a m u s e BOUCHE

by Brian Clarey

Remember the Big Eat, Winston-Salem’s restaurant initiative that pushed half-price specialty dishes at downtown restaurants throughout the month of March? Well, it’s been re-booted and the promotion will continue throughout the month of April.

The list of participating restaurants has expanded to 22 since the beginning. See a list of specials at Also out of Winston-Salem comes news that the new white-linen, upscale Mexican joint slated for the old South by Southwest location will open its doors on May 1. More from the Twin City: Homestead Hills Retirement Community has hired Michael McCabe as sous chef. From the press release: “Prior to joining Homestead Hills, McCabe worked as Executive Sous Chef for Dale Earnhardt Inc. in Mooresville, North Carolina; Executive Chef for Centrastate Medical Center in Freehold, New Jersey; Executive Sous Chef for Jordan Grand Hotel in Bethel, Maine; Chef / Instructor for Ocean County Vocational School in Bricktown, New Jersey; Executive Sous Chef for Beach House Restaurant in Spring Lake, New Jersey; and Sous Chef for Warren Hotel in Spring Lake, New Jersey.” He has also cooked for Yogi Beara, Barbara Bush, Ray Liotta, Christine Todd Whitman, Cardinal John O’Conner, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. And the Winston-Salem Whole Foods Market has started a blog at storeblogs/winston-salem. On to the culinary calendar, which this week begins and ends on Saturday, April 11, which also happens to be the birthday of my old college roommate, affectionately known as “The Dick.” Start things off at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market, where the annual spring yard sale, sponsored by WSJS, begins at 6 a.m. Go to your attic or garage, load all your junk into the trunk of your car and flip it for cash Saturday morning. Spend the proceeds on fresh fruits and vegetables. At 1 p.m., EarthFare in Greensboro holds a holiday egg-dyeing party for the kids. And because it’s EarthFare, the dyes are all natural, made with spinach, onion skin, beet juice and things like that. This event is free and open to the public but, you know, it’s really for the kids. Then back in the Camel City, BestHealth sponsors a symposium on breakfast, which I’ve heard is the most important meal of the day. Chef Nikki Miller-Ka teaches some quick and easy — and, most importantly, wholesome and nutritious — breakfast options for people who, for whatever reason, just don’t like Pop Tarts. Remember what nonagenarian fitness guru Jack Lalanne says: “If you gave your dog a cigarette and a cup of coffee for breakfast, he’d be dead in a week.” Also: Stay away from pistachios, at least for the time being. It seems that salmonella is not confined to that most pedestrian of nuts, the peanut (which, if we’re being sticklers here, is actually a legume). Pistachios — which like Mickey Rourke are true nuts — are exotic, delicious and hard to open. And if you know what’s good for you, you’ll stay away from them for a while, even the red ones. Sunday is Easter. Eat a bunch of candy.