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by Brian Clarey

It’s winter’s last gasp here in the North Carolina Piedmont Triad, with periodic bouts of sunshine breaking through the dismal grayness and rain. The leafy greens come through in March, followed a few weeks later by the strawberries. But for now all we’ve got as far as local produce goes are peanuts and sweet potatoes, with maybe a few pate-season apples.

The culinary scene is similarly barren in this period before spring’s bounty is made manifest.

The biggest news on this front is probably the personnel change at the Greensboro Country Club, where Steve Matlaga as been named general manager and a new executive chef, Gregory John, has been hired.

For those not involved in the country-club scene, Papa Murphy’s take-and-bake pizza chain has introduced three new pies: goat cheese and fennel sausage, another fennel sausage pie with sun-dried tomato and one with prosciutto and raw arugula.

All the action this week takes place on Friday and Saturday.

First, Whole Foods Market in Greensboro begins Dogs for a Cause on Friday at 11 a.m. The event features $5 hot dogs in three varieties — the Seoul, with kimchi and Guchujang sauce; the Monterrey with guacamole, pico, jalapeñoes and cheese; and the Marrakesh, with hummus, harissa, onions and lemon relish. Also: balloon animals. The event, which runs through Saturday, benefits the Whole Planet Foundation.

On Saturday, Old Salem hosts Chocolate Dipped History: Celebrating Coffee, Tea and American Heritage Chocolate throughout the facility beginning at 9:30 a.m., with samples, demos, lectures and workshops.

Cobblestone Farmers Market holds a pop-up market at the Milton Rhodes Arts Center from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. with “fresh winter produce, pasture-raised meats, bread, pastries, jams, soap, locally roasted coffee, market T-shirts and more,” according to a press release.

And Undercurrent in Greensboro holds its first annual Low Country oyster roast at 6 p.m., featuring James River oysters and, in the Wagner Room, Chef Michael’s “enhanced” frogmore stew, with shrimp, clams, crawfish, sausage, corn and new potatoes. Seating is limited; make a reservation at 336.370.1266.

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