The Thirteen Tastiest Events on Denver's Culinary Calendar, December 2-4

There's still time to find a local, handcrafted gift for the special people in your life, and there are plenty of places to find them. A new apron could be perfect for the family chef, and a bottle of Colorado bubbly would look good under the tree. This weekend, you can browse the gigantic Denver Flea Holiday Market, sample the darkest of beers, watch the Broncos game or down some oysters and wine. Read on for the tastiest culinary events in town.

Friday, December 2

The iconic Sports Castle comes to life again when the Denver Flea's Holiday Market extravaganza begins tonight. At 5 p.m., the Flea will open with a bang with the Holiday Kickoff Party, where smart shoppers can get early access to local vendors, crafters and kitchens for the first chance at the perfect gift. The $30 ticket price includes unlimited beverages like New Belgium beer and holiday cocktails, live music and over 200 vendor booths to choose from. Get your tickets and learn the rest of the schedule at the Denver Flea's site.

Infinite Monkey Theorem is hosting an effervescent soiree to celebrate the release of its first Colorado-made sparkling wine tonight. This could be your best chance to snag a bottle of the limited-release wine, while also sampling $2 oysters from Marczyk Fine Foods. The party also features a live-art demo by Rob Bell and sounds from resident DJ Ejay. The fun runs from 5 to 10 p.m.; take a look at IMT's site for information.

Wassail Days is the signature festival of Frisco, and the ladling begins in earnest tonight. At least twelve types of the old-fashioned cider will be served around town, and you can get your 12 Sips of Wassail card punched by visiting every station; a full card earns you a commemorative mug. And that's not all: Visitors can enter the ugly-sweater contest, taste the best of the competition at the Soup Cup Classic competition on Sunday, and much more. For a list of wassail-serving local shops and events throughout this month's festival, visit the Town of Frisco's official site.

In Colorado Springs, a holiday tradition returns bigger and better than ever. The Holiday Chocolate Festival kicks off today in its new digs at the Mortgage Solutions Financial Expo Center. Thousands of chocolate fanatics will flock there for samples of chocolatey treats, chocolate cocktails, chocolate gifts and more. Nationally renowned chocolatiers will be in attendance, roving entertainment will be provided by the Original Dickens Carolers, and there will be kids' activities like a massive model train and human hamster balls, plus an appearance by Santa. The festival runs today from 4 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, December 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5, and tickets for samples are $10 for a dozen. See the lineup of tasty treats and vendors at the Chocolate Festival site.

Read on for more culinary events happening this weekend.
Saturday, December 3

The stouts, porters and ales come marching in for the fifth annual Metro Caring Parade of Darks beerfest tonight at the Tivoli Turnhalle on the Auraria campus. Dozens of local and national brewers are contributing dark beers in a variety of styles and varieties to sample, over sixty in total. The event will also feature gourmet chocolates and a silent auction, with proceeds going to benefit Metro Caring's mission to fight hunger. Tickets start at $45; find out what beers and breweries will be in attendance at Metro Caring's event site.

Sugarmill is letting you and the family take on dessert duty with a series of gingerbread-house parties. The restaurant's kitchen crew will give budding gingerbread architects the tools and tips to create the perfect mini-holiday home. Kids will enjoy hot chocolate and snacks while adults can kick back with champagne and hors d'oeuvre. The workshops are offered today and tomorrow from 3 to 5 p.m. Call the restaurant at 303-297-3540 to reserve your spot; reservations are $74 for one adult and one child, with gingerbread, gingerbread accessories, drinks and snacks included.

Wheat Ridge's year-round farmers' market, the Four Seasons Market, will include a Holiday Craft Show to help you stuff stockings with handmade gifts. Today from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., local crafters and artisans will be selling wares ranging from food to clothing to hand-picked gift baskets. The market is part of the Wheat Ridge Holiday Celebration, which runs from 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 3, and includes the city's official tree-lighting, horse-drawn carriage rides and reindeer, live music, food and vendors, an appearance from Mr. and Mrs. Claus and more. Visit the Four Seasons Market site for more details.

L.A.-based cook-accoutrement boutique Hedley & Bennett will set up a pop-up shop in the Source today, hocking handcrafted holiday gifts for the home chef. Shoppers can browse its selection of aprons, chef coats and more, plus enjoy a 20 percent discount and the return of Acorn chef Bill Espiricueta's barbecue lunch. The goods are on sale today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and barbecue will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m on Sunday (and also returning Sunday, December 18). Check out the menu at the Facebook event page and visit the Source's site for more details.
El Chingon is commemorating three years on Tennyson Street with — what else? — a rocking party. Come and sample the eatery's Mexico City-style cuisine for the first or the 100th time, and enjoy giveaways of Colorado Native beer and Azunia Tequila, plus the sounds of DJ Big Styles. The party starts with brunch at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, December 10, and really gets going with live entertainment from 7 p.m. until close. Check out the El Chingon Facebook page for more info.

Boulder County Farmers' Markets is bringing back its Winter Market this weekend, with fresh local goods and gifts. Today and tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont, snap up eggs, produce, coffee and a lot more from local farmer, and look for handmade goods and art to round out your holiday shopping. There will also be kids' activities, live music, vendor workshops and more holiday goodness, plus the Sunday market will feature a new beer garden with the Broncos game on display. Admission is free; take a look at the vendor list and entertainment lineup at the BCFM site.

The City of Aurora is helping hone the cooking skills of small chefs with its Parents and Tots Festive Holidays cooking class. Kids from three to six years old can learn how to whip up simple dishes like cinnamon-baked apples with oats and pita Christmas trees with avocado hummus for the holiday table. Classes are $38 or $29 for Aurora residents, and class takes place from 1 to 2:30 p.m today and again Wednesday December 7, at the Expo Recreation Center. Register online at Aurora's cooking class page.

Sunday, December 4      

Seedstock Brewery on West Colfax Avenue is hosting a watch party for today's Broncos-versus-Jaguars game, plus a chili cook-off. Bring a crockpot creation to share or just sample the goods; you and your fellow tasters will crown the winner. Admission is free, and the party starts at 11 a.m.; read more and RSVP at Seedstock's Facebook event page

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse and Avery Brewing are teaming up for a beer dinner tonight. The four-course meal will pair hearty surf-and-turf fare with specially selected seasonal beers. The cost is $75 per person; make your reservation by calling 303-796–0100.

For more Food & Drink events, go to our online calendar. If you know of an event that should be included in that calendar, send information to [email protected]
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Chris Utterback
Contact: Chris Utterback