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Staff, Collaborators + Partners

Sole Mingo-Ordóñez

Head of Operations and Customer Relations

Sole is the engine that runs PMCA in the background.

When you call or email inquiring about a trip, it’s likely you will communicate with Sole! She assists guests in finding the perfect trip and coordinates all the details behind our bookings and culinary programs. She also manages PMCA’s communication efforts, making sure that clients past and future are up to date with PMCA’s latest offerings and Peggy’s culinary discoveries across the globe.

Sole has a strong travel and foodie background and degrees in Hotel Management from Cornell University and Culinary Arts from the Culinary School of the Rockies.

An avid traveler, Sole has visited 32 countries so far and is always looking for new adventures and beauty everywhere she goes. One of her recent adventures included walking large portions of the Camino de Santiago in Spain and Portugal – twice! She has traveled with Peggy on all of PMCA trips several times, except Amalfi.

Sole is Argentinean and fluent in both Spanish and English and can speak enough French and Italian to get herself in – and out – of trouble. She lives in Boulder, Colorado when she is not traveling with Peggy or with her two wonderful children who suffer from as much wanderlust as their mom does.

Photo: Wine tasting in Mendoza, Argentina

Bernardo Conticelli

Tuscany Program Wine Instructor and Sommelier

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

Graham Markel

Occasional Assistant + Winemaker

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.

Ashley Mulligan Schütz

Occasional Assistant, Chef + Yogini

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.

Stephen Smith

Occasional Assistant + Travel Photographer
Growing up in North Carolina in an active family he spent most of his developmental days outside exploring his grandmother’s farm, the woods, streams and lakes of this bio-diversified Southern landscape.
Stephen received a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Colorado while finding time to explore the Rocky Mountains. Five months on a solo motorcycle adventure through South America piqued his interest in farming, grape growing and winemaking leading him to Napa, CA where he got his hands dirty working for boutique wineries and vineyards. In 2012, he found his next job and moved back to Colorado to work as the Director of Business Development for the first Organic distillery in the US and only Biodynamic vineyard in Colorado. Half a year on a 90,000 acre cattle ranch opened Stephen’s eyes to large scale land management, animal husbandry as well as agricultural and economic diversification.
 
Since 2016 Stephen has been homesteading on a piece of agricultural land in Northeast Oregon while continuing to shoot photos for commercial clients as well as developing his CBD brand, ONDA Wellness.

Photo: Desert gazing.

Partnerships

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.

Industry Partners

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.

Zingerman Food Tours

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.