When researching his thrilling crime novels, acclaimed author Marcus Sakey stops at nothing to get the real story—he’s learned to make nerve gas, gone shooting with Special Forces soldiers, and shadowed homicide detectives. And as the host of the Travel Channel’s new show Hidden City, the former ad man visits 12 cities, digging up the dirt on some of the most notorious events in their histories. Here, Sakey reveals his most surprising discovery, his favorite crime story, and more.
New York City sparkles during the holidays but this year it dazzles as never before! Just around the corner from the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, on display at Christie’s auction house are the jewels, fashion, paintings, and memorabilia that were owned by film star Elizabeth Taylor. And what an assemblage of bling and color. Here, among almost 300 remarkable pieces of jewelry are 80 iconic diamonds, gemstones, legacy jewels, including the 33.19-carat Elizabeth Taylor Diamond (once known as the Krupp diamond), the legendary pearl La Pérégrina (that belonged to the Spanish royal family), and a spectacular group of emeralds and diamonds—ring, necklace, bracelet, earrings—acquired by Richard Burton and Taylor from Bulgari in Rome around the time they made the movie Cleopatra (1963). Serious jewels.
Resident big-screen tough guy Chazz Palminteri—of A Bronx Tale and The Usual Suspects fame—recently added restaurateur to his resume, bringing a slice of his New York neighborhood to Baltimore’s Harbor East area. Aptly named Chazz: A Bronx Original, the family-friendly Italian spot is a partnership between the Oscar-nominated actor and the local Vitale family. Palminteri paid a visit to the Travel + Leisure offices to talk about his latest venture.
Q: What inspired you to open a restaurant?
A: “I always wanted to open a restaurant. But we all know the story: Hollywood actor partners up with aspirational childhood friends, opens to media attention, and the restaurant fails because of management or food issues. I always knew I had to find the right partners—serious restaurateurs who knew how to put out great food consistently, but also manage the restaurant professionally. And I finally found that in the Vitale brothers, Sergio and Alessandro. They grew up in the restaurant business and run one of the best Italian restaurants I’ve ever been to, bar none—Aldo’s in Baltimore—and they shared my vision. Also, food has played an important role in my life since I was young and living in the Bronx. I would wake up and smell the sausage and peppers coming through the windows and wanted to share that experience with everyone else. When you walk into Chazz, you walk into a little piece of my life—the sights, the smells, the tastes—and I’m so happy to share that.
Celebrity chef David Rocco has a full plate these days. The host of The Cooking Channel's travel-food show David Rocco's Dolce Vita has just wrapped shooting on his next series for that network, David Rocco's Amalfi Getaway, which will air in March. He'll be joining Bobby Flay and other culinary grandees at the Chef's Challenge charity event November 26-27 in Toronto to support women's cancer research. He's a passionate spokesman for Ruffino wines, and tours the country on their behalf. He and his wife had their third child in October (a baby boy named Dante). And simply to fill all the empty hours in his day, he's written his second cookbook, Made in Italy, just out from Clarkson Potter. I sat down with Rocco over lunch in Midtown Manhattan last week and asked him about his new book.
Travel + Leisure's features director Nilou Motamed chats with VH1's Jason Dundas about where the stars go to get away from it all.
Everyone has someone they admire—a certain chef, musician, or adventurer, perhaps. Here’s the chance to get up close and personal with your hero.
For the Foodie: The new gastronomic tour from renowned French chef Guy Savoy begins with lunch at his Paris restaurant (he’ll be there to greet you), where the menu is tailored to your next destination. This month, you’ll get whisked away on a jet to an oyster farm in Brittany; in November, you can create your own Cognac in Charente. The intimate trips end back where they started, with a meal hosted by the chef. From $7,000 (all-inclusive); Oct. 26–28 and Nov. 16–18.
For the Music Lover: At Hollywood, California’s Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp, you’ll form a band, get pointers from Kiss’s Paul Stanley, and take the stage at the Gibson Showroom. Leather pants not included. From $6,000 (includes most meals, a recording session, and evening activities); Nov. 10–13.
