Things to Do

The Eight Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

You'll get fancy fries and street service at the season's final Truck Stop.
You'll get fancy fries and street service at the season's final Truck Stop. Brandon Marshall
This weekend is all about good food, good drinks and good music, as Saturday boasts a quartet of food and music festivals, one of which is sure to entice you no matter what your palate for tastes or tunes. But if that doesn't appeal to you, there are also sweet treats, a quiet wine dinner, cooking classes with flowers and an open-air sausage fest. Here are eight great events from Friday, August 9, to Sunday, August 11, with even more to plan for during the rest of summer.

click to enlarge Guard and Grace wants to whisk you away to the coast this weekend. - COURTESY TAG RESTAURANT GROUP
Guard and Grace wants to whisk you away to the coast this weekend.
Courtesy TAG Restaurant Group
Friday, August 9
Even if the temperatures on Friday, August 9, aren't sky-high (and they are forecast to be in the 90s), it's still Friday — and you're going to need a pick-me-up to make it through Friday afternoon in your cubicle. Downtown desk jockeys will want to make a detour past the Sheraton Denver Downtown, 1550 Court Place, for an ice-cold sweet treat between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. The hotel is raising money for Children's Hospital Colorado, and just a $3 donation will get you a root beer float (either a classic or cookies-and-cream variety) or milk and cookies.

Guard and Grace, 1801 California Street, is whisking you away to the West Coast at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, August 9, for a wine dinner with drinks from wineries Revana Family Vineyards (California) and Alexana Winery (Oregon). But while the wines are all left coast, chef Troy Guard and company are utilizing plenty of seasonal and local ingredients in their luxe five-course dinner: crab with sweet-corn velouté, squash blossoms and adorable patty pan squash; grilled Palisade peaches with honeycomb and black truffles; and sturgeon with caviar sided by foraged mushrooms, for starters. Visit the steakhouse's Facebook page to see the entire menu and nab tickets ($150).

click to enlarge Everybody and their dog will be at the last Truck Stop Rally. - BRANDON MARSHALL
Everybody and their dog will be at the last Truck Stop Rally.
Brandon Marshall
Saturday, August 10
Chef Alon Shaya set Denver abuzz with the opening of his Israeli restaurant Safta last year — and now he's bringing another far-flung tradition to Colorado with Bacchanal x Denver. For Saturday, August 10, and Sunday, August 11, the original Source parking lot at 3300 Brighton Boulevard will be transformed into a Mile High version of the Big Easy's celebrated wine shop/cafe/all-day party Bacchanal Wine. Starting at 11 a.m., guests can expect live jazz performances, extravagant charcuterie and cheese boards, more than 25 Old World wines, and fire-roasted dishes like broccolini with tahini and Manchego, and skirt steak with labneh, fried yuca and peach chimichurri. Entry is $15, with food and wine for sale inside, but bring your credit card: The event is cash-less. In keeping with Bacchanal's garden vibe, seating will be casual, colorful and communal, making you feel as though you're relaxing at a friend's backyard party — a custom that's always in style, no matter where you're from. Find out more and nab tickets on Safta's Facebook page.

The summer's final Truck Stop food-truck gathering kicks off on Saturday, August 10, and runs for two days. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, vehicles slinging hot dogs, sushi, gyros, dumplings, ice cream and more will take over the intersection at 42nd and Wynkoop streets (recently dubbed Wynkoop Alley). There's no cover, but there will be music stages (two of them on Saturday, with bands performing all day), drinks and plenty of curb seating for people wanting to enjoy the summer vibes at a neighborhood block party. Visit Truck Stop's website to find the list of participating food trucks and location details.

It's hard to be depressed when you're drinking great craft beer in sunny Colorado, but on Saturday, August 10, the blues and the brews will go hand-in-hand at Swallow Hill Music's Blues and Brews festival. South Pearl Street at East Louisiana Avenue will be the site of nonstop music from 2 to 10 p.m.; doors open at 1 p.m., when you'll get your pick of beverages from ten local breweries, including Black Project, Stem Ciders, Tivoli, Platt Park and Dos Luces. Entry is just $10, with beer tickets available for purchase inside, though you can save a few bucks (and your valuable time) by purchasing in advance on Swallow Hill's website, where you'll also find complete band and brewery lineups.

Good-looking food is (almost) as important as good-tasting food, and using flowers in your culinary endeavors can help you achieve both goals. On Saturday, August 10, Mossflower and the She Grows Flower Farm are teaming up to teach a Cooking With Flowers class at Arvada's She Grows, where participants will get a tour of the blooming fields as well as instruction on how to incorporate blooms into cocktails, compound butter, paella and olive oil cake. Sign up for the $115 class and you'll also get to eat the fruits of your labor as well as take home a selection of edible flowers. Sign up for the 4 p.m. class on Mossflower's website; the address will be provided to students once they register.

click to enlarge Balistreri Vineyards wine will be on tap at Saturday's Live at the Vineyards benefit for KUVO radio. - KRISTA KAFER
Balistreri Vineyards wine will be on tap at Saturday's Live at the Vineyards benefit for KUVO radio.
Krista Kafer
Public radio station KUVO is hosting its annual fundraiser, Live at the Vineyards, on Saturday, August 10, and while the jazz station's party will obviously have great live tunes, the bites at the bash will appeal to you even if you don't know much about America's homegrown music. Even the featured band's name — Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers — points to the priorities. There will be ’cue on hand (from Nel's and Smokin' Yard's) along with tacos from Adelitas, Que Bueno Suerte and Carrera's; mussels in rasam (spicy tamarind) broth from Nocturne; pimento cheese and pork belly confit flatbread from Dunbar; vegan dishes from Migration Taco and Comal; and much more. There will also be wine tastings from Balistreri Vineyards, which is hosting the event at 1946 East 66th Avenue at 6:30 p.m., plus a silent auction. Visit KUVO's website for a full roster of participating restaurants and to purchase your tickets, which run from $100 to $125.

click to enlarge The aroma of roasting meat will be as impressive as the views at Acreage on August 11. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
The aroma of roasting meat will be as impressive as the views at Acreage on August 11.
Danielle Lirette
Sunday, August 11
If you missed June's Heritage Fire event in Snowmass, you've got a mulligan, because on Sunday, August 11, the organizer, Cochon555, is hosting an encore presentation at Stem Ciders' Acreage, 1380 Horizon Drive in Lafayette. Whether it was the timing of the event or the your inability to get mountain lodging during Aspen Food & Wine that derailed your desire to feast on whole beasts roasted over open flame, you've got a second chance to enjoy expansive views and delicious food, wine and craft beer from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Tickets ($150 to $200) are on sale now on Cochon's website, where you'll find over twenty participating chefs from around the state. Our only beef with the event? Although it's a 200 percent improvement on the all-male lineup that at the June event, just two of Colorado's many skillful female chefs are on the roster.

Keep reading for future food and drink events.
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Amy Antonation knows that street tacos are infinitely superior to tacos that come covered in squiggles of crema, and she will stab you with her knitting needles if you try to convince her otherwise.
Contact: Amy Antonation