` An International Competition in Sicily

Fairs, Competitions

An International Competition in Sicily

Oct. 9, 2015
By Luciana Squadrilli

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The olive oil taster and con­sul­tant Anto­nio Lauro has for years believed that South­ern Italy — includ­ing the famous olive oil-pro­duc­ing regions such as Cal­abria, Apu­lia and Sicily — was in need of its very own high-pro­file olive oil com­pe­ti­tion.

Now he says it will have just that, with Lauro at the helm of the new Dom­ina Inter­na­tional Olive Oil Con­test (D‑IOOC) to be held from May 13 – 17, 2016 in Palermo, Sicily.

I have always thought that South­ern Italy had to host its own com­pe­ti­tion and that it had to be a rel­e­vant one,” Lauro said. There are some other awards such as Sirena d’Oro or Biol, but they are lim­ited to spe­cific cat­e­gories, such as the Ital­ian PDO or organic oils.”

This first edi­tion will only be the begin­ning of a new process of involve­ment and pos­i­tive debate for pro­duc­ers.- Anto­nio Lauro

Lauro said he aims for the new con­test to become the main Euro­pean extra vir­gin olive oil com­pe­ti­tion,” open to North­ern and South­ern Hemi­sphere prod­ucts and with five dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories: extra vir­gin olive oil, organic, PDO, sin­gle vari­ety and blends.

His part­ners in this ven­ture include Vinar, an Argen­tin­ian con­sult­ing com­pany run by Raúl Castel­lani and his son Leonardo, who already man­age other inter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions in Israel and Argentina, and the Dom­ina hotel brand, which owns a num­ber of prop­er­ties located in Italy, includ­ing Milan, Palermo, Venice and Posi­tano.

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The Dom­ina Milano Fiera Hotel will host the launch press con­fer­ence on the Octo­ber 23, to meet the national and inter­na­tional press gath­ered in Milan for the last week of Expo 2015.

The beau­ti­ful Dom­ina Coral Bay Santa Flu­via, a few kilo­me­ters from Palermo, will host the com­pe­ti­tion and related events includ­ing guided tast­ings, a sci­en­tific con­fer­ence ded­i­cated to oil, nutri­tion and health,” and a gala din­ner and award cer­e­mony.

On the last day, it will also be pos­si­ble for atten­dees to taste the short-listed sam­ples.

Antonio G. Lauro

Accord­ing to the orga­ni­za­tion about 200 sam­ples are expected, mainly hail­ing from the Mediter­ranean area (Spain, Por­tu­gal, France, Turkey, Ciprus, Malta, Greece and Italy) and from the Mid­dle East (Israel, Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank) but also from Over­seas and the South­ern Hemi­sphere, includ­ing North and South Amer­ica and South Africa.

The jury will include Lauro him­self, Bar­bara Alfei and Indra Galbo from Italy, Selin Ertür from Turkey, Brigida Jimènez from Spain, Cristina Strib­acu from Greece, Miciyo Yamada from Japan and Taghreed Mohamed A. She­hadeh from Pales­tine.

Among the key points to dis­tin­guish D‑IOOC from many other com­pe­ti­tions, Lauro sug­gested, are the dif­fer­ent rela­tion­ships to be estab­lished within the par­tic­i­pat­ing pro­duc­ers, and an empha­sis on the touris­tic poten­tial of the event.

On the first point, Lauro said, We hope that this first edi­tion will only be the begin­ning of a new process of involve­ment and pos­i­tive debate for pro­duc­ers. We want to invite them to join us for a four-day, full immer­sion of inter­ac­tion, exchanges and reci­procity.”

When the Dom­ina man­age­ment told me they were inter­ested in the food and wine field, and that they wanted to aim for qual­ity both for their usual offer and for new kinds of events, I imme­di­ately real­ized they were the ideal part­ner for the com­pe­ti­tion since they are an inno­v­a­tive, dynamic and proac­tive com­pany,” Lauro said.

Illus­trat­ing the point, the hotel will be cre­at­ing a spe­cific olive oil enthu­si­ast” pack­age to give vis­i­tors the chance to par­take in the com­pe­ti­tion by join­ing tast­ings, con­fer­ences and meet­ings, while enjoy­ing the breath­tak­ing beauty of the Sicil­ian island.

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