For the Space Junkie: Buzz Aldrin—the second man to walk on the moon—will speak to starstruck guests at Soneva Kiri by Six Senses Thailand, as part of the Exploratory Talkers’ Tables series. Doubles from $3,100, including meals; April 8, 2012.
Photo by Laurence Mouton
The Bollywood blockbuster of the summer, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (You Only Live Once) is a cinematic love letter to Spain, following three buddies on an epic bachelor trip that takes them from Barcelona to Seville and beyond. But lest you jump to the inevitable comparisons, the Indian Hangover it is not—ZNMD (as it's now called) has a lot less raunch, a lot more soul, and plenty of beautifully shot musical sequences.
For megastars Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, and Abhay Deol, filming was an epic adventure all its own—they spent three months on the road and even re-created Buñol’s famed Tomatina festival (with 16 tons of tomatoes!) and the running of the bulls, in Pamplona. Granted, these events don’t appear in the film in chronological order, but this is Bollywood after all, so defying logic goes with the territory—especially if it creates scenarios "ripe" for spectacular song-and-dance productions.
Andaz 5th Avenue general manager Jonathan Frolich keeps it chic from takeoff to touchdown.
“I believe flying should have an air of glamour,” says Jonathan Frolich, the Australian-born general manager of the super-stylish Andaz 5th Avenue, in New York City. “So I dress for the occasion.” While crisscrossing the globe up to 30 times each year during his previous stint as director of operations for Andaz, Frolich learned to balance style with practicality. “Being minimalist works best,” he says. Here’s what makes the cut. “I can scrunch it, throw it in the overhead, and it still comes out looking great,” Frolich says of his wool-blend Scotch & Soda blazer ($212). “My J. Crew cashmere cardigan ($218) is ideal for layering. It’s also durable.” Frolich sports a cotton button-down ($164) by Sydney-based brand Herringbone for “an old-English style with a modern twist,” as well as slim-cut Acne jeans ($270) that are “forgiving in terms of wrinkles.” His calfskin Prada shoes ($650) serve as two pairs in one: “Add laces to dress them up, or slip them on alone for a more casual style.” He’s “not a big accessories guy,” but Frolich’s Tom Ford glasses ($350) complete the look. As for his leather Mulberry carry-on ($1,450)? “I love that it has a flap instead of a zipper—it looks good, and it’s that much easier to use.”
What’s in His Bag?
At a time when everyone’s a stickler for provenance, the wine atelier O Château has struck a chord with its wine-and-tapas bar concept on the Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau near Les Halles. The concept, in addition to regularly scheduled wine tastings, is to offer a selection of exceptional wines by the glass. The house wine list offers 500 varieties (!) from around the world, with a selection of 40 wines by the glass (!) featured daily. Adding to the charm is the location: this landmark building was once a hotel particulier belonging to Madame Pompadour. A more recent claim to fame is that the chef, Tiffany Depardieu, was recently a contestant on Top Chef. An ideal location and great excuse, as if any were needed, to get to know your Latours from your Margaux. 68 rue Jean Jacques Rousseau, 1st. tel 33-1/44 73 97 80.
Tina Isaac is Travel + Leisure’s Paris correspondent.
Photo Courtesy of O Château
For anyone that knows who Adam Richman—of Travel Channel’s Man v. Food and Man v. Food Nation fame—is, his name likely conjures up images of the insanely over-the-top extreme food challenges that always top off his show. As a big fan of the show, I’ve watched him sweat his way through the spiciest of hot wings; dive into a 7 lb. breakfast burrito; and even worse, have at a 12 lb. hamburger. Each time, my mouth watered while simultaneously my stomach (and heart) hurt at even just the mere thought of taking on any of these challenges.
Being such a fan of the show, when I had the opportunity to speak with Adam about his new partnership with a social travel-sharing endeavor called Memory Mapper, I jumped at the opportunity to be able to pick his brain, even if just briefly. Memory Mapper is a Facebook app that easily let’s you take your travel photos and videos to create a slideshow of sorts; but the cool part about it is that it connects with Google Earth so people watching also feel like they’re being taken there with you.