyn's Facebook page for more details.

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.

If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to cafe@westword.com.

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