March of Dimes gala always a tasty event


It's the season for galas and one of my favorites took place at the Hyatt Regency recently. The March of Dimes Gourmet Gala offers its guests a lot for their money. Interior decorators decorate cooking stations for area celebs who then prepare their favorite recipes for a panel of prestigious judges. What a joy it was to work with Larry Frank's helpful staff, especially my favorite bartender, George Haines.

Broadway Hits was the theme of the gala and my "Brigadoon" booth looked spectacular, thanks to the talented Michael Sel, of Federal Hill Interiors. My husband, Bill, and I prepared Potatoes Alaska, while a piper attracted a lot of attention. Maryland National Bank sponsored my booth and all the men at the table carried out our Scottish theme and wore the same silk plaid ties and cummerbunds. It was so nice to renew friendships with Gail and Bill Daiger (he's president of Maryland National). We discovered that many moons ago Bill and I had co-chaired the Santa Claus Anonymous Campaign. Others sitting with us were Mr. and Mrs. Charles Coudriet (he heads up the southern division for Maryland National) and Mr. and Mrs. Bill Couper (from the bank's central division).

Our table was near the judging table where celebrity judges Craig Claiborne and Marion Burros from the New York Times; Diana Sturgis, Food and Wine Magazine; Elaine Hanna, co-author of the New Doubleday Cookbook and Micro Ways; and Lee Easton, vice president of Merchandising for Super Fresh.

My puny little potato dish lost out to an incredible vegetable dish called Autumn Vegetable Lasagna with Zucchini Crepes and Roasted Red Pepper Coulis, prepared by WCBM's Rudy Miller and her partner at Maryland Family Magazine, Sylvia Shapiro. (I hope it won't sound like sour grapes when I say they got a lot of help from Harbor Court Chef Michael Rourke.) Other celebs who won prizes for their culinary delights were Marty Bass and Don Scott for their Black Forest Torte; Jack Bowden and Susan White-Bowden for tasty Maryland Cream of Crab Soup; Jacqueline McLean, for a Vegetable Stuffed Roast Tenderloin; and Dave Durian and Doug Roberts, who prepared the best Oysters Rockefeller I've ever tasted.

Ted Venetoulis is always at his best behind a microphone and did a splendid job introducing Ed Crooke, the 1990 Gourmet Gala Chair; Dr. Phillip Goldstein, chairman of the March of Dimes Greater Baltimore Chapter, and many others responsible for making this worthy gala one of the best parties to attend.

Everyone who knows Baltimore Realtor Charley Obrecht knows that he may never be on the front of a fashion magazine, but he certainly knows what to wear on the tennis courts. A little birdie once told me that he and advertising executive Hal Donofrio play good competitive tennis on the grass courts all summer, and that Obrecht is usually the winner.

I guess that's why I was so surprised to see a Baltimore Country Club newsletter which said that BCC's Senior Grass Court Members Invitational, ages 45 and over, was played on July 25 and that Donofrio beat the top seeded Obrecht, 6-2, 6-1. And in some circles that's news that went un-reported, so I felt obliged to do so.

*Sylvia Badger's column appears Tuesday in the Accent section of The Evening Sun.

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