3-Course Interview: The ginger beer man

Sarah Baird talks with Sam Halhuli, New Orleans bartender and creator of Huhu’s Ginger Brew
Sam Halhuli is a bartender and the founder of Huhu's Ginger Brew (www.huhusgingerbrew.com), a local handcrafted nonalcoholic ginger beer that's available at a few bars across the city including The Avenue Pub and Twelve Mile Limit. Halhuli spoke with Gambit about his Seattle-based ginger beer inspiration, the best ginger beer cocktail and why Huhu's prides itself on being spicy.

Interview: Samantha Ditchendorf

Sarah Baird talks to a Northshore proponent of the elderberry, which is said to have big health benefits
Samantha Ditchendorf of Mandeville founded Naturally Well with Samantha (985-590-7670; www.naturallywellwithsamantha.com), a holistic health company specializing in the healing properties of elderberry syrup. The entrepreneur and mother of three spoke with Gambit about starting the business and a local, under-the-radar berry that's good and good for you. Why did you launch Naturally Well with Samantha?

3-Course Interview: Ron Kottemann

Sarah Baird talks to the Roman Candy Man, whose great-grandparents founded the famous candy cart
Ron Kottemann owns and operates Roman Candy Company (www.romancandy.com), a family taffy business with a familiar mule-drawn white wagon that's been a New Orleans icon since 1915. Kottemann spoke with Gambit about the candy's Sicilian heritage, coconut flavored taffy and new mule, Vidalia.

3-Course Interview: Ricky Gomez

Anne Berry talks to the veteran bartender from Cure who’s moving back to New Orleans
In 2012, New Orleans native Ricky Gomez won the U.S. finals of Diageo World Class, one of the world's most exclusive cocktail competitions. At the time he was living in Portland, Oregon, and he's since traveled the world as the first U.S. ambassador for World Class.

3-Course Interview: Betsy Foster Matthews

Sarah Baird talks to the pie baker behind P’s and Q’s
What was the inspiration for opening a pie shop? Matthews: I think for a long time after graduating from art school, there was a part of me that said, "Wouldn't it be so cute if I ran a pie shop and it was called P's and Q's for 'pies' and 'quiche'?" The breaking point finally came when my husband Jude was working at the racetrack and I was waiting tables, and I was just like, "If I wait one more table, I'm going to go crazy."

3-Course Interview: Laurie Aicklen

Sarah Baird talks with the woman who makes family-style stuffed spuds
Laurie Aicklen is the owner of Spudly's Super Spuds (2609 Harvard Ave., Metairie, 504-455-3250; www.spudlys.com), a baked potato-themed restaurant that has offered unusual combinations of toppings on potatoes — from roast beef to pizza — for more than 30 years. The restaurant's Interstate-adjacent location, A-frame building and interesting concept have made it a staple of Metairie dining.


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