` Trade Group Offers Olive Oil Tasting Seminar

N. America

Trade Group Offers Olive Oil Tasting Seminar

May. 22, 2014
By Vanessa Stasio

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Extra Virgin Alliance (EVA), a non-profit trade asso­ci­a­tion rep­re­sent­ing pro­duc­ers of extra vir­gin olive oil from around the world, is hold­ing an Intensive Olive Oil Tasting Seminar for Buyers and Culinary Professionals in New York on Friday, June 27 and Saturday, June 28.

Scheduled just before the Fancy Food Show, the course aims to pro­vide prac­ti­cal infor­ma­tion for any­one with ties to the olive oil world, from retail exec­u­tives and cat­e­gory man­agers to buy­ers and store employ­ees.

Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne

Alexander Kicenik Devarenne, co-founder of EVA, explained that the class will be use­ful for just about any­one who is pas­sion­ate about olive oil and look­ing to gain a foun­da­tion of knowl­edge and skills. We are equip­ping peo­ple with sound infor­ma­tion and deci­sion-mak­ing tools that are use­ful and rel­e­vant, no mat­ter where you fall along the con­tin­uum from pro­ducer to con­sumer.”

With an agenda spread over two days, the sem­i­nar promises valu­able infor­ma­tion and hands-on expe­ri­ences pro­vided by top indi­vid­u­als work­ing in the olive oil and spe­cialty food indus­tries, includ­ing Leandro Ravetti, exec­u­tive direc­tor of Boundary Bend in Australia and head of the tech­ni­cal team at Modern Olives, and Ari Weinzweig, co-founder of Zingerman’s.

While some olive oil edu­ca­tion events can run the gamut from being overly sim­plis­tic to exceed­ingly tech­ni­cal, this course was designed to strike an ideal bal­ance by offer­ing pro­gram­ming that is both author­i­ta­tive and rel­e­vant to the audi­ence but also fun and expe­ri­en­tial. Instructors and speak­ers will deliver prac­ti­cal infor­ma­tion to atten­dees and lead ses­sions rooted in an inter­ac­tive, expe­ri­ence-based teach­ing style.

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Devarenne expained, We wanted to cre­ate a multi-level expe­ri­ence. People learn dif­fer­ently, but often most effec­tively when they’re engaged in a vari­ety of ways. In this course, atten­dees will see pho­tos, dia­grams and charts, hear mul­ti­ple per­spec­tives on rel­e­vant top­ics, have the oppor­tu­nity to ask ques­tions and engage in dia­logue with other par­tic­i­pants, and of course, smell and taste oils.”

Participants will be treated to tast­ings of 38 oils over the two days, both good and bad. There will be many more good than bad,” Devarenne assures. But peo­ple have to try bad oils in order to under­stand the tech­nique, mechan­ics and vocab­u­lary of olive oil tast­ing.” Other top­ics cov­ered will include olive oil test­ing, com­mon olive oil defects and their causes, under­stand­ing olive oil stan­dards, and effec­tive olive oil mar­ket­ing. Cooking with olive oil will also be a focus of the sem­i­nar. Breakfast and lunch will be pro­vided each day, includ­ing a spe­cial pair­ing led by Bill Briwa, a chef from the Culinary Institute of America. He will also lead a lec­ture on using olive oil in the kitchen and at the table.

EVA cre­ated unique pro­gram­ming so that par­tic­i­pants will leave ready to make edu­cated choices in olive oil pur­chas­ing, han­dling and mar­ket­ing, noted Devarenne. Attendees will fin­ish the course hav­ing gained a tremen­dous amount of knowl­edge.”

The Intensive Olive Oil Tasting Seminar for Buyers and Culinary Professionals will be held at the Fitch Learning Center at 55 Broad Street in New York’s Financial District. Space is lim­ited. For more infor­ma­tion, full agenda and list of instruc­tors and speak­ers and to reg­is­ter, please visit the event web­site.


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