International flags flew and violins played as Katie Peddy and Connie Pitcher, co-chairs of "A Tasting at the Station," greeted guests at a tasty benefit for the International Visitors Center of Maryland.
Meanwhile, their husbands, Tom Peddy, president of Foxleigh Enterprises, and Bill Pitcher, chairman of the PDP Group, chatted with Congressman Ben Cardin and his wife, Myrna, who agreed to draw a few raffle ticket winners.
However, it was WJZ-TV personality Denise Koch, who drew the names of Barbara and Alby Swartz, he's dean of students at McDonogh School, as the grand prize winners of two round-trip tickets to London.
Others spotted sampling fine wines and food were Greg Barnhill, Alex. Brown; Tom Brady, Baltimore Gas and Electric; Joe Ciletti, Wine Merchant; Norris and Joan Cook, Norris Ford; Linwood and Ellen Dame, owner of Linwood's Cafe; Bob Davidson, Davidson Ford; Jimmy and Carrol Knott, Knott Development; Billy Himmelrich, Stone Mill Bakery; Charles Levine, Charles Levine Caterers; Jill Olson, wife of Orioles' pitcher, Greg Olson; Caroline and Jerry Stautberg, Jerry's Chevrolet; Harvey Sugarman, owner Harvey's restaurant; Suzanne O'Hatnick, president of the international visitors center; Neil Porter, president of CSX Intermodal and chairman of the board of the visitors center, and Joan and Jim Watson, Watson Garden Center.
* Tom Willard, head of MNC Financial's private banking group, knows how to throw a party. His guests were wined and dined in the Frank Robinson and Jim Palmer sky boxes at Oriole Park, where an equally famous former Oriole, Brooks Robinson, joined them.
Guests loved the invitations, which were authentic Louisville sluggers that had each invitee's name burnished on the bat.
Among those who said yes to the invite were Otis Warren, board member NationsBank; Herb Belgrad and Ernie Accorsi, Maryland Stadium Authority; Ed Ritz, Ritz Cameras; Herb Garten, Fedder and Garten law firm; Searle Mitnick, Kaplan, Hayman, Greenberg and Belgrad law firm; Al Berkley, Richard Berkley, Richard Hale and William Boyd, Alex. Brown; Francis Knott, president of Carlisle Associates Inc., and Oliver S. Travers Jr., president and CEO of Schenuit Investments Inc.
Incidentally, I hear John Pringle of the Jones Group had a hand in helping MNC's marketing division revamp the banking group's sales promotion materials.
Now, everything has a serpentine marble finish, just like the offices at 10 Light St.
Maryland cuisine will be the star attraction at a James Beard Foundation dinner to be held at the New York home of the late chef July 22.
Rose and Richard Cernak, owners of Obrycki's, one of Baltimore premiere seafood restaurants, have come up with a great menu: Deviled crab balls, deep-fried oyster bits, crab soup, crab cakes, cole slaw, creamed cucumbers and, of course, steamed crabs will be washed down with Obrycki's draft beer. * People are still talking about how rude some of the Triple Crown Ball guests were during Vic Damone's performance.
It was bad enough that there was a mass exodus when he began singing, but then some who stayed continued to talk during the performance, even after he had called attention to the chatter.
* I adore crab meat, but I abhor picking crab meat. So when I tell you that I came in last place in the second annual "Phillips Preakness Celebrity Crab-Picking Contest" you probably will not surprised.
This year's title as Baltimore's best crab picker went to WMAR-TV's Tony Pagnotti.
Finalists were the defending champ Rob Kasper, a k a The Sun's Happy Eater; Channel 45's news anchor Lisa Willis, and Shirley Phillips, who owns Phillips Restaurants with her husband, Bryce, and who came in fourth without even trying.
Others who did better than yours truly were Variety 104's Gary Murphy; former O's star Boog Powell; Fire Chief Herman Williams; Wayne Brokke, Wayne's Bar-B-Q; Paolo's Kevin Bonner; Sfuzzi's chef Patrick Kersey; Stan "The Fan" Charles; WJZ's news anchor Pat Warren, and Hiram Walker's Cindy Ireland.
* Good food and music are on tap at Buddies Pub & Jazz Club at N. Charles Street.
Joe Kelly, well-known Chicago trumpeter, stopped by to jam a little at while he was in town for the Preakness.