by Brian Clarey

byBrian Clarey Smug Brit Simon Cowell brought Greensboro’s Jake’s Diner into the national spotlight last week when he stopped by for some grits during a break in taping an episode of his show, “X Factor.” Alas, the “grits” turned out to be mashed potatoes, to the consternation of fellow judge LA Reid.

Speaking of mashed potatoes, in Singapore you can get them out of a vending machine, with hot gravy, according to Consumerist.

Meanwhile, here in the Triad, a spike in food-related events makes our lack of such a device a bit more bearable.

On Wednesday, Mozelle’s in Winston-Salem holds an Italian wine dinner with five courses with matching wines at 7 p.m. Make a reservation at 336.703.5400.

On Thursday in Greensboro, the Warnersville Farmers Market holds its first annual Peachy Dessert Contest, which should be self-explanatory. The contest, which begins at 3 p.m. at JC Price School, is free and open to the public.

Related: Saturday is Peach Day at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, and Crawfish Day at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market. Both will feature product, demos and such.

There’s also a Cars & Coffee event at the Highwoods Boulevard Fresh Market in Greensboro beginning at 8:30 a.m.

All weekend long, Total Wine & More will be celebrating red wines of Australia at all three Triad locations with tastings and demos.

On Tuesday, Table 16 in Greensboro holds a wine dinner featuring Mollie Dooker Winery out of Australia at 6:30 p.m. Call 336.279.8525 for a reservation.

Also on Tuesday, Chef Mary Haglund of Breakfast of Course!

Holds a class in cooking with local ingredients at the Forsyth County Agricultural Building at 6 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Cobblestone Farmers Market, and includes take-home recipes and a meal. Spaces are limited; call 336.782.1345 to reserve a seat.

Room for one more? The Wall Street Journal reports that a lobster glut in Maine has caused prices to drop to $1.25 a pound, 70 percent off the usual market value this time of year and so low that lobstermen will actually lose money by clearing their pots and selling their catch. The low price, however, affects only Maine. Summer lobsters are soft-shell lobsters, according to the Journal, and they don’t travel well.