Amuse bouché

by Brian Clarey

I’ve got a real good friend in San Francisco who occasionally gets his kicks by making fun of where I live, particularly when this part of the country makes national headlines for things like pink jail cells, Freedom fries or “American Idol” contestants with traumatic backstories. So imagine my mirth (yes, mirth) when I heard the mayor of his city by the bay was embroiled in rather twisted sex scandal involving his campaign manager’s wife while the mayor of our fair burg was setting a good example for the populace.

That’s right, Mayor Keith Holliday has joined with six other Guilford County mayors in the Guilford County Mayors’ Challenge, a group effort to shed 10 pounds in 10 weeks.

“The biggest shift,” he tells YES! Weekly, “is the constant effort to stay focused on it.”

San Francisco values, indeed.

And while there’s no official line on the contest, we give the edge to Holliday – he pledges to eat more nutritious and less fatty meals; he says he’s cutting out the snacking; and he’s wearing a pedometer to quantify his quest to walk five miles a day, or 10,000 steps. He’s also like 6-foot-5, which means that 10 pounds represents a relatively small weight loss for him, percentage-wise. Keep an eye on the race at

Everybody, it seems, is hauling their paunchy behinds up on the fitness bandwagon, including Coca-Cola, which recently agreed to acquire the FUZE beverage company, maker of health-conscious teas, juices, sports drinks and weight loss potions.

But for those of us still interested in practicing gluttony, the Green Valley Grill hosts a wine dinner on Oscar night (Feb. 25), black tie optional, featuring a red carpet promenade, valet parking and a Champagne reception for $150 a head. Call 336.275.1654 for reservations.

Earth Fare has named the Guilford County Animal Shelter its February Friend of the Month, donating 10 cents for every recycled plastic bag or canvas grocery bag used by its customers. The people at the GCAS, according to a press release, “humanely secure and care for animals found in violation, surrendered, or lost and actively assist in returning lost animals to their owners and are committed to making the adoption of every animal a positive, life-long experience for both the animals and the pet owners.”

And Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Weatherspoon Auditorium on the campus of UNCG there will be a screening of The Future of Food. The documentary, according to its website, is “an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled US grocery store shelves for the past decade.” The event, free and open to all, is part of the UNCG Sustainability Film Series.