Daughter of Cordon Bleu trained chef and granddaughter of charismatic world travelers, food and travel have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My first glimpse of life in a different country occurred when I was ten years old – a summer in Provence. I vividly remember the relaxed afternoons with my French neighbors, playing in the orchards of a 14th century farmhouse; the evenings spent learning the perfect herb blend to season lamb chops with and dinners al fresco.
Insatiably curious, I am always searching for the perfect bite, a sunset spot where time just stops, or deeply hidden hot springs. This curiosity has led me to study in Costa Rica, spearhead countless trips to Central America, traipse around Greece & Turkey, and spend a year on a solo trip through Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile.
After my year-long sojourn through South America, the positive impact of travel, sharing meals, and authentic human connection was undeniable to me. I was working in tech and realized that although technology was created to give time to ourselves, many people were moving at the break-neck speed of a world where tech sets the pace. I knew it was crucial to slow down, travel, and enjoy the subtle beauties and deep connections that are missed if you’re moving too fast.
I am now fortunate to have an opportunity to blend my years of operations and client relations experience with my passion to share the “good life”, coordinating all the logistics and guest communications for PMCA’s incredible culinary experiences.
I call California “home” and enjoy life with year-round farmer’s markets, fresh seafood, and, of course, a nearby international airport.
Photo: Enjoying sunset in Portugal.
Born in Florence, Bernardo now splits his time between Italy and France. He has a degree in Political Science and a Master in Wine Marketing and Management and he promotes Italian wines on the export markets. Since 2015 Bernardo has been the official Champagne Ambassador to Italy.
Bernardo runs a wine marketing consulting company based in Florence and an import company specialized in artisan high-end wines, based in Paris. He also focuses in wine education for wine professionals and wine lovers, teaching in Italian, French and English.
On his spare time, Bernardo loves to make wine and runs his own small farm named Sottofiesole just outside Florence where he produces high-quality extra virgin olive oil.
Photo: Leading a wine tasting in Tuscany during our Cucina al Focolare Culinary Adventure
I was lucky enough to explore the world with my mother, father and sister from an early age. At five, I was eating kangaroo in Australia’s McLaren Vale, and at ten, I was already drinking Campari and soda in the Florentine palazzi (What?… We didn’t realize it had alcohol).
I learned how to cook at my mother’s Tuscan culinary school from some of the best chefs in Italy. At 21, I got my first cooking job at The Kitchen back in my hometown of Boulder, Colorado. I moved over to bartending after a year and began learning about wine and cocktails. This is where the idea of crafting my own beverages was sparked.
I graduated from Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and got a job at Antica Terra Winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. For seven years, I worked under Antica Terra’s Maggie Harrison and Hiyu Wine Farm’s Master Sommelier, Nate Ready. I learned many things from those two, but the number one thing I learned was to think deeply about winemaking and how to add beauty to every step of the process. No matter how arduous or tiring, every action must be taken to make the best wine possible.
Many people say that if you squint hard enough, the rolling hills of The Dalles look somewhat like the hills of Chianti. It reminded me of some wild hybrid of the American West and Tuscany, two places near and dear to my heart. The opportunity was too excellent to pass up. It was time for me to make my wine available at www.buonanottewines.com.
I still love to cook, and I’m always looking to push the boundaries of creativity in the world of food and wine. I love to join my mother on trips, especially in Tuscany where I feel most at home, but also in Procida where I lived for 5 months working with Bluedream Charter. Cooking on the boat is challenging, but obviously a joy… but not as much fun as fishing for octopus by hand.
Photo: Making wine in Hood River, Oregon.
A gypsy chef herself, Ashley Mulligan Schütz assists Peggy in some of our Morocco and Amalfi adventures. In addition to her good humor and cooking skill, Ashley brings yoga to our groups, sometimes leading optional rooftop sessions.
Ashley has been practicing yoga for 20 years, several of which, she was setting her mat up in any hallway, rooftop, or boat deck available, as she traveled throughout foreign lands. After completing her training in India to become a teacher of yoga, she promptly flew to Morocco to begin sharing her gift with others.
She gently guides practitioners of any level in a yoga practice that is calming and yet refreshing to the body and the mind.
Whether you come to your mat in the morning to move or to sit, to meditate or to pray, or even just to experience Morocco in a new way — join us for a moment blending together the warmth of early sun, the smell of orange blossoms and the call to prayer in the distance. Morning yoga with Ashley on your PMCA trip will quickly secure your love affair with Morocco or Amalfi.
Photo: Morning yoga in Imlil, Morocco.
Photo: Desert gazing.
PMCA is founded on relationships. Our culinary adventures were born in the field, but over the years, we have had the honor of cultivating relationships at the table – with a dazzling group of like-minded travelers, chefs, farmers and food artisans – which comprise the fabric that weaves it all together.
The world of food and travel is vast, and we are grateful to be able to collaborate with our friends and colleagues in the same business to offer a dovetailed experience. In addition to guiding her own brand of culinary programs, Peggy has also designed and led itineraries for other companies within the food and travel industries.
Peggy met Ari Weinsweig in the late 90’s while traveling with Old Ways Preservation and Trust in Liguria and frequent travels to Torino, Italy for Slow Food’s “Salone del Gusto”. Peggy became familiar with the zeal that is Zingerman’s through sharing local wine and tastes from the inquisitive Mr. A.W. A friendship was born, and the opportunity arose to work together on Zingerman’s Food Tours in 2010. It has been a great pleasure to co-create programs with Kristie Brablec, who became a managing partner in 2018. We in turn, are able to send all of our clients to Zingerman’s Mail Order for some of the best specialty and imported food products available in the U.S. We are honored and excited to work with such esteemed colleagues.