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by Brian Clarey

Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to use food as a prelude to — and possible substitute for — romantic intimacy. Either way, you’ve got a lot to choose from.

The Big Eat is still rolling in downtown Winston-Salem, wherein choice restaurants offer signature dishes at half price every Tuesday night until the end of March. This week I’ll focus on 6th & Vine, which is offering surf and turn pasta with chorizo and shrimp, and Noma Urban Bar & Grill, which will be serving up spinach and ricotta ravioli with marinara sauce.

Dewey’s Bakery has won a Bride’s Choice Award from WeddingWire for its vintage wedding cakes. Heinz has reinvented the ketchup packet. Now it looks like a little bottle. And Harris Teeter is offering a free ringtone of its jingle at www.myxer.com.

Thursday sees a double-dose of events at Winston-Salem’s Whole Foods Market. An iWonder presentation on non-sulfite wines begins at 6:30 p.m., while at 6 p.m. Chef Kevin gives a lesson in cooking for two. The wine thing is free and open, the class is $10 and requires a reservation at 336.722.9233.

On Friday, the Stocked Pot Cooking School Kitchen Wine Store offers its Romantic Meal for Two Cooking Class at 6:30 p.m. Join Chef Don as he teaches you how to impress your date with culinary expertise. For further info, call 336.499.5844.

Also on Friday, the Twin-Cities Kiwanis Club hosts its 53rd annual Pancake Jamboree beginning at 6:30 a.m. — $6 gets you all you can eat, with Neese’s sausage at the Benton Convention Center.

And All Triad locations of Total Wine & More will be offering free tastes of sweet red and whites all weekend long.

On Saturday, Whole Foods holds Chocolate Fest with Kiss A Fish starting at noon — a huge array of chocolate samples, and if you kiss a fish you can get two-forone lobster tails in the fish department.

The Grove Winery holds its Valentine’s Day Dinner at 6 p.m. Visit www.grovewinery.com for details.

And Greensboro’s Fresh Market holds a cooking demonstration between 1 and 4 p.m.: beef tenderloin with rosemarygorgonzola butter and red wine sauce.

Sunday is Valentine’s Day. Act accordingly.

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