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Mister Tuna’s winter igloo pop-up. Image courtesy of Bullfrog & Baum

11 Fantastic Foodie Events Not to Miss in January

Dine in a climate-controlled igloo in the heart of the city, blind-taste your way through more than half-a-dozen beers, master the art of bread making, and much more.

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Enter the “Top Snarf” Best Sandwich Recipe Competition | Now-February 15

This inaugural competition invites sandwich enthusiasts to submit their most inventive between-bread recipes to earn the status of having created Snarf’s best new sandwich. If yours is picked as one of the three finalists, you’ll attend a live judging event in March where Snarf founder Jimmy Seidel will prepare your masterpiece and evaluate it on taste, creativity, ingredient pairing, and visual appeal. The winner will be bestowed with free Snarf sandwiches for a year (!), and his or her creation will also be featured on the eatery’s “secret” menu. Free; submit your entry here

Mister Tuna Private Igloo Dinner | Now-March 31

Dine under the stars without risking hypothermia at this limited-time, wintry RiNo pop-up. Whether you choose to enjoy a prix-fixe, multi-course meal paired with drinks or opt to order á la carte, you can enjoy fresh, seasonal cuisine in the comfort of a heated “igloo” (read: a tent that looks like the ice dwelling) right outside Mister Tuna on Brighton Boulevard. Six to eight seats are available for each meal, and though the menu will rotate, you can expect appearances from the restaurant’s most popular dishes, such as the tuna-topped Mister Tuna toast, as well as spontaneous culinary creations from chefs Troy Guard and Tristen Epps. Tickets are $55-$95; times vary. 3033 Brighton Blvd.

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Kentucky Whiskey Month at the West End Tavern | January 1-31

Boulder’s West End Tavern is offering specials—like half-off Basil Hayden’s whiskey—throughout the month of January to celebrate the wares of Kentucky’s best distilleries. The celebration culminates in the finale event, Whiskey Smash Up, on January 29, which will feature blind tastings of Kentucky and Colorado-distilled whiskeys alongside food pairings by West End Tavern’s chef, Jeff Whitney. Tickets for the Whiskey Smash Up are $50 and can be purchased here; 926 Pearl St., Boulder         

The Grain Lady Winter Workshops | January 13, 26, 27

Learn about the benefits of heritage grains from bread aficionado Mona Esposito—also known as the Grain Lady—at one of these intensive, hands-on workshops. Topics include bread- and ramen noodle-making and guests will be able to take home the fruits, ahem, carbs, of their labors. $100-$375; January 13, 3-5 p.m.; January 26, noon-6 p.m.; January 27, 3-5 p.m., multiple locations

The Whiskey Summit Whiskey Education Series at Bird & Jim | January 16

Have your whiskey and learn about it too at the first event in this educational series at Estes Park’s Bird & Jim restaurant. Experts Howell F. Wright and Doug Sacarto will go deep into the whiskey-making process during this month’s 90-minute program, which will focus on scotch. (February’s class is about bourbon, and March’s covers rye.) $50 (includes whiskey samples and complimentary snacks); 6 p.m., 915 Moiraine Ave., Estes Park

Chef Cooking Club | January 17

Give your compliments straight to the chef(s) at this first-in-a-series event. Citizen Rail’s executive chef Christian Graves will partner with Old Major’s Justin Brunson to create three special small bites ($9 each). After, stick around for a daiquiri or craft lager at Citizen Rail’s happy hour and mingle with the chefs. The series—which benefits local non-profit Slow Food Denver—will continue monthly through May, with a succession of guest chefs joining Graves in the kitchen each month. Admission is free. 1899 16th St. Mall

Crush Pizza & Tap Beer Pairing Dinner with Bootstrap Brewing | January 17

Get your pizza and beer fix sorted at this casual four-course dinner event. The Highland pizzeria and Boulder County–based brewery have teamed up to create winning combinations, including dry-rubbed wings paired with the Lush Puppy Juicy IPA, a lemon margherita Sicilian-style pizza alongside Stick’s Pale Ale, and much more. Tickets are $30 per person and can be reserved by calling 720-619-3337; 6:30-9:30 p.m.; 1200 W. 38th Ave.

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Battle of the Brewmasters at the Post Brewing Co. | January 23

For this dinner series, the Post Brewing Co. head brewer Nick Tedeschi will face off against a string of fellow brewmasters for guests’ votes. On January 23, Tedeschi takes on Four Noses Brewing Co. head of special projects Brandon Boldt, each strategically selecting beers to pair with each course. The first three courses will feature various cuts of bison, and the finale will deliver a skillet apple pudding cake. At the end of the night, diners’ votes will determine the winner. Tickets are $45; 6:30 p.m. 2027 13th St.

The Bindery & Rebel Pop-up Dinner | January 24

This one-time-only event brings together three acclaimed chefs for one mouthwatering meal. The Bindery chef Linda Hampsten Fox—titleholder of the Colorado Restaurant Association 2018 Chef of the Year—and Bo Porytko and Dan Lasiy (of the now-shuttered Rebel Restaurant) will collaborate on this seven-course dinner. Each course will feature two interpretations of a seasonal ingredient, and cocktail pairings from the Family Jones Spirit House will be available for additional purchase. $109 (includes tax and gratuity); 6:30-9:30 p.m. 1817 Central St.   

Den Corner’s Progressive Dinner | January 30

The Kizaki brothers—owners of iconic South Pearl Street eateries Sushi Den, Izakaya Den, and Ototo—present attendees with five courses from their trio of restaurants at this recurring dinner crawl. To kick off the evening, diners will join chef Toshi Kizaki at Sushi Den for thoughtfully paired sushi, sashimi, and sake. Diners then make their way to Ototo for “robatayaki” (Japanese barbecued skewers) and lobster ramen, and then, finally, enjoy a house-made dessert at Izakaya Den. With two seatings for ten guests each, the marathon meal will be as intimate as it is educational, with eldest brother Yasu Kizaki walking attendees through each portion of the dinner. Tickets are $350 for two people (including tax and tip); seatings at 6 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. Sushi Den, 1487 S. Pearl St.

Enter Wynkoop’s Beer Drinker of the Year Contest | January 13 and February 9

If the event title alone doesn’t inspire brew lovers to enter this trivia-oriented competition, the prize—free beer for life!—definitely will. Not only will the winner enjoy unlimited gratis brews at Wynkoop Brewing Co. for the rest of their sudsy days, they’ll also score free tickets to the 2019 Great American Beer Festival and the opportunity to have their own beer recipe brewed by Wynkoop’s team. Take this quiz before January 14 to enter. Selected contestants will advance to the main event on February 9, where the sensational prize will be awarded. 1634 18th St.

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