by mimithorisson

It‘s been a while. In fact it‘s been a whole year. Time, it goes by in a blink of an eye. A year ago we announced the workshops for 2019 and while I didn‘t expect to go so long without posting here on my blog, sometimes it‘s good to take a break, reflect, discover new things.
This year has admittedly been devoted to my upcoming Italian cookbook, it’s been an incredible journey, putting my soul and my efforts into this new adventure.
At the same time, spending so much time in Italy since last July has made me miss France. They say that you can‘t be two places at once, but maybe you can. I spend much of my time in a culinary universe and that means you can go anywhere you want, teleport yourself to a place you love through food. Living in France we were always looking for the best Italian produce, a great guanciale, the finest Pecorino, a good bottle of Barolo. Now friends bring me French butter and cheeses to Italy.

In the last five years we‘ve hosted hundreds of people, mostly in our house in Médoc, but recently also here in Piemonte. A lot of these people stay in touch, send me notes or comments. Beautiful food memories from a workshop or opening a bottle of wine from Bordeaux – these are sometimes flatteringly called ‘’Mimi meals“ which makes me blush but also makes me happy and proud.
People, we have learnt, come for different reasons to our workshops. Many like cooking together, most like drinking, all like eating. Sitting, far too long, at a table far too full, sharing that table with other like minded people, strangers when they arrive, friends when they leave. It astonishes me every time how much you can learn about another person during 3 days of culinary adventures.

I have also discovered that people take very different things back home with them. A few good pointers on wine. Tips on photography. Some new cooking techniques, discovering a new region, a dozen good recipes. How they would like to entertain once back home. Many people think our kids are well behaved. My husband doesn‘t always agree with that. Most think our dogs are badly behaved (but adorable), my husband certainly doesn‘t agree with that.
The person who learns the most though, must be me. There are professions I didn‘t know existed which I can now discuss at length in cocktail parties, there are places I never heard about that I now dream of visiting. If these workshops demonstrate anything it‘s how different people can be and yet, once at the table, all so alike.

France is in my blood, I‘ve been eating French food since I was born. Italy has always been there for me but it‘s been a steep learning curve since we moved here last summer. Writing a cookbook, I suppose, can be easy. A hundred recipes that work, some nice shots. But a book that really means something to me, does justice to Italy, is respectful, accessible to readers is harder. So much to choose from, so many different ways to cook the same things. Just when you feel satisfied you cook something new, try something new. A sauce that you thought couldn‘t be made better suddenly can. A new secret ingredient, a little touch. It‘s all finally coming together, can‘t wait to show you the results next year.

When we first started out we had not plan to do this beyond the first year. Every year we ask ourselves, around this time of the year. What about next year? And the answer is always obvious. Why on earth wouldn‘t we. To say that the workshops have been a success, for us and the guests, is an understatement. We still have no plan, life is full of possibilities. What happens in 2021 is anyone‘s guess, but next year the show will go on, we are as enthusiastic as ever. France is still our home, Italy is our new home. We love to share both and are happy to invite you to one or the other.

This time we decided to list only our classic workshops (many readers have been asking me to posts new dates for 2020), both in France and Italy. People, we have found out, like to plan ahead and many or most of our bookings happen up to a year in advance.
We do, however, have a few more ideas up our sleeve, something different, a road trip (which has now been added), a visit to a new place, but that may or may not happen, and would be announced with much less notice.

Workshops of 2020

2020 is our sixth year of hosting workshops and like I said last year I think we‘ve come up with a good formula in Médoc that works for most people, including us. 3 seems to be the magic number of days.

The price for a Médoc workshop is 2.500 euros per person with everything included except accommodation which guests choose themselves – but don‘t worry, we have plenty of good options for you.

The Italian workshops are 3.500 euros per person but then we include 2 nights accommodation, transportation during the workshop (although you have to get yourself to and from Torino first), all food and wine, with some meals in restaurants.

Please note that all deposits are non-refundable. I find that to be a necessary step to avoid confusion and frivolous bookings. Should, however, something prevent you from attending the workshop you booked (and I know from experience that this can happen) I would be very happy to find other dates that work for you in the future.

For those who follow me on Instagram, you can catch a glimpse of our previous workshops @mimithor.

Looking forward to hearing from you all,
Mimi xx

For all bookings and further detailed information please write to me:
[email protected]

Workshops at our property in Médoc, France

June 24-26, 2020 ‘’The annual Summer abundance workshop“

By now this workshop is a classic, a yearly staple, just like the Fall Harvest workshop. The format is simple, long days and nights of cooking, feasting and drinking wine. A seemingly endless run of long tables, swaying from all the goodness, inside or al fresco, some surprises of course, wine tastings and much loveliness. While the outline is clear we are always open to improvisation and the most important ingredient is you, the characters. Like a new staging of an old favorite play. You love it because it‘s familiar and you love it because it‘s new.

Cost of participation 2.500 euros.

July 1-3, 2020 ‘’The second annual Summer abundance workshop“

Because the June Summer abundance workshop filled up so quickly and we keep getting enquires and requests to join, it’s our great pleasure to add a second, almost identical workshop a week later. It will of course be very similar to the first one but experience has taught me that each group is different and creates a unique dynamic, the mix of people, the influence of weather, which dishes we decide to cook and which wine graces our table – each workshop is a special experience not quite like any other.

Cost of participation 2.500 euros.

September 16-18, 2020 The annual Fall Harvest workshop

Another big classic every year is this celebration of fall. In addition to the wine harvest which is really what our region is all about we will forage for mushrooms if the conditions are right, we‘ll set up a feast in the forest, we‘ll take advantage of cooking at this bountiful time when we still have some tomatoes left in our garden but the figs, pumpkins and chestnuts have already arrived. Moving this workshop a little bit forward in the calendar improves the chances of warm weather which means meals al fresco.

