Catching up on the news with ex-roommate Clinton

SYLVIA BADGER

April 23, 1993|By SYLVIA BADGER

Baltimore novelist Tommy Caplan, of the Oscar Caplan jewelers family, didn't intend to have dinner with President Clinton when he was in Washington recently, but an unexpected meeting led to a dinner invite.

Caplan had been at the White House to have dinner with Clinton aide Bruce Lindsey, who had to cancel at the last minute. As Caplan was leaving, he bumped into his former college roommate, Bill Clinton.

Clinton, who always enjoys a good meal, invited Caplan to join him and a childhood friend, David Leopoulos, at The Peasant restaurant in Washington.

Caplan became a FOB (Friend of Bill) about 28 years ago when he worked on Clinton's campaign for freshman class president at Georgetown University.

fTC *

An ad on yesterday's back page of the local section of The Sun got quite a response. It read: "Bob Hankey Turns 50 Saturday -- Call Him Today (410) 354-0600."

Hankey, executive vice president of the Mitchell Group, an asphalt company, said his phone had not stopped ringing. What he found most surprising was that many people who did not know him called to wish him a happy birthday.

The ad was a surprise from Barton Mitchell, president of the Mitchell Group. When I asked Hankey if he had any plans for

Mitchell's birthday, all he would say is that "his day will come."

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Imagine sipping wines from 15 vineyards, drinking beers on tap, tasting signature dishes prepared by 30 of Baltimore's finest chefs, dancing to the music of Swing Central, the Polkats, and Bobby and the Believers, and having your fill of cognac.

Sounds like an expensive dream, but it's not. For $40 a person, you can enjoy such an evening at the annual Taste of the Nation '93 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday at the Camden Club at Camden Yards. "Taste" is affiliated with American Express Presents Share Our Strength, which raises money to fight hunger in this country and abroad. Eighty percent of the money raised in Maryland will go to the Maryland Food Bank.

Allison Dugdale, chef at Foster's Oyster Bar, is chairing the event. She's a volunteer, as are all the musicians and chefs. The food and drinks are also donated.

You'll be able to sample the culinary delights of chefs Rudy Speckamp, Rudy's 2900; Harold Marmulstein, the Polo Grill; Ashley Sharpe, Paolo's; Linwood Dame, Linwood's Grill/Cafe; Randy Stahl, the Brass Elephant; Mimmo Cricchio, Da Mimmo; Michael Rork, Harbor Court Hotel; Nancy Longo, Pierpoint; and many others.

Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door. Call (410) 276-1367. Guests will also receive copies of the coupon dining book, "Taste of Baltimore."

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Liz Chuday, an independent public relations practitioner, has landed a much-sought-after, free-lance public relations position at WJZ-TV. Could it be that the clever Ms. Chuday has been brought on board to titillate public interest in Sally Thorner until she officially goes on the air in December?

It was indeed a sweet deal for judges as well as guests at the

Epilepsy Foundation's fund-raiser last weekend at the Evergreen Carriage House. Thirty-three area chefs put on quite a show of calories.

But have you ever tried to taste 33 desserts in an hour? It's not easy, but we, the judges, got some tasting tips from Bryan Soronson, administrator of the Department of Neurology University Hospital.

The top non-chocolate winner was Sandra Serrao, of Patisserie Poupon, for her sunburst a l'orange; and Robert Gonzalez, of Classic Catering People, won the chocolate top spot with his chocolate sea urchin.

As I was leaving, more than 300 guests were waiting to sample the goodies. Loretta and Alan Garfinkle, who chaired the event, were pleased that it raised more than $15,000 for the foundation.

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