The second edition of the New York International Olive Oil Competition opened today before a sold-out audience at the International Culinary Center and viewers of the live video feed around the world.

Judges from as far away as Australia and Japan began tasting 678 entries from 25 countries to determine the best olive oils for the 2014 season.

A two-day conference on olive oil brand development opened with an introduction by Curtis Cord, NYIOOC president, on the need to establish the connection between an olive oil’s quality and its value in the marketplace.

Today’s speakers include Dorothy Cann Hamilton, founder of the International Culinary Center; Jean-Louis Barjol, executive director of the International Olive Council; Debbie Millman, president of design at Sterling Brands and John Akeson, North America CEO of Deoleo, the world’s largest olive oil brand.

The winners of the competition will be announced at a press conference Thursday.

More information can be found on the event website, and the official results website,

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