First Bite Boulder, stashes at Vesta and a slew of brews and classes this weekend

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Are you ready for the holiday madness? The end of the year always sneaks up on us -- much like those unwanted pounds we pack on at those holiday parties with incredible appetizers and decadent desserts. If you'd like to learn how to make some of those treats, you can take a class this weekend -- or have someone else cook for you by taking advantage of First Bite Boulder. Here's a taste of what's on the culinary calendar this weekend.

See also: Beer calendar: Get hopping with big cans, chefs and holiday brews; Party at the Punch Bowl's first anniversary celebration this week

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15 From 5 to 7 p.m. tonight, Marlowe's will hold a Flood Relief Fundraiser with a silent auction as well as beer from local brewers (New Belgium Brewery, Odell, Breckenridge Brewery, Oskar Blues and Coors), cocktails from three distilleries (Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey, Spring 44 Distilling and Leopold Brothers) and produce from local purveyors. Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey has also launched a special campaign to coincide with the fundraiser: For every additional "like" it receives on the Stranahan's Facebook page through today, Stranahan's will donate an additional $1 -- up to a total of $10,000. Admission is $15, and will be donated to the recovery fund for Larimer County. For more information, call Marlowe's at 303-595-3700.

Today marks the kick-off of the eighth annual First Bite Boulder. The restaurant week highlights forty of Boulder's top eating establishments, which will each offer a prix-fixe dinner menu that includes three courses for $26 per person. The founders of the event -- Josh Dinar of Dining Out Magazine and Kate Lacroix -- have also set up a link on the First Bite website for donations to Front Range Farm Relief, which benefits local farmers who lost their crops in the Colorado floods. For a full list of the participating restaurants and donation information, check out the First Bite website.

The Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care is hosting a harvest festival to celebrate fall produce, as well as raise funds for the Colorado Health Care Cooperative. The event will feature fall-inspired cuisine, such as pumpkin chili and squash soup, as well as a healthcare spelling bee, gourd bowling and a cake walk. The fun will run from 5 to 8 p.m. at 1750 Gilpin Street; admission is $10 per person and includes ten carnival tickets and a re-loadable King Soopers gift card worth $5.


From 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., Vesta Dipping Grill will host its ninth annual Mustache Fest, a fundraiser where you can rock the "stash" or "mo" for a good cause. The evening will include tunes and visuals from Bobby C Sound TV as well as sweet mustache temporary tattoos from StacheTats starting at 7 p.m. All donations and 10 percent of sales from the night go directly to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Learn tricks from the master at chef Frank Bonanno's holiday roasting and braising class, which will teach you how to properly prepare the holiday turkey or prime rib. This second helping of culinary lessons from the acclaimed restaurateur will run from noon to 2 p.m. at Mizuna. Tuition is $85, and includes appetizers, refreshments and a recipe to take home. Reserve a spot by calling Mizuna at 303-832-4778.

Pamela Zorn of Wine & Whey will be teaching eager students how to make cheese curds coated in New Glarus beer batter -- along with screen printed T-shirts! The deep-frying begins at 1:30 p.m. at 3559 Larimer Street; tickets are $35 and can be purchased here. Students are required to bring a plain T-shirt for printing.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17 TAG Burger Bar will be hosting bRUNch: a 5 or 10k run around Cheesman and City Park, followed by a specialty brunch. Check-in will begin at 9:15 a.m. at TAG; the run will start at 9:30 a.m. Tickets are $20 per person online, or $25 at the door.

The Colorado Brewers Guild will host a Thanksgiving Rendezvous at the Stapleton Tap House from 1 to p.m. This tasting event will feature specialty brews from nineteen different local breweries, including Backcountry Brewery, Blue Spruce Brewing Co. ,Bristol Brewing Co. and Caution Brewing. Tickets are $40 per person; buy them here.

For information on dozens of culinary events around town, visit our online Food & Drink listings -- and if you have information for a culinary event you'd like included in our online calendar, send it to cafe@westword.com.

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