The San Francisco Art Institute at Fort Mason in the Marina District of San Francisco

The ninth edition of the Olive Oil Sommelier Certification Program produced by the Olive Oil Times Education Lab and the International Culinary Center is coming this September to San Francisco.

An international faculty of renowned experts will guide students through more than 100 olive oil samples from 26 countries in the world’s most comprehensive curriculum in olive oil quality assessment.

The six-day, two-level olive oil sommelier certification course will convene within the San Francisco Art Institute in the city’s Marina District with dramatic views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The director of the program, Curtis Cord, said students were in store for an unrivaled educational experience designed to foster a deep understanding of olive oil quality assessment. Cord developed the program with the late Dorothy Cann Hamilton, founder of the International Culinary Center.

While students of the sommelier program have included such diverse professionals as producers, marketers, importers, merchants, food buyers, quality-control managers, chefs, journalists and lawyers, Cord said the program is designed to teach the vital skills of sensory analysis and appreciation to anyone concerned with olive oil quality. There are no prerequisites for the course.

Nearly 200 have successfully completed both levels of the acclaimed program, joining a growing international network of experts and educators. Many have gone on to launch their own educational initiatives, author books, offer consulting services and develop programs to foster a greater understanding of matters relating to olive oil quality, culture and usage.

“I enjoyed the course and really appreciated how well organized it was, and how it brought people from other fields of expertise together,” said Zi Xie, an Australian entrepreneur who took the course in New York last May. “My favorite part was the people I met and the passion that was shared.”

“There is not a single path when we talk about olive oil,” said Christian Vogt, an olive oil producer in Brazil. “There are many possibilities and the sum of visions and knowledge presented to the student can be applied in its own way.”

“I like the whole concept of the course as a comprehensive and practical source of information about olive oil,” said Monika Solińska, a retailer and olive oil educator in Poland. “My favorite part was the great people, my classmates and the amazing lecturers from different countries and regions.”

Enrollment for the San Francisco program is open on the Olive Oil Times Education Lab website.


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