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Christie Hefner with author Barbara Bonfigli.

Christie Hefner hosted a book signing party at her fabulous apartment high atop Lake Shore Drive for her friend Barbara Bonfigli.  Barbara is quite an accomplished lady who besides writing “Cafe Tempest” (her first book), she is also a lyricist and theatrical producer.  According to her bio, “she wore out five passports and four continents before settling down on a mythical Greek island to uncork her memories, her imagination, and a bottle or two of retsina.”  Retsina (a Greek white wine) is a major ingredient in Barbara’s “Tempestinis” that were served at the party.  The recipe is in the book and her cocktail creation has become a sensation all by itself!   

Barbara is a delight with a bright twinkle in her eye that tells you this is a woman living her dreams and marching to her own drumbeat.  She read a couple of chapters from her book which sent guests rushing to purchase one for themselves…

 I also learned at the party that Christie is a talk show host waiting to happen!  She deftly introduced Barbara and led the audience in a brilliant Q & A. that was spellbinding.  It was great to see Christie’s mom Milly  there too.  I haven’t seen her in 20 years since the Playboy days and she looks EXACTLY the same. 

Other lucky guests included Bill Zwecker, Tom Gorman, Marisa and Dimitri Alexander (who are having a baby girl soon), Dori Wilson, Joy Germont, Barbara Kipper, Andrea Dres (who is with the Oprah Winfrey Show and was one of the 1500 lucky employees who recently got to take her family on the ocean liner cruise with Oprah and Gail), Katherine Smith, George Bliss, Maria Pappas, Susanna Negovan, Brenda Sexton, Leslie Hindman, Mary Lou Gorno and many others.  Thanks for a wonderful evening Christie!


Mary Lou Gorno with auctioneer Leslie Hindman


Barbara Levy Kipper with Billy Marovitz


Barbara’s cocktail creation, the Tempestini!


Joy Germont, Katherine Smith and Andrea Dres


Enchanted guests….


Christie’s mom Milly (center) with Barbara Kipper and friend.


Maria Pappas getting her book signed by Barbara.


Christie conducting the Q & A..


Andrea Dres, George Bliss (WIND radio) and Susanna Negovan with friend.


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  • Great coverage and beautiful photos for all of us who could not attend to enjoy. Thank you Candace.

    In Chicagoland, copies of Cafe Tempest: Adventures on a Small Greek Island are available at:
    Women & Children First
    5233 N. Clark St.
    Chicago, IL 60640
    Tel: 773.769.9299
    Fax: 773.769.6729

    and you may also purchase via our store on

    Happy Summer reading all!

  • Thanks for the extra info and I'm glad you enjoyed the blog! Have a great summer! My husband is reading "Cafe Tempest" now.....I'm NEXT! :-)

  • FYI in the last picture, Susan Negovan's friend is Terry Poulos of The Greek Star. I believe he is also President of the Greek Media Club.

    Love your new blog here at Kurman!

  • In reply to kurmanstaff:

    Thanks so much for this info! I finally got his name from Barbara and added it to the blog. Glad you're reading it and hope you have a wonderful summer!

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