by Brian Clarey

Sure, Dennis Quaintance and Mike Weaver are considering the old RJ Reynolds Building in downtown Winston-

Salem, the one designed by New York’s World Trade Center architect William F. Lamb that looks just like it — for a new hotel project in line with their other properties, Greensboro’s O. Henry and Proximity hotels. Sounds pretty awesome. And 1618 Seafood Grill in Greensboro has a new appetizer menu, though they have yet to send me details on the list.

But the big news in the Triad’s culinary scene is that Jose Gomez, of CiCi’s Pizza in High Point, is one of four CiCi’s chefs invited to compete in the national Pizza Throwdown in Frisco, Texas on Tuesday. Gomez, who has been with the company for six years, will be judged for speed, accuracy and quality. At stake is $2,500 in cash and the Crystal Pizza Cutter. I honestly wish I could be there for it.

On Wednesday, watch the film Forks Over Knives, about the link between diet and health, at Winston-Salem’s Temple Emanuel with hors d’oeuvres at 6:30 p.m.

and the screening at 7 p.m. All weekend long Total Wine & More will be tasting French wines. On Friday, Undercurrent Restaurant in Greensboro hosts its first Local Showcase

Series: five courses with wine for $50. Call 336.370.1266 for a reservation.

Saturday is the Slow Food Piedmont Seed Swap, at the Single Brothers Workshop in Old Salem Museums and Gardens, beginning at 10 a.m. Preregister by calling 336.721.7384 or e-mailing And the Highwoods Boulevard Fresh Market in Greensboro holds a cooking demo featuring Thai curry three ways beginning at 10 a.m.

On Monday, Newks Express Café opens at Hanes Square Circle in Winston-Salem, featuring, “freshtossed salads, oven-baked sandwiches, California-style pizzas, made-fromscratch soups and homemade cakes baked fresh by Newk’s Bakery Company,” according to a press release, which also states that the owners plan on opening nine more in the Piedmont.

Also: Starbucks Blonde Roast, for people who think their coffee tastes burnt. Look for it at a Starbucks near you soon.