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The Five Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Lola's award-winning margaritas are the perfect way to celebrate National Margarita Day.
Lola's award-winning margaritas are the perfect way to celebrate National Margarita Day. Danielle Lirette

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click to enlarge Sweet Action Ice Cream is bringing the sweet stuff to SAME Cafe's gala fundraiser. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Sweet Action Ice Cream is bringing the sweet stuff to SAME Cafe's gala fundraiser.
Linnea Covington
Thursday, March 7
SAME Cafe has been serving up healthy and hearty meals — as well as making national headlines — for more than a decade now, and the pay-what-you-can eatery is now getting wheels. On Thursday, March 7, the nonprofit restaurant's SAME Food Truck will make its debut alongside bites and booze from Snooze, Cirque Kitchen and Spirits, the Inventing Room, Renegade Brewing Company, Sweet Action Ice Cream and Biju's Little Curry Shop at the second annual So All May Eat Gala at the McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue. From 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., guests will nip and nibble from great restaurants around Denver; food-justice activist and founder of D.C. Central Kitchen and L.A. Kitchen Robert Egger will also give a presentation. Tickets are currently on sale for $75 on Eventbrite, though in keeping with SAME's mission, pay-what-you-can and volunteer exchange tickets are also available; find out more on the cafe's website.

click to enlarge Collaboration Fest gets bigger and better with every passing year. - NIKKI RAE PHOTOGRAPHY
Collaboration Fest gets bigger and better with every passing year.
Nikki Rae Photography
Saturday, March 16
The sixth annual Collaboration Fest is drawing near, and even if the festival wasn't on your radar six months ago, when tickets first went on sale, it should be now. Because two (or more) breweries team up to brew each beer, each of the brews on tap is a result of the experience, style and approach of separate teams, resulting in almost 120 beers you'll never see or taste anywhere else. Tickets for the Saturday, March 16, event are (still) on sale on Collaboration Fest's website for $65 or $85; pouring commences at 3 and lasts until 6 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Denver, 650 15th Street. Our most anticipated collabs? Colorado breweries Paradox Beer Co. and Purpose Brewing; Belgian-style brewers Bruz Beers and the Thirsty Monk; and TRVE Brewing and Denver's Family Jones distillery.
click to enlarge This quiet corner at Rioja belies the wildness on the menu this March. - SCOTT LENTZ
This quiet corner at Rioja belies the wildness on the menu this March.
Scott Lentz
Monday, March 18 through Wednesday, March 20
Take a walk on the wild side at Rioja this spring at the Mediterranean restaurant's Wild and Wine dinners. From Monday, March 18, through Wednesday, March 20, the eatery at 1431 Larimer Street will offer an off-the-beaten-path five-course dinner highlighting unusual proteins like venison (not so strange), boar, snake, alligator and ostrich (completely bizarre — that neck!). Unfiltered, natural and wild-yeast fermented wines will accompany the dishes. Tickets ($80 without wine, $110 with) are for sale on Rioja's website; choose from 5:30 or 7:45 p.m. seatings.

click to enlarge Learn to ham it up like a pro at Stir Cooking School. - FLICKR/THEDELICIOUSLIFE
Learn to ham it up like a pro at Stir Cooking School.
Sunday, May 19 and Monday, May 20
Chefs and aspiring charcutiers will want to plan ahead for a Denver visit from the maestro of meat, Brian Polcyn, who will lead a butchery course next spring at Stir Cooking School, 3215 Zuni Street. Polcyn and author Michael Ruhlman will spend two days teaching students how to break down hogs using both USDA and European seam butchery techniques; how to work charcuterie into menus; and how to properly dry-cure and smoke cured meats. Recipes for pâté, fresh sausage and offal will be provided, as well as a copy of one of the duo's books (their third title, Pâté, Confit, Rillette, will be released May 19), a private cocktail hour and dinner with the pair. Tickets are $800 and are on sale now at Eventbrite.

If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to [email protected].
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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