March Of Dimes Culinary Extravaganza


December 23, 2007|By SLOANE BROWN

THERE'S NOTHING LIKE CELEBRATING the holidays by indulging in all sorts of edible treats. And the March of Dimes' "Culinary Extravaganza" was certainly the place to do it. The Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel was stuffed with people stuffing themselves on all sorts of edible wonders created by about 30 local chefs -- goodies such as: chocolate-covered cheesecake lollipops, smoked salmon with zucchini slaw and toasted almonds, sliced tenderloin with cipollini onions and wild mushrooms sauteed in essence of fig, scallop ceviche, ahi tuna wrapped with spicy king crab imperial, and roasted sweet potato and ricotta gnocchi in a maple cream sauce.

"I liked everything," said Dr. Gil Armiger, a Maryland plastic surgeon.

"There wasn't very much that I didn't like. In fact, there wasn't one table that didn't tickle my fancy," said sportscaster Fred Manfra.

"[There] was a wild mushroom soup with blue cheese foam. It was very different, and so amazing," added his wife, Marlene.

"This has been a tradition and stalwart of the March of Dimes Baltimore community now for about 14 years," said board member Chuck Nabit. "In that time, it's grown from a relatively modest event with about 15 or 20 chefs ... and blossomed into this incredible group of people and the best chefs in Baltimore."

"The party is amazing. I worked on it last year ... and that's half the reason I agreed to co-chair it this year," said Judy Stellman. Her husband, and co-chairman, Les Stellman, explained another reason the event was so important to them.

"Our son is now 28 ... and is himself a preemie. ... So, we have always made the plight of preemies or preventing premature births a big deal in our lives," he said.


Doreen Bolger, 58, has spent a career in art museum administration. She's worked at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum in Providence, the Amon Carter Museum of Art in Fort Worth, Texas, and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. But, for the past decade, Bolger has been the director of the Baltimore Museum of Art. She is divorced and lives in Charles Village with her daughter, Maggie, 23, and son, Rusty, 21.

You have a free Sunday to do whatever you want. What do you do?

I like to spend time with friends in all different kinds of ways. I really value conversation.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?

I enjoy listening to Keith Urban CDs. I'm a Keith Urban fan. Who would think it?

What about a favorite comfort food?

See, I've given up comfort foods. But, my favorites were mashed potatoes and vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce. Not together. Separately.

Speaking of which, you've lost a lot of weight.

A lot of weight. (She declines to say how much.)

What does that mean you have to do these days?

Walk every day for an hour and 15 minutes. Fast. Eat no carbohydrates and no sweets. Red wine is part of the fruit group.

What's the hardest part of that?

It actually isn't hard. I'm now used to it. And I eat like a longshoreman. And I'm never hungry, and I never feel deprived.

ONLINE Read more of the conversation with Doreen Bolger at / drink

ONLINE Sloane Brown takes you to the party with a calendar of coming events and video reports at / scene

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