An international panel of leading experts will assemble at The International Culinary Center in New York City on April 16-18, 2013 for the New York International Olive Oil Competition to identify, and honor, the best extra virgin olive oils in the world.

Organized by the leading olive oil publication, Olive Oil Times, the three-day event in SoHo will include tastings, workshops and culinary demonstrations by top chefs.

“This is the definitive contest to crown the year’s very best olive oils from around the world,” said Curtis Cord, executive editor of Olive Oil Times and president of the New York International Olive Oil Competition, “and that competition is, naturally, here in New York.”

The event is sponsored by The International Culinary Center founded as The French Culinary Institute, a leading center for culinary education, which produces first-rate graduates that advance the industry. “We are excited to be hosting The New York International Olive Oil Competition for the first time,” said Dorothy Cann Hamilton, CEO and Founder of The International Culinary Center. “Olive oil is key to almost every cuisine around the world and it’s important to teach professional and aspiring chefs about all of its wonderful qualities and uses in the kitchen.”

Two seminars will be held at The International Culinary Center during the week that will teach chefs and other culinary professionals the advanced points of olive oil at a time when the public’s curiosity about it is at an all-time high.

The event’s culinary program is sponsored by the legendary New York-area gourmet retailer Fairway Markets.

Organizers expect more than 500 olive oil producers from around the world to enter the competition. And while the bragging rights that come with taking the top prize at the world’s most important olive oil contest can be a boon for the winners, it might also be an incredible opportunity for their products to enter one of the world’s biggest consumer markets.

“Fairway has been bringing outstanding olive oils to its customers for years,” said Steven Jenkins, cheesemonger and grocer for Fairway Markets. “After the competition, we are going to feature displays in all of the Fairway stores offering the competition’s winning oils to our customers, along with an olive oil tasting and food-pairing guidebook we’re creating for the occasion.”

The winners will be featured all year long in a special section of the online olive oil guide on the Olive Oil Times website. Readers will be able to learn about the newly-crowned producers and click through to retail outlets that carry their oils.

Cord said, “Our olive oil guide is viewed by thousands every day. The New York International Olive Oil Competition section is a great resource for learning about the very best oils around the world – and how consumers and food industry professionals can find them for their own kitchens.”

During that week in April, many of the olive oil entries will also be featured at some of New York’s top restaurants in special pairing menus developed to highlight the characteristics of these elite extra virgin olive oils.

More information will be available on the New York International Olive Oil Competition website.

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