The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Sweet Cooie's and its big brother, Little Man Ice Cream, will host gingerbread-house parties this weekend.
Sweet Cooie's and its big brother, Little Man Ice Cream, will host gingerbread-house parties this weekend. Mark Antonation

This weekend, enjoy food and drink from around the world (and the galaxy), edible architecture, and beer, beer and more beer (there's a reason we keep typing "Decembeer" by accident). Here are six of the best food and drink events in Denver from Friday, December 15, through Sunday, December 17.

Friday, December 15

We know what you're doing Friday night: Like everyone else in the galaxy, you'll be lining up for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. And if you're seeing it at Denver Pavilions, there's only one place to get your drinks before the show: First Order Cantina. Lime, 500 16th Street, will be transformed into a Star Wars-themed bar for ten days starting at 4 p.m. Friday, December 15, and running through Sunday, December 24. Visit Lime's Facebook page for details — and while we prefer Chalmun's to First Order Cantina, it's one of the few places in town that serves a decent Hutt's Delight.

Join Museo de las Americas on Friday, December 16, for a crowd-sourced meal of epic proportions: Potluck of the Americas. The museum's Connectarte program aims to bridge cultures within the Americas through fashion, music, art and food on the third Friday of every month. This month (because holidays mean food in every corner of the planet), $10 will get you pupusas, empanadas, ponche (holiday punch) and more, plus an arepa-making demonstration. Feeling ambitious, or want to share one of abuela's recipes? Bring a dish from any Latin American country and get in for just $5. The potluck runs from 5 to 8 p.m. at the museum, 861 Santa Fe Drive, and you are required to RSVP. Call 303-571-4401 or email [email protected], or see the Museo's Facebook page for more info.

click to enlarge Decorate your gingerbread house with a wealth of candies from Sweet Cooie's. - MARK ANTONATION
Decorate your gingerbread house with a wealth of candies from Sweet Cooie's.
Mark Antonation
Saturday, December 16
It's time to dredge up your childhood dreams of being an architect or interior designer; the Gingerbread House Party is here to satisfy your own home design and decor ambitions on Saturday, December 16. From 1 to 3 p.m., Sweet Cooie's, 3506 East 12th Avenue, and Little Man Ice Cream, 2620 16th Street, will host the decorating do, with participants receiving a kit including the cookie abode, icing, candy and fondant; free ice cream and hot cocoa; and a raffle ticket for prizes including Never Summer snowboards. While this is technically a free event, don't be a Grinch; the recommended $15 donation will go to Habitat for Humanity to build structurally sound (i.e., not made of gingerbread) homes for low-income families. Visit for complete information and start drawing up those blueprints.

It's not too late to put up the aluminum pole, but if you haven't spent the year training for the Feats of Strength, it's going to be a long night. And while traditional Festivus dinner involves sipping from a flask while the patriarch of the family holds court with the Airing of Grievances and those around you look on soberly and disapprovingly, Denver Beer Festivus gives you the opportunity to celebrate the season with like-minded lushes. From 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 16 (3 to 7 p.m. if you have been preparing for the Feats of Strength and are ready to rain blows upon your nearest and dearest), join your real tribe at Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, 7711 East Academy Boulevard, for a bacchanal with over fifty Denver breweries. Tickets, $40 to $65, are on sale at It's a Festivus miracle!

How many ugly-Christmas-sweater parties have you been to this holiday season? Three? Four? We suppose you need to get your money's worth out of that scratchy acrylic eyesore you bought a few years ago, but this is a trend that is past its prime. So we have high hopes for Lucky Pie's Christmas Morning Pajama Party and Tap Invasion — which goes well beyond ugly sweaters, even if the name of the party is a little misleading. On Saturday, December 16 (not Christmas), from 6 to 9 p.m. (not morning), Odell Brewing will hijack the pizza joint's Louisville location, at 637 Front Street, and award a prize for the ugliest Christmas clothing (not pajamas). The best news? A silent auction benefiting Rainbow Alley, a community center for LGBTQ youth, will include some awesome beer and outdoor items — a cause worth digging out that tacky turtleneck or reindeer tie for.

Sunday, December 17
#Tacotrucksoneverycorner trended briefly in late 2016 (remember that?) but we prefer its lesser-known culinary corrollary: #tamalesoneveryChristmasEvetable. If you're new to making the stuffed and steamed delights or just want to get a group together to lighten the load, tune in to local cookbook author Yvette Marquez's tamalada (tamal-making party) on Facebook Live, Sunday, December 17, at noon. The author of Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor will give you her tips and tricks for creating the perfect assembly line of friends and family to churn out delicious tamales in time for Christmas, whether you opt for sweet or savory, corn husks or banana leaves, pork or vegan. Details are up on Marquez's Facebook page.

Keep reading for more food and drink events in the new year.

click to enlarge That's a big pour of a big beer. - SARAH COWELL
That's a big pour of a big beer.
Sarah Cowell
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 120 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 diehard beer geeks (or pros), seminars earlier that morning are included in the $75 ticket price. Visit for a complete schedule of events throughout the whole weekend, and start planning for a weekend getaway as epic as the fest itself.

click to enlarge Film-goers and foodies select bites at CINEChef 2016. - COURTESY OF BOULDER INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Film-goers and foodies select bites at CINEChef 2016.
Courtesy of Boulder International Film Festival
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 28, 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 $14 shake à la Pulp Fiction. Tickets, $95, are on sale now at 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 [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