I am honored that my good friend Tonio Creanza has invited me to travel with him to Puglia, Italy this June to help out with his Messors Culinary Workshops. Messors is an exploration into the Mediterranean culture in Tonio’s hometown of Altamura and the surrounding areas. These workshops are open to the public, and we would love to have you there.

The workshops are scheduled to last 7 days and will include an in-depth look into the origins, methods and myths of Mediterranean food culture. Days will be filled with activities such as building a clay oven (and making bread in it!), foraging for wild edible plants, going deep into the world of olive oil, cheese making and visiting the nearby fish markets in Trapani. I am certainly leaving some things out, but if you’re interested check out Tonio’s website for the official itinerary. Shopping the local markets and returning to our accommodations at the rustic Masseria La Selva (a converted 18th century hunting lodge) to cook and eat a leisurely family-style dinners will round out the evenings and allow everyone to get to know each other in short order. There is also an optional 3-day add-on to the workshop, (highly recommended!) with the choice of shadowing a shepherd as he tends to his flock in the hills above Altamura, and going deeper into the craft of local cheeses, olive oil production and butchery.

I am really excited to be a part of the workshops. I am by no means an expert on the local culture — Tonio will guide us together through the nuances and gems of history, place, and tradition. My forte will be to aid in the cooking and to assist Tonio organize the trip. There will definitely be a few songs sung over the week as well. At a dinner we were collaborating on last year, Tonio got wind that I sang and played guitar, so without telling me, he announced to the crowd that I would be singing a song next. After my initial shock, I got out there and sang and Tonio and I have been good friends ever since.


Messors Culinary Workshop: Harvesting Food Through History
Location: Altamura (Bari), Italy
Session One: June 1 through June 10, 2013
Session Two: July 24 through August 2, 2013
Length: 7days (optional 3 day itinerary extension)
Cost: $1500 CAD (+3 day Itinerary Extension (total 10 days) $1850 CAD)
Accommodation: Masseria La Selva
Workshop Includes: Accommodation, meals, transportation to and from Bari Airport or the main train station. All field trips, classes and lectures, guided tours, entrance fees to art exhibitions, museums and archeological sites are included.
Personal costs such as airfare, trainfare, spending money and health insurance are not included. Guests are responsible for arranging their own airfare.
Register: Workshops are limited to 12 people per session. Enquiries about Messors can be made by emailing Program Director Tonio Creanza at Tonio will provide an email introduction to Messors and personally register each guest.
Visit the Messors Culinary Workshop Website here.