by Brian Clarey

You might be surprised — but then again, you might not — to learn that finalists for the Best Dish in North Carolina contest sponsored by Greensboro’s Our State magazine and the NC Deptartment of Agriculture include not a single Greensboro/Winston-Salem/ High Point restaurant. The only Triad business that made the list is Bistro 42 in Asheboro, which won first place in the Casual Dining division last year.

On Thursday, all five Triad Outback Steakhouse franchises collecting for the Make-A-Wish Foundation during lunch service, between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., with a $20, three-course meal with all money going to the charity.

On Friday, between 4 and 7 p.m., the Fresh Market in Greensboro will be holding a cooking demo featuring sautéed tomato-basil pork with a bright summer salad and berry dessert parfaits.

Thursday through Sunday, the 7 th annual Texas Pete Twin City RibFest goes down at the Dixie Classic Fairgrounds. The event is rib-centric, featuring a cookoff between nine pit masters from the South and the Midwest, with awards going to Best Ribs, Best Sauce, People’s Choice and Grand Champion. Amateurs are invited to partake in the King of the Grill competition.

And whiskey professor Bernie Lubbers will be expounding on the finer points of bourbon-making on Saturday and Sunday. Also, you know, games, rides, music and such.

On Saturday and Sunday, Total Wine & More will be sampling Beaujolais.

Saturday morning Fatz Café in Greensboro holds a pancake fundraiser to benefit the Preparing Our Youth organization from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.

And on Sunday the Grove Winery near Gibsonville holds a Haw River Paddle Dinner. See the website, www, for details.

On Tuesday, the Cobblestone Farmers Market features baked goods, with a cooking demo from Carole Zellmer of Simple Kneads bakery. Music is by Leah Shaw and Adam Kettner; there will be a free health screening from the Winston-Salem State University Nursing Department and holding down the community table will be Yadkin Riverkeeper Dean Naujoks.