a m u s e BOUCHE

by Brian Clarey

With the warming weather comes another bevy of culinary events here in the Triad. Also, apparently, ticks. No matter! May, of course, is National Barbecue Month, celebrated only in states where barbecue is a verb, making North Carolina exempt. Still, the nation’s largest pork-producing state has a vested interest in separating the swine business from the swine flu so, you know, fire up the grill this Memorial Day weekend. Greensboro company Kim Bees Gourmet Sweet Tea won three awards, including First Place, Iced Tea Class Ready-to-Drink, Best Packaging at the World Tea Championship held, where else, in Las Vegas this month. And Greensboro staple Lucky 32 turns 20 years old this month. The restaurant celebrates through June 20 with special menu items, prizes and, as always, great food. Owner Dennis Quaintance calls it “the only ‘meat and three’ joint that has a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.” Moving on…. On Wednesday, EarthFare hosts a canning and preserving workshop with Melanie Bopp that begins at 6:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Space is limited, so call 336.369.0190 for a reservation. Friday sees EarthFare’s Happy Hour on the Patio, a wine and beer tasting to benefit the March of Dimes, which begins at 6 p.m. (a couple hours late, if you ask us) and asks a $5 donation. Also on Friday, Greensboro’s Friends of Center City Park Summer Supper begins on the park’s Oval Lawn at 5:30 p.m. Find out more about the dinner, the organization and the park at or 336.379.0821. A fundraiser for UNCG’s Dream Camp, which caters to children with Asperger’s Syndrome, will be held on Friday at the High Point Elks Club at 7 p.m., with music by the Last Resort Band and a silent auction. And beginning on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. and lasting all weekend, Greensboro’s Total Wine & More holds B of varietals that are great for the grill. Saturday is big, too, with the Grove Winery Winemaker’s Dinner. The deal: six courses by Chef Cheryl Carden, five wines by the Grove, 6:30 p.m. Get a seat at Whole Foods in Winston-Salem fires up the grill for Memorial Day with a free event that begins at noon with demonstrations, samples, drawings and live music by Necati Emirzade. And if you don’t mind taking a drive, Saturday is the annual Taste of Durham festival just a quick drive down the road which is, if you believe the press releases, just a sickass eating orgy beginning at 11 a.m. There’s a lot of great music and art, but really, it’s about the food: a wine-tasting pavilion, a beer garden, 17 restaurants and food-service outlets and a small army of talented chefs conspire to mock the notion that gluttony is a sin. Hit the site,, for more of the skinny.