As a business development executive and industry leader in the spa and fitness industry, Rick Maack has helped grow Maack Management and also founded Spa Standard and Relaxing Deals. In working with hotel and other groups to bring luxurious spa and wellness centers to their buildings, Rick has traveled extensively throughout the United States. Not only has he enjoyed working with various partners under a diverse set of circumstances, but also the different cities and cultures he has come into contact with during his travels.
Born in Hannibal, Missouri, Rick grew up in a very small town in Illinois called Paris. The town was very small and could hardly claim to have more than one street. There was just one barber, one diner—it was a real Americana town. As a result, his family’s move to the suburbs of Chicago proved to be a big adjustment and he focused on sports as his bedrock.
However, it wasn’t until he took a trip to New York City during his undergraduate years at the University of Illinois that his eyes were opened. Everything was foreign to him: the huge buildings contrasting with the small rooms, the electric atmosphere, the different kinds of food and people. It was a turning point in Rick’s life, one that created a need within him to experience and learn about the world. That trip to New York City has since inspired Rick to travel to places like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Paris, Milan and London. He considers a trip to Napa Valley to be his favorite due to the combination of great weather, delicious food, and a relaxing atmosphere.
When Rick travels to a new place, he’s sure to always try some of the local fare. He believes you can learn about a particular culture from their foods and the flavors they use, leading him to try new restaurants and dishes when he can. Currently, his favorite cuisine is that of the Mediterranean and the deep, rich, and earthy flavors from Italy or southern Spain. His favorite dish is branzino (pictured above). Also known as European sea bass, it is a delicate, white-fleshed fish that is normally prepared grilled, roasted, poached, steamed or braised, usually whole, with its silver scales creating a beautiful display.
This is Rick Maack’s website for travel and food reviews. If you have any food and/or travel recommendations, feel free to let him know using the form on his Contact Page.