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The Good Life

Made For You, December 2018

A grand Airstream; padlocks that open by fingerprint; a Cuban cookbook; smoky olive oil; duck carvings and wooden cases
By CA Editors | From Danny DeVito, November/December 2018
Made For You, December 2018

In a world of fast food and one-size-fits-all sensibilities, how often does something feel made especially for you? The “Made for You” section celebrates those items that are created with such high quality of hand workmanship and degree of customization that they become individual to you. In each issue, our editors will endeavor to bring you special things from anywhere on the globe, choosing them solely on the basis of outstanding quality. Our goal is to give you guidance on the best of everything.

Grand Touring—Airstream

We love Airstream trailers for their deco-like bullet design, but for serious touring the company’s Interstate Class-B motorhome lineup fits the bill. The latest in the series is the Interstate EXT Slate edition. It comes on the familiar Mercedes-Benz platform and includes both Grand Tour and Lounge platforms as well as Benz safety features such as collision prevention, lane keeping assistant and side- and rear-view cameras, as well as many luxe amenities. Limited to only 75.


Woodn’t It Be Nice—Toast

Just because your smartphone, tablet, laptop, gaming console, home assistant, etc. is a soulless piece of electronics bent on controlling your life, it doesn’t mean you can’t dress it up in warming wood tones and, perhaps, an image that evokes your personality. The accessory company Toast makes tech covers in walnut, ash, bamboo and reclaimed ebony that fit snugly to your devices and allow you to customize with a laser-engraved image (movie character, cultural touchstone, symbol) with personal meaning.

Frank Shattuck

Ducking Out—Frank Shattuck

You may know Frank Shattuck for his benchmade suits featured on Anthony Bourdain’s “Raw Craft,” but the custom tailor’s interests go beyond just working with needle and thread. As a sideline to bespoke menswear ordered by Skype from his upstate New York studio, Shattuck carves birds out of a range of woods that include cherry, apple and maple. His works of art (around $300 each) are fashioned to feature the natural wood grains. “I let the wood be the wood,” says Shattuck. 315-882-4724

Holy Smoke

Striking Oil—Holy Smoke

Naturally, we’re fans of nearly everything that is smoky, so we embrace the products from Holy Smoke, a line of smoke flavored gourmet items created by Charleston, South Carolina, residents Kyle Payne and Max Blackman. The duo first smoked olive oil, then added other products such as smoked honey (superb), Bloody Mary Mix (a natural for smoke) and black pepper, which adds a delightful touch of barbecue essence to eggs, meats and other items.

Tapplock One

Fingerprint Access—Tapplock One

The same of-the-moment technology that allows you to use your fingerprint to unlock your cellphone has been applied to a bit of technology that’s been with us for far longer: the padlock. Not only does the fingerprint sensor on Tapplock One ($100) dispense with the frustration of remembering combinations and inputting them correctly, but the durable lock saves up to 500 fingerprints, so you can share access with several users. And a handy phone app lets you load fingerprints remotely.

Taste of Cuba

Haute Havana—Taste Of Cuba

Havana is a city that teems with paladares, private restaurants at which the innovative chefs prepare superb dishes, often while making heroic efforts to obtain ingredients in a country where the pickings are slim. The journalist Cynthia Carris Alonso, who has been traveling to Cuba for 25 years, sought out these chefs and recorded their recipes in the tome A Taste of Cuba, new from Apollo Publishers ($35). “I went to all my favorite paladares,” she says. “A lot of the recipes are from the chef’s heads.” The book also serves as a tour guide to Havana, with wonderful photographs. 

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