A peek at The Puglia Encounter Workshop, Masseria Potenti

Masseria Potenti Puglia workshop

One of the highlights of 2017 for me was hosting a food and styling workshop in late October together with two warm and talented women, Saghar Setareh of Labnoon and Alice Adams of Latteria Studio in Rome (for a group of equally wonderful women), in the most stunning location — Masseria Potenti in Puglia’s wine country of Manduria, in the province of Taranto.

I remember the excitement of touching down in Brindisi after an early morning flight from Rome and arriving at Masseria Potenti — as oasis-like as you can imagine, like walking into a dream — to the open arms of Chiara Tommasino, one half of Talea Events (run together with Valentina Guttuso), and her mother, the elegant, creative Maria Grazia Di Lauro (below).

Masseria Potenti Maria GraziaMasseria Potenti scenesMasseria Potenti Puglia Encounter workshopMasseria Potenti grounds

I can barely find the words to describe how beautiful every corner of the Masseria is. An orange grove in one corner, a row of prickly pears along a courtyard, outdoor lounges, courtyards covered in carpets where lazy cats stroll, piles of quince sitting around, perfuming the place, cactus paddles with the prickly pears still attached hanging on nails around doorways, dried grapes, long after the harvest, still hanging from their pergolas. Everything was a sight to take in slowly. It made the most idyllic setting for making orecchiette by hand, or watching a basket weaver, for setting up a sultry still life, Labnoon-style, for writing, for shooting, for collecting fruit off the plentiful trees.

We shared all our meals together on long tables, decorated elaborately by the unstoppable Maria Grazia, who often was found in the kitchen herself, making brioche for breakfast, focaccia for dinner or sweet and sour peppers for aperitivo. We ate and ate and ate (it wouldn’t be Pugliese hospitality if plenty of delicious, garden-fresh food wasn’t offered continuously) and took a day trip to Grottaglie, a town of artisan potters (much more on that soon, it needs its own post), and I even snuck out to see the nearby coast one morning for a bit of wild plant foraging before the guests arrived — we all agreed the workshop was too short; next time the unbelievably cristalline water needs to be part of it all too.

Masseria Potenti picking prickly pearsMasseria Potenti blog-28Masseria Potenti hanging prickly pearsMasseria Potenti Alice Adamsorecchiette making workshopMasseria Potenti blog-52Masseria Potenti foragingMasseria Potenti Masseria Potenti Puglia sea Punta ProsciuttoGrottaglie Grottaglie Nicola Fasano ceramicsSaghar Setareh of Labnoon in GrottaglieMasseria Potenti - Maria GraziaMasseria Potenti blog-35

To find out any workshops and events coming up this year, keep an eye on instagram or my events page for more information.


  1. Alison Spare says:

    What a wonderful post about the magical Masseria Potenti and a gathering of such talented women. We fell in love with this region of Puglia years ago and have had the pleasure of dining at the Masseria when staying at our holiday house ilcubonardo.com in Nardò. While Tuscany is what first brought us to Italy, it’s the heel of Italy that stole our hearts- thanks for sharing your adventures in Puglia. Alison

  2. Alice Adams says:

    Stunning images of an amazing experience Emiko, thanks for bringing it all back. ps. I want a workshop dedicated solely to orecchiette technique!

  3. Tania Sibrey says:

    beautiful post and images Emiko, I just love this beautiful region of Italy.

  4. Beautiful post – it had me wishing I was there. And such beautiful photography. I’d be interested in any future workshops. Well done!

  5. Hi Emiko,

    I love your blog and you have inspired our family (my wife is Kathy Kuo 🙂 to take a trip to Puglia and stay at Masseria Potenti in June.

    I was wondering if you had any additional photos of Masseria Potenti, we would LOVE to link to your blog, give you a shout out and of course credit your work for this.

    Let me know and I look forward to following more of your work!

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