A CHOCOLATE AFFAIR

The Baltimore Sun

Instead of purple, brown was the color of the evening at M&T; Bank Stadium. That would be chocolate brown, as more than 2,000 people swarmed through the stadium's south club level lounge for the "18th Annual Chocolate Affair." More than 50 chocolatiers, restaurateurs and caterers had set up shop, offering chocolate in every imaginable form and formula.

There were almost as many choices in entertainment, too: a dance band on one stage, a jazz band on another, belly dancers, magicians, massage therapists, cooking demonstrations and a fashion show.

So, can one get too much of a good thing?

"Absolutely not. This is a good thing," said Beavette Loney, Kingdom Living Inc. CEO.

"This is a very good thing," added her mother, retired registered nurse Beulah Horne, with a hearty laugh.

"Too much of a good thing doesn't exist," said Dina Malis Klicos, director of major gifts for the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.

Local radio and TV personality Eddie Applefeld - a veteran Chocolate Affair judge - outlined his secret to making one's way through dozens of chocolaty goodies.

"Start easy, slowly. By the end of the night, you get sick and you start all over again."

And what about the woman in charge, Caryn Sagal? How does she manage all the sweet treats?

"I'm the event chair. But, I can't eat chocolate because I get horrible headaches from it. The irony," she said.

Grammy trip: He saw Bono, Timberlake

Some Baltimore folks did a little up-close stargazing last weekend at the Grammy Awards. This was the second year Style magazine editor Brian Lawrence attended the ceremony, thanks to his ticket-getting buddy, WCBM personality Tom Moore.

Lawrence stayed at the uber-chic hotel hideaway Chateau Marmont, where he had his first celebrity encounter. A mob of paparazzi kept him from driving out of the hotel's courtyard. Seems the guy in front of him was U-2 front man Bono, who was being swarmed by photographers as he was trying to leave.

"Any time I meet a celebrity, they're smaller than I imagined. He's not a big guy."

As Lawrence walked the red carpet, he spied a couple more smaller-than-average famous folks: Ryan Seacrest and CBS TV's Gary Unmarried, Jay Mohr. Mohr's wife, Las Vegas star Nikki Cox was barely wearing a negligee-style gown which our Stylemeister had to admit "did look kind of cheap."

While returning to the Marmont, Lawrence bumped into another superstar.

"Justin Timberlake is there with his posse. Again, he's smaller than you'd expect. It was him and half a dozen guys. One of the guys he was sending out somewhere, and saying 'And tell [rap star/producer Dr.] Dre to get me those tracks.'"

So, when that new project is announced between Timberlake and Dre, you read it here first.

Speaking of reading If you had perused the Palm Beach [Florida] Daily News lately, you might have seen a recent Baltimore resident in the headlines there. It seems that Jos. A Bank Clothiers chairman of the board Bob Wildrick won a seat on the Palm Beach Town Council last week. Wildrick promised to use his financial expertise to help trim the city's expenses. Wildrick is credited with increasing the company's net income from $1.4 million in 1999 to $50.2 million last year, so Palm Beach folks may just have voted in their own economic stimulus package.

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