Albert Leonard, Jr. (Ph.D., University of Chicago), Professor Emeritus in both the Departments of Classical Archaeology and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Arizona, is an archaeologist who specializes in the social impact of interregional trade among the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean World. In addition to his work in Italy, Al has directed excavations at a number of sites around the Mediterranean (in Greece, Egypt, Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, and Portugal), and has published the results of his work in six books and more than 150 articles. Throughout his career, he has been very active in educational outreach, lecturing on art and archaeology to a range of audiences from elementary school classes to university Adult Education groups. For over three decades Al lectured nationally for the Archaeological Institute of America, which awarded him its Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award by which it “acknowledged and applauded the invaluable service that (he) has given to the archaeological community as an educator.”
As his alter ego, The Time Traveling Gourmet©, Al combines archaeological, historical, and literary material with culinary skills acquired at Le Cordon Bleu and the Culinary Institute of America (where he was partially supported by a Robert Parker Wine Advocate Scholarship) in order to reconstruct (in the classroom or the kitchen) dishes described by ancient authors such as Archestratus, a 4th-century BCE Sicilian cook who has often been called the “Father of Gastronomy.” He writes and lectures regularly on food and wine – both ancient and modern – and presently divides his time between Boston, where he is a Research Associate at Harvard’s Semitic Museum, and California’s Russian River Valley, where he is a member of the Society of Wine Educators and the Northern Sonoma County convivium of Slow Food International. Al has lectured to excellent reviews on eleven previous AIA-sponsored Mediterranean travel programs, and looks forward to sharing with us his decades of archaeological experience – as well as some excellent pasta – during our travels.
Professor Emeritus in the Departments of Classical Archaeology and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Arizona