In front of a packed house at the International Culinary Center Theater in New York City, Curtis Cord, president of the New York International Olive Oil Competition, flanked by his judging panel, recognized the best olive oil producers in the world at a crowded press conference.
Amid an atmosphere electric with palpable excitement and nervous anticipation, an audience of olive oil producers, marketers, food industry professionals and press, along with viewers worldwide tuning into the live-streamed broadcast, listened attentively as Cord detailed the specifics of the competition. The minutes and seconds until the results were to be announced ticked away on a countdown clock on the theater screen.
SEE THE WINNERS: The Complete List of the World’s Best Olive Oils
Over the course of four days, an esteemed international panel of expert olive oil tasters evaluated a collection of 651 oils from 25 countries among 24 categories. Cord began by recognizing all of the participants: “Many of these producers will not win an award today. It does not mean their olive oil is bad. It simply means that on this day, it did not score well enough with our international panel of judges to be placed at the top. To those producers who don’t win today, let me say this — thank you for your ambition to produce a product of magnificent quality — and congratulations for possessing such spirit and aspiration to do something very difficult and vitally important, for the benefit of all of us.”
Cord informed the audience that Spain and Italy had won the most medals in the competition, though other countries had notable showings. Interestingly, all four entries from Slovenia won awards, including one Best In Class. Three of Mexico’s six entries won awards.
Cord bantered with attendees as only a few minutes remained before the official unveiling. Several audience members even started counting down once it reached the ten second mark. Finally, at exactly 6:00 pm EDT, Cord pressed a button to dramatically unveil the competition’s winners. The audience broke into applause as each Best In Class winner was displayed on the screen. Next followed all other award winners inciting lively chatter, and the occasional cheer, among the captivated crowd.
All of the New York International Olive Oil Competition winners can be found the website bestoliveoils.com. The site contains detailed information on all of the winners including specific features of the oils, judges’ tasting notes and links to producers’ websites.