The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Union Station Farmers' Market opens this Saturday — with a special treat for moms.
Union Station Farmers' Market opens this Saturday — with a special treat for moms. Linnea Covington

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[email protected] can make even carrots look special.
Danielle Lirette
Tuesday, May 14
Chef/owner Jeff Osaka's [email protected], 1160 Madison Street, is putting its money where its mouth is on Tuesday, May 14, with the inaugural Seasonal Charitable Dinner. The twelve-course meal will make use of traditional spring ingredients (baby root veggies, shell beans, rabbit) while donating a full 100 percent of the proceeds to the Gathering Place, a day shelter providing meals, counseling and job, education and financial support to women, children and trans folks. Seating is extremely limited — just 28 seats — so email [email protected] to reserve your spot for $150, with optional beverage pairings for $75. More info is up on the restaurant's Facebook page.

Saturday, May 18
Think your barbecue can stand up to the pros? If you think you know your back fat from your Boston butt, sign up to compete in the Proud Souls Barbecue & Provisions' Backyard BBQ Rib Competition on Saturday, May 18. From noon to 8 p.m., the Gothic Theatre, 3263 South Broadway in Englewood, will host aspiring pit masters; barbecue demos from pros around town (Bill Espiricueta of Smok on wings, Jason Ganahl of GQue cooking up a delicate lobster tail and Tony Roberts of Proud Souls on brisket); a beer garden; food for sale from GQue and Sugarfire Smoke House; and a concert by Slim Cessna's Auto Club. While admission to the event is free, tickets for the concert will run you $20 on the Proud Souls Facebook page, and if you're interested in putting your ribs up against the competition, sign up on the shop's website or stop by the storefront at 2485 Federal Boulevard to sign up.

If you didn't enroll in author Michael Ruhlman and chef Brian Polcyn's Praise the Lard! two-day butchery class happening this week, fret not: You still have a chance to benefit from their passion for pork. On Saturday, May 18, Julep, 3258 Larimer Street, is the site of the duo's Praise the Lard! dinner. Chef Kyle Foster will join the two in the kitchen, turning out six swine-y courses that put their butchering, curing and smoking skills on display. Tickets are $122.90 on Eventbrite (including tax and tip) for the 7 p.m. homage to the hog.

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Us, too, girls. Us, too.
Jake Cox
Thursday, June 27
Nobody loves tacos more than us — but can you eat $135 worth of them? If you can't, it's not for lack of opportunity at this year's Top Taco. The annual competition takes place on Thursday, June 27, at Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street in Aurora, when over fifty restaurants around town will go head to head to see who can serve the best iteration of the classic Mexican street food. There will be tacos for all tastes: street-style (Cilantro & Perejil, Adelitas, Las Delicias), crowd-pleasers (Uno Mas, Tacos Tequila Whiskey, Los Chingones) and WTF (Tupelo Honey, Syrup). Not only will tacos fill your tummy, but tequila and margs are also on tap. Still don't think you can stuff over a hundred bucks worth of food in your estómago? Not to worry: GA tickets start at $75 on the event website.
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Tacos before bros.
Danielle Lirette
Saturday, August 17
Tacolandia returns to Civic Center Park, Broadway and Colfax Avenue, for a fourth year on Saturday, August 17, celebrating food, art, music and culture. Join us in honoring that great Mexican invention, the taco, in its many forms as presented by the city's top cantinas, taquerias and food trucks. Tickets, $25 for general admission or $55 for VIP, are now on sale at

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