Luxe Beat Exclusive: Interview with “Cigar Czar” Richard Carleton Hacker

If  there is one person who knows a lot about cigars and cigarettes, it’s Richard Carleton Hacker. Known as one of the world’s foremost authorities on the subjects of cigars and cigar smoking, he was given the nickname “the cigar czar” by several media outlets. He has written more than five hundred articles on the topic for publications such as The Robb Report, RobbVices, Collection Magazine, The Tasting Panel, Somm Journal and In 1994, he was knighted by the Internationales Tabakskoliegium in Germany for his numerous writings on the subject of tobacco. His book, The Ultimate Cigar Book...

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10 Fun Facts About Real Housewife of New York City, Kristen Taekman

The Real Housewives Of New York City’s newer member is Kristen Taekman. Not only is she a reality star, but also a wife, mother, professional model, philanthropist and blogger. I met her in California with her husband Josh to introduce EBOOST to Southern Californians shopping in Whole Foods. Josh’s company EBOOST has two new EBOOST products: Spruce, an on the go green juice and POW, a pre-workout powder. After standing for hours in front of Whole Foods, Kristen was happy to sit down with me to talk about her marriage, family, being on The Real Housewives of New York...

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Luxury Designer Jonathan Rachman

Jonathan Rachman is an internationally-acclaimed designer, soon to open an eponymous store of custom made goods, J. Rachman, in San Francisco, recently featured on HGTV, ELLE DECORATION and C MAGAZINE. He is about to open a store in San Francisco which will showcase many of his custom-designed goods in addition to serving as a showroom for my design business. In addition to his work as a designer, he is the editor-in-chief of a little magazine called DiSini DiSana, which means “here and there” in Indonesian, he says, “my heart is here and there all the time.” In a recent interview with Luxe...

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Ten Fun Facts About Chef Nancy Silverton

Recently I had lunch with James Beard Award winner Nancy Silverton at her Chi Spacca restaurant on Melrose. It was an informative afternoon that also included Cheryl Forberg, the nutritionist for the popular television show, The Biggest Loser in a promotion with the American Pistachio Growers. I learned a lot about celebrity chef Silverton and pistachios as I sipped a flute of Prosecco and nibbled on falafel with pistachios, bacon terrine with pistachios and a pizza with pistachios, red onion, Castelvetrano olives, thyme and fennel pollen. Silverton offered a cooking demonstration on how to make two salads: a market...

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Passion’s Meritxell Lecha Vinuesa

Before assuming her current role as the Manager of Passion, Paradisus Palma Real, Dominican Republic, Meritxell Lecha Vinuesa worked with Martin Berasategui for seven years in managerial positions at Restaurante Enoteca, Hotel Art (two Michelin star restaurant in Barcelona) and Restaurante Lasarte (two Michelin star restaurant in Barcelona), and Restaurante Gaig (one Michelin star restaurant in Barcelona).

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Jason Baffa: Wine and Filmmaker

Organic wine is a popular luxury that wine enthusiasts are putting at the top of their shopping lists. One of the things I find most charming about organic wine, is the history behind the vineyard and the winemakers. One such winery I’ve discovered is the Italian family and friend collaboration, ZIOBAFFA. This wine story has it all, including a film connection. Jason Baffa is a film-maker turned wine-maker and just all seems to make sense. He graciously made time for an interview and told me more about what makes ZIOBAFFA, such a unique find. SHERRIE WILKOLASKI: Let’s start with...

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Cammy Davis, Mixed-Media Artist Extraordinaire

Cammy Davis came to my attention as a result of my being a guest on her show, “Art on the Airwaves.” As you read Cammy’s interview, you will see that in addition to being a well-respected mixed-media artist who is inspired by nature, she has developed two other skills necessary for success: a good business plan for herself and a path that helps others in her field achieve success. I’ve found that individuals who bring that combination together do quite well. She exhibits her work in solo and group exhibitions in galleries throughout Oregon and has her “artistic maps”...

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Corporate Executive Chef Timothy Connan Keller, a Northwest Gem

When I was fortunate enough to meet Chef Tim Keller for the first time was Fall of 2008 in Ashland, Oregon. Tim was the Executive Chef at the Carriage House. As an appetizer that evening, we tried his onion rings that were dipped in a polenta batter and fried fast, hot and crispy, yet sweet inside. They were served with his tamarind catsup on the side, which was just the right combination of spices. The next day, we interviewed him and it was like a stand up comedy act. Then we got to see him in action preparing duck...

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Michael Cervin, Featured Journalist

Michael Cervin and I met in 2009 while attending a conference. We have since been on several press trips and conferences and have served together on a board. So, interviewing Michael is more like interviewing a longtime business friend than a new acquaintance. He’s an accomplished author and wine writer, diligent about getting his thoughts down while they are fresh, working out, and having fun. Maralyn: How did you discover your love of wine, which led to travel? Michael: Curiously, I discovered my love of wine when I moved to Santa Barbara and ended up working weekends at a...

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