13th August 2015
Place of Work:
The Churchill Bar & Terrace (Hyatt Regency)
30 Portman Square
020 7299 2035
What do you enjoy most about working with cigars?
I love the fact that it allows me to share my passion for this beautiful product with other cigar connoisseurs which always brings in new cigars to try, stories to share and interesting facts to absorb. On the other hand I feel privileged to have an opportunity to help everyone to enter this beautiful world with a bit of advice and entry information.
What first interested you in cigars?
It was a little coincidental at the beginning as I didn’t know much about cigars when I joined the Churchill Bar & Terrace. It was black magic to me those days. I remember one of the first times I opened the humidor and was going through the cigars I couldn’t understand why some Vitolas de Galera are the same as Vitolas de Salida and some are different, I then started to dig deeper and read about it which is when my passion really took off. It blossomed when I began to smoke cigars regularly and realised how much I enjoyed it.
Do you remember your first cigar?
Oh yes, I was yellow the next morning. It was Cohiba Genios, from the Linea Maduro 5 and it was the time when I smoked cigarettes as well and couldn’t stop inhaling the cigar. There was some Japanese whisky involved as well. It took couple of months until I tried the next cigar but it was so worth it.
What is the best piece of advice you have for someone just starting to smoke cigars?
Start slowly. It doesn’t need to be a big cigar like in the movies. After my adventure with the Cohiba Genios I did some research and started again, this time with Hoyo de Monterrey. I recommend small sizes to begin with as you need to smoke cigar from the beginning till the end to truly understand the journey the Cuban tobacco takes you on. Progress slowly, exchange your observations with others and you’ll be surprised how many great cigars there are to explore.
What are your favorite three cigars?
Everyone knows that this is a very tricky question as there are many cigars which stay in our memory due to the people and occasions we share them with. As an everyday smoke I enjoy the PorLarrañaga Petit Corona which is great in the morning as well as after lunch. In the evening I like a richer Ramon Allones Specially Selected. On special occasions, especially when in Cuba, I like slim, elegant gauges and go for a Cohiba Lanceros or Trinidad Fundadores. Well, that’s four, but there you go.
Has becoming a Master in Havana Cigars helped you in your profession?
It put everything that I wanted to know and needed to know together. It involved a very detailed exam with a lot of information to gather,which then enables me to answer many questions people have about cigars, as well as provide me with a lot of interesting facts which can then be shared with guests. I am very proud to be wearing this beautiful badge.