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From Wine to Swine: Sixteen Tastiest Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

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Today is National Martini Day, and what better way to kick off your weekend than with a strong one (preferably very dirty, too)? Many restaurants and bars around Denver will be paying homage to the classic cocktail with special deals, including both Viewhouse locations, Tamayo, Stout Street Social, Humboldt and Zengo. Get yours, then raise a glass to a weekend full of culinary activities, from the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen to a Taste of Art in Boulder to a pig roast here in Denver.

Friday, June 19 

Outdoor cooking will be taken to its most elevated form as Aspen Snowmass hosts the Cochon Heritage Fire, making its debut as part of the Food & Wine Classic Weekend. Starting at 4 p.m., the event will showcase the culinary talents of over fifty local and national chefs, as well as farmers and butchers working together to spotlight traditional outdoor cooking techniques. Over 3,000 pounds of heritage breed animals — cow, pig, lamb and goat, as well as duck, chicken, lobster, oysters and heirloom vegetables —  will be spit-roasted or cooked over live wood fires. Tickets for the event are $105 and available at; find out more here

Here in Denver, The Lobby will be roasting some pig from 6:30 to 10 p.m. tonight. The second installment in its Adult Daycare series will feature CAUTION: Brewing Company and a buffet-style feast. Tickets for the roast are $40; get yours at

It's a bad day to be a pig but a great day for meat lovers. Main Street in Frisco will be the setting for the Colorado BBQ Challenge, with seventy teams competing  for a variety of awards. The gates will open at 11 a.m. and things will be cooking until 9 p.m. In addition to all the barbecue you can eat, there will be pig races, live music, chef demonstrations and more. The competition will continue into Saturday. For more information, visit

Best-selling Indian cookbook author Anupy Singla will host a hands-on cooking demonstration at Le Creuset from 3 to 4 p.m. today. Attendees will learn how to make healthy, authentic recipes from Anupy’s latest cookbook, Indian for Everyone. For more information, contact Le Creuset at 720-287-2181.  

As a part of National Flip Flop Day, all Tropical Smoothie Café locations will be offering a free, 24-ounce Jetty Punch smoothie to anyone wearing flip-flops from 2 to 7 p.m. The chain will also be collecting donations for Camp Sunshine, an organization that provides support and hope to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. For more information on Camp Sunshine, click here.

As a part of the Dairy Center for the Arts' A Taste of Art, the Artful Chef will challenge three chefs, who are each paired with a local artist, to prepare a dish and table setting that will win votes for taste and aesthetics. The fun starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Culinary Center at Sterling-Rice Group, 1801 13th Street in Boulder. Tickets are $45, and include free cocktails and small plates; find out more at

An over-the-top weekend of decadent drinks and gourmet grub awaits those who dive into the Food and Wine Classic in Aspen this weekend. The weekend will include tastings, wine and cocktail parties, dinners, classes, talks, pairings, a grand tasting and more. The events run through Sunday night. To check out the massive schedule and see what tickets are still available, head to   

Saturday, June 20

Chochon 555 will wrap up a ten-city, cross-country tour at the Viceroy Snowmass in Aspen. The Grand Cochon will pit the ten winning chefs from each stop against each other in a winner-take-all, head-to-tail culinary battle to crown the king or queen of porc. Each contestant will cook up an entire hog, from nose to tail, and over 2,000 pounds of heritage pork raised by American family farms will be served to a crowd of twenty celebrity chefs and 400 pork-loving epicureans. Tickets to this hog heaven are $150 for the 7:45 p.m. entry; $200 VIP tickets get you early admission at 7 p.m. For details, visit  

The Dairy Center for the Arts will open A Taste of Art Gallery today at 4 p.m. California artist Pat Willard’s solo show, The Secret Life of Fruits and Vegetables, will be on display in the In-Focus Gallery. The Polly Addison Exhibition Space and McMahon Gallery will also hold exhibits of “art related to food” by artists from around the country, and there will be displays of cakes decorated by Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. The opening event is free until 7 p.m.; at 7:30 p.m. the center will screen the documentary American Wine Story, followed by a wine and cheese tasting. Tickets to the film and tasting are $18 or $12 for Dairy Center members. For tickets and all the tasty details click here

Cap City Tavern will host a charity crawfish boil today benefiting the Children's Hospital Colorado. Tickets for the boil are $40 in advance and $50 at the door; the ticket price includes unlimited food and draft beer, live bluegrass music, and $1 off liquor and craft beer at the bar. For tickets and more information click here.   

Vegfest will be rolling into the Jefferson County Fairgrounds today and tomorrow, bringing with it speakers, cooking demonstrations by nationally acclaimed chefs and cookbook authors, food sampling, exhibitors, food trucks, movies, activities for the kids and more. The festival gets under way starting at 10:30 a.m.; tickets are $10 and can be purchased at

The Seasoned Chef Cooking School will let kids duke it out, culinary style, at the school's Chopped Jr. class from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today. As in the show, contestants — in this case ages eleven and up — use two mystery ingredients to cook up three dishes that will be judged by a panel of experts — as well as the audience. The class is $59 for each participant, and adults must be accompanied by a child; for more information, click here.    

The Boulder County Farmers' Market will be cooking this morning, and every subsequent Saturday morning for the rest of the farmers 'market season. The cooking demonstrations kick off at 10 a.m. with guest chef Kyle Mendenhall of The Kitchen. Mandenhall will be shopping the market for the freshest produce to create his seasonal dishes; for more information, click here

Sunday, June 21 

Settembre Cellars will be throwing a release party for its 2014 Rosato from 1 to 6 p.m. today. The winery will offer complimentary Rosato tastings all day and 10 percent discounts when you purchase three or more bottles of the wine. You can also purchase wine by the glass for $8 or by the flight for $10. For more information, visit

The BSide will hold a bluegrass brunch on its back patio today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with music by the Hummin' Birds. The music is free; brunch is not. For reservations and more information, call the restaurant at 303-474-4960. 

Hosted in the west lot of McGuckin Hardware in Boulder, BBQ, Brews and Blues is a great option for Father's Day, with outdoor cooking demonstrations by Escoffier, grilling and smoking demonstrations, fun food, great beer provided by Boulder Beer, and blues music featuring the Colorado Blues Society.

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

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