Ready, set, sizzle! You know that summer's in full swing when the sun beats down on the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, which kicks of its three-day crowd-burst tonight at 7 p.m. on Clayton Street, between Second and Third Avenues. The annual event draws throngs of grubniks and arty-farty types to booth after booth of visual and performing artist exhibits; Chinese yoga, tai chi and Zumba on Fillmore Plaza; and a cultural pavilion that will help kick off the 2010 Biennial of the Americas.
But while the title promises the "arts," this festival really delivers on food, with a culinary demonstration stage that this year will feature the kitchen spunk of Elise Wiggins (Panzano), Jeff Bolton (Second Home), Brendon Doyle (Jonesy's EatBar), Robert Diaz (Mezcal), Andrew Lubatty (Avenue Grill), students from the culinary curriculum at the Art Institute of Colorado, and the dynamic Denver FIVE - chefs Troy Guard (TAG), Tyler Wiard (Elway's Cherry Creek), Matt Selby (Vesta Dipping Grill and Steuben's), Jamey Fader (Lola and Big Red F Restaurant Group) and Brian Laird (Barolo Grill).
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Foodophiles can also fill their bellies along Culinary Avenue, a smorgasbord of 22 restaurants, sweet shops and caterers that includes Caribbean Cuisine, India House, Savory Saigon and Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill. It's the epicenter of "cuisines from around the world," says Carol Hiller, culinary manager for the festival. The festival is free -- although food and drink are not. For all the details, visit www.cherryarts.org. For information on dozens of culinary events around town, visit our online Food & Drink listings.