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The Five Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Black Shirt Brewing will pay tribute to some of the late, great musicians we lost in 2017.EXPAND
Black Shirt Brewing will pay tribute to some of the late, great musicians we lost in 2017.
Courtesy of Black Shirt Brewing

Beer, Benedicts, buffoonery and backrubs are on the menu this weekend, so beat a path to any of these businesses below for bacchanals and blowouts. Here are our five favorite events on the culinary calendar from Friday, January 5, through Sunday, January 7.

Now you'll be able to get the Preservery's brunch six days a week.EXPAND
Now you'll be able to get the Preservery's brunch six days a week.
Courtesy of The Preservery

Friday, January 5
With brunch lines snaking down every city sidewalk for miles on weekends, it's amazing more eateries don't serve weekday brunch to meet Denver diners' insatiable demands for bottomless mimosas and anything constructed out of French toast. But the Preservery, 3040 Blake Street, has figured out what a cash cow steak and eggs can be, and will be serving the in-between meal six days a week starting Tuesday, January 9. And on Friday, January 5, you can get a sneak preview of the new brunch menu from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. So round up a bunch of comrades, call in sick and start your day drinking early — because every time a restaurant serves brunch, an angel gets its wings.

Love him or hate him, Guy Fieri continues to inspire strong emotions as he crosses the country shoving oversized burgers into his gaping maw (guess which side we're on?). And last September, Fieri hit Samples, at 370 Main Street in Longmont, for a poutine burger and Korean barbecue sandwich. That episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives will air at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 5, and the beer bar and eatery will hold a viewing party to celebrate. Not a Fieri fan? Go anyway: Samples has a fantastic beer list, and part of its mission is to employ physically and intellectually challenged people in Boulder County at a living wage, providing benefits and paid time off. Get some good food (c'mon — poutine burger!), drink some good beer and have a good old-fashioned party. Find out more and reserve your spot at the Samples Facebook page.

Big beers will be on tap for big, big beer geeks this weekend.
Big beers will be on tap for big, big beer geeks this weekend.
Jonathan Shikes

Saturday, January 6
If you only go to one beer festival in 2018, make it the Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines festival on Saturday, January 6. Yes, it's only six days into the year, but we guarantee there won't be any better event for fans of dark, sweet, spicy, malty, high-alcohol beers in the state. Over 150 breweries (Dogfish Head, Paradox, Duvel and Jester King among them) will be pouring suds from 2:30 to 6 p.m. at the Beaver Run Conference Center, 620 Village Road in Breckenridge, and for die-hard beer geeks (or pros), seminars earlier that morning are included in the $75 ticket price. Visit bigbeersfestival.com, where tickets are still available and you can find a complete schedule of events.

Black Shirt Brewing will pay tribute to some of the late, great musicians we lost in 2017.EXPAND
Black Shirt Brewing will pay tribute to some of the late, great musicians we lost in 2017.
Courtesy of Black Shirt Brewing

Fans of Black Shirt Brewing, 3719 Walnut Street, won't want to miss the can release of Fourtrack Porter on Saturday, January 6. When the brewery doors open at 11 a.m., you'll be able to obtain the beer in cans for the first time; stick around until 7 p.m. and you'll be treated to Gone But Not Forgotten, a tribute to musicians who shuffled off this mortal coil in 2017. Tom Petty, Gregg Allman, Malcolm Young and Chuck Berry are sure to make appearances in the set list, and if you're lucky, you'll also hear ditties from Fats Domino, Mel Tillis and Chris Cornell. Brace yourself for an epic night — because after eight hours of drinking beer, you're sure to belt out every tune with the fervor of a patriotic Irishman twelve Guinnesses down. More info is up at Black Shirt's Facebook page.

Be this guy at Seedstock Brewery on Sunday.EXPAND
Be this guy at Seedstock Brewery on Sunday.

Sunday, January 7
You go to the brewery to have a refreshing beverage and relax — but what if that double IPA isn't relaxing enough? What if, while sipping craft beer and watching dudes play cornhole on the patio, you find yourself overwhelmed by anxiety about the state of the world/that one Carrie Fisher scene in The Last Jedi/where to get tacos that night? Lay your worries to rest — at least if you're at Seedstock Brewery, 3610 West Colfax Avenue, on Sunday, January 7. From 5 to 9 p.m., massage therapists will be on hand to help you loosen up; for a buck per minute, healing hands will rolf your troubles away. And if you spring for a ten-minute massage, your beer will be half-price. Between the backrub and the brews, there's no reason to end the weekend in knots.

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.

Meats and sausages curing at Il Porcellino.
Meats and sausages curing at Il Porcellino.
Mark Antonation

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.

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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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