'A labor of love or of idiocy'; Catering Worcester lawyers hold court in the kitchen.

AuthorMurray, Gary V.

Byline: Gary V. Murray

WORCESTER-- During normal working hours, which tend to be anything but in the law business, they are Aloise & Wilcox, PC.

Former homicide prosecutor Louis P. Aloise and Michael C. Wilcox, a one-time Boston police officer who cut his legal teeth at no less a firm than Worcester's Bowditch & Dewey, have made a comfortable living for themselves since joining forces 11 years ago and hanging out a shingle at 1 Exchange Place.

Their professional accomplishments on both the criminal and civil sides of the court have earned them the recognition of their peers, as visitors to the law firm's website will learn. Both partners, for example, have won Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly's coveted "Lawyer of the Year'' award.

But on any given weekend from April to October, Aloise & Wilcox, PC is apt to morph into something Mr. Wilcox likes to call A & W Catering and Donkey Farm. On such occasions, our esteemed barristers can be found far removed from the decorum and unscripted drama of the courtroom, grilling up mass quantities of steak tips and chicken wings or plunging scores of unsuspecting crustaceans into pots of boiling water.

It seems Mr. A and Mr. W share not only a passion for the law, but also a love of cooking that has evolved into an avocation as amateur caterers. Amateur only in the sense that A & W Catering and Donkey Farm is definitely not a money-making enterprise.

Its clients, if you will, are generally family members, friends or co-workers who pay only for the bill of fare and any necessary equipment rentals. The preparation, cooking and serving of the food and the post-meal cleanup are gratis, courtesy of A and W and a volunteer team of their loyal employees.

"We started out doing stuff for family and then our staff asked us if we could do it for graduation parties and things like that they were having. It just kind of grew,'' Mr. Aloise explained one recent Saturday morning as he and Mr. Wilcox got ready to take on the challenges of their latest non-paying catering gig, a birthday party for lawyer Robert A. Perrone's 90-year-old mother-in-law, Esther Wittner.

Over the last four years, A & W has catered more than a dozen events, ranging from small backyard gatherings to a wedding reception with more than 120 hungry guests. The catered affairs have included two spree day cookouts for special needs students at Burncoat High School with A & W picking up the entire tab in each case in the finest pro bono tradition.


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