Chef Allison Dugdale dreams of food at night and on waking...


April 12, 1992|By Mary Corey | Mary Corey,Staff Writer

Chef Allison Dugdale dreams of food at night and on waking 0) prepares it at Foster's Oyster Bar

This is the stuff that Allison Dugdale's dreams are made of . . . phyllo triangles filled with crab meat, artichoke hearts and feta cheese, beds of roasted pepper coulis and hearty oyster stew.

The chef of Foster's Oyster Bar, Restaurant and Market swears she sees food in her sleep, but only because most of her waking hours are spent at the fledgling Fells Point establishment.

"I can't imagine doing anything else, but I live for my days off," says Ms. Dugdale, 32, who lives eight blocks from the restaurant.

She learned to cook from her mother, and by age 13, when she and a friend opened their own catering business, a chef was born.

Although she knew she wanted to pursue a culinary career, she studied at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., graduating in 1981 with a dual degree in English and fine arts. She puts her education to work now writing her own descriptive menus.

After stints at the Admiral Fell Inn and the now defunct Washington Place Grill, she signed on with Foster's six months ago. So far, there's only been one drawback to her new job: She's not particularly enamored of oysters.

"I think they're really gross," she says. "I won't give you my more

graphic description, but ugh . . ." Lemuel W. Wills never set out to be a model. His daughter did.

But when he took her to a local modeling agency, his was the face "discovered."

"I've gotten all the jobs, and she hasn't gotten one," Mr. Wills says.

His latest project -- a brochure for a U.S. Postal Service book about black Americans -- means that his picture is in post offices across the country.

Yet he may reach an even larger audience this spring when moviegoers see him play a bus driver in "That Night," the film shot here last year.

"I'm not looking for glamour. I'm in it for the experience, and it has been a lovely experience," says Mr. Wills, who lives in Northwest Baltimore.

During the last six years, he's also done TV spots for Kodak, Bell Atlantic and the Maryland Lottery. Although he realizes it's a long shot, he dreams of playing a detective on a TV drama.

Even if that doesn't happen, he has no qualms about the role he's most often given: retiree.

"I love it," he says. "I'm 68 years old. I think I look fairly decent."

And as for retirement, the former customs inspector encourages everyone to give it a try.

"My life has blossomed since I retired," he says. "I'm just sorry I didn't do it before."

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