Amuse Bouche

by Brian Clarey

These weeks before winter are the thinnest months when it comes to North Carolina produce, with yields of sweet potatoes, a few leafy greens and all manner of gourd. Still, better to be here than in California, where they may have great produce all year long but where school bake sales have been legislated into obsolescence. Seriously, they’re selling apple slices and Caesar salads. That don’t cut it. At any rate…. On Wednesday atr 4 p.m., the Lowe’s Foods on New Garden Road in Greensboro holds the kickoff event for Friends Feeding Friends, and among the crowd should be a few members of the city council. Thursday sees a community sustainability gathering at 4 p.m. at Holy Trinity Church in downtown Greensboro. The event is held by the Community Sustainability Council, and is free to all, though attendees are advised to bring their own mugs. On Friday, Winston-Salem’s Caffe Prada holds its first annual holiday wine sale, which begins at 5 p.m , and will involve quite a bit of tasting. Visit the website,, to make a reservation. Also on Friday, Greensboro’s Earth Fare holds the first of four Cancer Project cooking classes, beginning at noon. Call the grocery at (336) 369-0190 or visit the website,, to make a reservation. Earth Fare holds its Taste of Thanksgiving sampling event all weekend long, with previews of holiday specialties which. Let’s face it, will make your Thanksgiving dinner a whole lot easier. On Sunday, the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market throws the first of two holiday arts & crafts events. according to the website, “More than 100 local craft artisans exhibit and sell handmade crafts, including pottery, holiday ornaments, hand-crafted jewelry, needlecrafts, handmade soaps, wood crafts, and more.” Another stark reminder that Christmas is just around the corner. Then, on Tuesday, Winston-Salem’s Best Health, located in Hanes Mall, hosts Flavors of Fall at 5:30 p.m. Chef Ernest Knight demonstrates new recipes and, yes, gives out copious amojnts of samples. On other news, I’m sad to report, a spate of restaurant closings has stricken the region. J&S Cafeteria in Greensboro has closed its Guilford Village location, and Winston-Salem’s Speakeasy Jazz has closed. The Press Wine Café was slated to shut down as well, but owner Michael Hamuka has said he may have found a way to save the Southside eatery. Rumors abound about other Triad venues. However, a few places have just opened — or reopened — for business this fall. In Winston- Salem, the Stocked Pot & Co. Cooking School reopened this week for classes, demos, dinners and tastings at 381 Jonestown Road. The website,, is up and running and the phone, 336.499.5844, should be working as well. Also in the Camel City, the Cotton Mill Restaurant has reopened in Brookstown Mill under new ownership. Call 336.725.1112 for reservations. And in Greensboro, Wingstop has opened at 3706 Elmsley St. They are known, of course, for chicken