3-course interview: Ghost Tequila’s Richard Alexander Pomes

The New Orleans native on getting into the tequila game
Local entrepreneur Richard Alexander Pomes is co-owner and chief marketing officer of Ghost Tequila (www.ghosttequila.com), but before that he was a brand ambassador for Fireball Cinnamon Whisky. Pomes, a New Orleans native and longtime member of local theater company The NOLA Project, spoke with Gambit about what he learned about liquor and why he got into the tequila game.

3-course interview: Simone Reggie of Simone’s Market

On the recently opened local market
Simone Reggie opened the neighborhood grocery Simone's Market (8201 Oak St.; www.simonesmarket.com) on Dec. 23. Reggie previously worked with the John Besh Foundation, where she helped farmers obtain microloans.

3-course interview: Tracey Armitage pops up with La Monita

The chef on her Colombian-inspired pop-up
After spending several years in Colombia, Tracey Armitage moved to New Orleans and started the Colombian-inspired pop-up La Monita (www.facebook.com/lamonitapopup) this fall. She's been popping up at The Tchoup Yard, Aline Street Beer Garden and Hollygrove Market and plans to expand the operation next year.

3-course interview: Chef Jess Bourgeois of Lula Restaurant-Distillery

The chef opens a combined restaurant-distillery on St. Charles Avenue.
Jess Bourgeois and his business partner Bear Caffery will open their microdistillery and restaurant Lula Restaurant-Distillery (1532 St. Charles Ave.; www.lulanola.com) in January. The 10,000 square-foot restaurant will serve Southern-inspired cuisine and drink pairings from a draught cocktail system.

3-course interview: chef and spice purveyor Lior Lev Sercaz

The author of The Spice Companion: A Guide to the World of Spices hosts a Shaya dinner Dec. 6
At his New York store La Boite (www.leboiteny.com), Lior Lev Sercarz sells custom spice blends to chefs and home cooks. After training with chef Olivier Roellinger in Cancale, France, Sercarz worked at New York's Daniel before opening his spice shop in 2006.

3-course interview: Nicole Eiden, Windowsill Pies baker

Nicole Eiden (pictured left) and her business partner Marielle Dupre started the pie-making business Windowsill Pies (www.windowsillpiesnola.com) five years ago. After winning both the Junior League of New Orleans' Woman Entrepreneur Fellowship, and a $10,000 prize on the Cooking Channel's Sugar Showdown, the duo is ready to open a shop.

3-course interview: tamale vendor Holly Hawthorne

“Holly Tamale” on her family’s recipe and selling tamales from a bicycle cart
Chances are if you've spent some time at downtown bars during the past 10 years, you've run into Holly Hawthorne. Better known as Holly Tamale, she's the woman with the pin-up hair and flashy getups biking around a hot pink tamale cart.

3-course interview: Jeremiah Tower on New Orleans and table manners

The chef and writer signs Table Manners in New Orleans Nov. 19
Jeremiah Tower, the chef behind legendary San Francisco area restaurants Chez Panisse (with Alice Waters) and Stars, is considered one of the fathers of California cuisine. He almost settled in New Orleans (he was thwarted by Hurricane Katrina) and currently lives in Merida, Mexico, where he likes to scuba dive and write.

3-course interview: Rowan Jacobsen on oysters of America

The author signs The Essential Oyster in New Orleans this month
Rowan Jacobsen (www.rowanjacobsen.com) knows oysters. Ten years ago, he published A Geography of Oysters, and his new book, The Essential Oyster, provides a close look at more than 100 of North America's most celebrated oysters, including their history, regional significance and the people and culture that surround them.

3-course interview: Wolf ’N’ Swallow’s Ryan Houlihan and Jennifer Jane

The chef-owners of the monthly dinner party dishing on the “speakeasy”
Jennifer Jane and Ryan "Chef Houla" Houlihan run the speakeasy Wolf 'n' Swallow (www.facebook.com/wolfnswallow), a monthly dinner party with changing themes at a French Quarter location. Last month's dinner featured Southeast Asian dishes, and the next event (Nov. 17) will focus on autumn flavors.

3-course interview: Loyola alum Bob Almeida, Napa winemaker

Lagniappe Peak Cuvee will fund a Loyola scholarship
Bob Almeida graduated from Loyola University in 1972 with a degree in business. After he retired in 2007, he bought a Napa Valley vineyard and started making wine.

3-Course interview: filmmaker James Martin on the Sazerac

Director of The New Orleans Sazerac on the making of the short film
James Martin first started asking questions about the Sazerac cocktail a few years ago when he launched www.thesipologist.com, a blog on which he explores cocktail culture and its history. His short film The New Orleans Sazerac screened at the New Orleans Film Festival.


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