Tonight: FIVE dinner at Il Mondo Vecchio

Tonight, at 5 p.m., the crew of FIVE, a bumper crop of local chefs who cook their hearts out in Denver, at the James Beard House in New York and at the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, are gathering at Il Mondo Vecchio for their second collaborative dinner of the year. And at the bargain-basement price of $30 per person, it's a great deal that you shouldn't pass up, especially if you've been lusting after hot dogs with foie gras -- just one of several dishes that's on tonight's board.

"With the occasional strippers walking by to go to work at the place formerly known as the Paper Tiger, they'll be plenty of wicked mint coolness tonight," quips Mark DeNittis, the head sausage slayer of Il Mondo Vecchio, who plans to demo a porchetta di testa at tonight's event, of which 20 percent of the proceeds will benefit Colorado ProStart.

"I get to peel the face off of a locally raised hogs' head -- much better to do that among friends, rather than strangers -- and then show how the dish is made," adds DeNittis, who will be joined by comrades Brandon Biederman (Steuben's); Paul Reilly (Encore); Jamey Fader (Lola); Troy Guard (TAG and TAG|RAW BAR); Enrique Socarras (Cuba Cuba); Matt Selby (Steuben's and Vesta Dipping Grill); and master mixologist Bryan Dayton (Oak at Fourteenth), who will pour a lardo-washed whiskey cocktail, along with Colorado microbrews.

The full menu, which also includes duck confit tacos with chayote slaw and white bean refritos, is on the next page (read it and weep).

Il Mondo Vecchio - Salumi DeNittis

Spit-roasted Northern Colorado hogs' head porchetta with house-made giardiniera

IMV salumi cones

Encore - Paul Riley Caponata crostini with goats' milk ricotta, Valrhona cocoa and celery leaf

Cuba Cuba - Enrique Soccares Conch escabeche in tomato water with malanga chips and micro arugula

Steuben's - Brandon Biederman Chicago-style foie gras dog

TAG - Troy Guard Lau lau -- pork butt, butterfish, pork fat and Hawaiian red salt wrapped in leaves and served with lomi lomi chile pepper salsa

Vesta - Matt Selby Vesta chocolate bar with mascarpone ice cream and crème anglaise

For tickets, call 303-744-6328, or just show up at the door ready to eat -- and drink -- till you drop.

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