Cost of participation 2.500 euros.

Workshops in Piemonte, Italy

Spring in Piemonte workshops 2020

Date: April 15-17, 2020

Date: May 13-15, 2020

Fall in Piemonte workshops 2020

Date: September 23-25, 2020

Date: October 21-23, 2020

The Piemonte workshops we hosted this year were absolutely lovely and one of my new favorites. As always these workshops are about cooking, eating, tasting wine but also discovering this lesser known part of Italy. Torino was built by the Savoy dynasty of France who transferred their capital from Chambery to Piemonte and went on to lead the unification of Italy. Thus Torino was the first capital of a unified Italy which surprisingly only happened in 1861. Piemonte is the home of the slow food movement, some of the finest wines in Italy, most notably the Barolos and Barbarescos, leading coffee roasters, such as our friends the Vergnano family who will give us the most heartfelt coffee lesson. Piemonte is the land of fresh pasta, big meats, hazelnuts and has one of the best organic farmers market on the planet. Torino, the regional capital of Piemonte, is where they invented the aperitivo, started Italian cinema, a majestic city built for kings, with glorious castles sprinkled around the surrounding countryside.
We will spend our time partly in Torino itself and partly in the wine making hills of the Langhe Roero. There will be hands on cooking in beautiful locations but also visits to our friend‘s restaurants where we‘ll see some demonstrations. There will be photography for those who want, there will be wine. It‘s about discovering Piemonte through its food and wine, taking home some recipes and memories.

Cost of participation for all the Piemonte workshops is 3.500 euros per person including 2 nights accommodation.

The Great Italian Road Trip 2020

Date: October 6-10, 2020

Last October we hosted the most stunning workshop – a road trip from Rome to Naples, to Bologna to Torino. It was so successful that we feel we must do a repeat in 2020 and see if we can do even better. We’ll meet up in Rome on the morning of the 6th but won’t stay there for the night. We prefer to do things this way as we assume our guests will have arrived at least a day earlier and would have explored the city on their own – of course we’ll give some tips. We’ll have a big Roman lunch before boarding a train for Naples where we’ll stay the following 2 nights. One of those nights we’ll cook together, the other one we’ll have a pizza class at one of the best places in Naples. Naples is so wonderful and has completely captured our hearts, a bit crazy but full of history, elegance, beauty and delicious food 🙂 From Naples we’ll head to Bologna by train (quite fast 3 1/2 hours) and spend one night in Emilia Romagna. After that we shift to cars and will drive up through this endlessly rich food region, have a sumptuous lunch near Parma and then arrive in Torino (our adopted home town) for a late dinner. We’ll spend the following day in Torino (this will be Saturday the 10th) and then say goodbye after dinner. I imagine some people might want to extend their stay, some by 1 night and some for longer which is why we don’t take care of the accommodation after the workshop is finished. 
So a 5 day extravaganza taking us from South to North through 4 regions, each with delightfully diverse and different culinary traditions. Many of our stops include meeting friends and colleagues in the Italian food world, some have even contributed to my upcoming Italian cookbook which will be published next October – I’ll be sure to have advance copies on board 🙂
The full price for participation for one person is 4.500 euros with 4 night’s accommodation included (2 nights in Naples, one in Bologna and one in Torino). All transportation from the moment we meet in Rome until we say goodbye in Torino and all food and wine is included. The price can be lowered to 8.000 euros for 2 people sharing a room.

Photography workshops 2020

We are hosting two photography workshops next spring, one in Napoli and one in Paris – they will be a truly special experience. It’s been a dream of ours to do something like this in Paris (where Oddur and I lived together for 7 years and I even longer before that) and now everything is falling into place 🙂
We love Paris in early Summer, all the great seasonal produce and such optimism in the air before things start winding down in July and everyone heads for their holidays. We’ve never lived in Napoli but we absolutely adore the city, so vibrant and crazy and colourful, completely different from any other experience you can find in Italy, we keep going back, have good friends there and “food connections” :)This is a visual workshop set against the backdrop of the Parisian food scene on one hand and the unique city of Naples on the other. In the Paris workshop the target is to end up with as many good shots of the restaurant scene, from markets, to kitchens to dining rooms. Portraits of chefs and waiters, ambience – the Restaurant is one of our favourite subjects and this will be like shooting an editorial on French restaurants with a lot of insider access. Naples will also have a strong food presence, how could it not, but here the focus is as much on the city, the people and culture as it is on food. It’s hard to imagine a more photogenic city than Naples, elegant and rough at the same time, like a big stage where anything can happen. One day we will spend outside of the city, visiting one of the nearby islands … documenting the holiday feel.We’ll spend 3 days together, from breakfast until after dinner. All the meals will be well curated and relevant to our theme, two meals we’ll cook together (those who want – the others will just shoot away) as part of the food styling and shooting. There will be an emphasis on wine, a passion of ours, some wine tastings of our favourite wines, from France and Italy. The days will be quite long, around 12-14 hours counting everything but you should go home with not only an enhanced knowledge of photography but also the city, the local cuisine and culture.The price per person for participation in these workshop is 3.800 euros which is of course a bit more costly than the 2.500 euros we now charge for the Médoc workshops but on the other hand here 3 nights accommodation and several other costs are included, such as transportation during the workshop and all meals including great wines. The price can be lowered to 7.000 euros for two people sharing a room.

The Naples Photography workshop May 7-9, 2020

The Paris Photography workshop June 17-19, 2020