From the mist there came ... the waiter


March 24, 2006|By LAURA VOZZELLA

The Wedding King finally has a palace of his own.

Abe McCauley had only a few chafing dishes to his name when he got his start as a caterer and events planner 11 years ago. After working for years in rented kitchen space, he has just moved into his own building, behind a pizza place on Sherwood Road in Cockeysville.

Before going into business for himself, McCauley worked many years as a manager for Baltimore mega-caterer Martin Resnick. Politically active - McCauley ran for House of Delegates from northeast Baltimore in 1994, and was campaign manager for the late Bea Gaddy - he helped the city councilwoman put on Thanksgiving dinner for more than 23,000 in 1992.

FOR THE RECORD - An item in Laura Vozzella's 2B column Friday gave an incorrect new location for Abe McCauley's catering business. It is on Sherwood Road in Idlewylde.
The Sun regrets the errors.

Compared with that holiday extravaganza, the 30 weddings McCauley did last year were a piece of cake. He says clients crowned him the "Wedding King," a moniker he has embroidered on shirts.

What sets the king apart from commoner caterers? A fog machine, for one thing. McCauley uses one for dramatic effect, with white-jacketed chefs and tuxedoed waiters emerging from the mist to serve dinner.

Guests can't believe it, he says. "Blows their mind."

Would a nickname from Dubya have clinched it?

Who says Michael Steele is soft-pedaling his White House connections? He tucked a photo of himself and President Bush inside a fundraising letter sent to none other than Wayne Rogers, former Maryland Democratic Party chairman and current finance chairman for Ben Cardin, one of Steele's opponents in the Senate race.

"To Wayne," it says on the picture. "Best Wishes."

"Perhaps his outreach may have gotten a bit too ambitious," Rogers says. "I do, however, greatly appreciate the `Best Wishes.'"

The very short road to Damascus' sphere

An idealistic State Department employee uncovers a plot to undermine the United States - leading him, naturally, to Roland Park.

A stately house there is a stand-in for the Syrian embassy in Washington in an ABC/Touchstone Pictures television pilot. A crew has been filming in the neighborhood, as well as downtown and at a private home in Baltimore County, for about two weeks. Word about whether the show gets picked up is expected in May, says Hannah Byron, director of the Baltimore City film office.

Brought to you by actual humans

Landing on Gov. Robert Ehrlich's desktop today, if the O'Malley campaign can finagle it: a petition with about 4,000 signatures, calling on Ehrlich to fire Public Service Commission Chairman Kenneth Schisler.

Signatures were collected by door-knocking O'Malley campaign volunteers and online at the mayor's gubernatorial campaign Web site. But campaign spokesman Rick Abbruzzese assures me that "real people" who signed the petition - not campaign workers - will try to deliver the petition to the gov.

Chicken soup for the political soul

A few more morsels gleaned from a press event the other day in the governor's kitchen:

A riddle, written in a kid's handwriting, posted on the stainless fridge: "How do you fix a broken tomato? With tomato paste."

Take-out pizzas - six of them - ordered because Chef Medford Canby was too busy with the day's rockfish redemption project to cook the staff lunch. These were red-state pizzas, with "God Bless America" printed on the boxes.

And the inside scoop on the gov's favorite dish. "He loves soup," Canby told me. "Broth-based soup."

In the grasp of a wide receiver

From Steele to Steeler: Leonardo Alcivar, late of the lieutenant governor's Senate campaign, has resurfaced in Pennsylvania as communications director for Republican gubernatorial hopeful Lynn Swann.

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