`Critical Information for Olive Oil Decision Makers - Olive Oil Times

Critical Information for Olive Oil Decision Makers

Dec. 6, 2011
Lori Zanteson

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In today’s new world of olive oil, marked by rapid growth in the olive oil indus­try and sub­se­quent changes in the retail and food­ser­vice mar­kets, there has never been a more crit­i­cal time for buy­ers to take con­trol of olive oil qual­ity.

Much needed infor­ma­tion about olive oil qual­ity, fla­vor and value is the focus of the edu­ca­tional sem­i­nar, Olive Oil Flavor & Quality: Next-Generation Benchmarks for Specialty Retail, Supermarkets & Foodservice,” pre­sented by the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and the UC Davis Olive Center (see the pro­gram here).

The January 12 event will take place at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in California’s Napa Valley, just before the NASFT’s 2012 Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. Targeting retail, food­ser­vice, pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­b­u­tion pro­fes­sion­als, top olive oil experts will share insights to help dis­tin­guish good qual­ity olive oil from bad.

The real­ity of what most peo­ple think they know about olive oil qual­ity, fla­vor and value is likely wrong. This sem­i­nar aims to replace old and inac­cu­rate beliefs with infor­ma­tion aligned with today’s olive oil mar­ket. This new world of olive oil is the result of inno­v­a­tive pro­duc­ers deliv­er­ing bet­ter qual­ity oils with an array of fla­vors at com­pet­i­tive prices.


The sem­i­nar includes a range of dis­cus­sions designed to give indus­try pro­fes­sion­als the infor­ma­tion needed to pro­tect them­selves and their cus­tomers by grasp­ing what con­sti­tutes qual­ity olive oil. Attendees will learn the ins and outs of the new world of olive oil, includ­ing olive oil grades and how in many cases, an olive oil labeled extra vir­gin” may be a lower grade or not even olive oil at all.

Topics will also include How Olive Oil is Made and How Things Can Go Wrong,” Boosting the Customer Experience, In the Kitchen and at the Table,” and New Approaches to Increase Sales” among oth­ers.

In addi­tion, the day will include olive oil and food tast­ings, culi­nary demon­stra­tions, refresh­ment breaks, lunch and a tast­ing recep­tion. The event is lim­ited to 130 par­tic­i­pants. Visit the event web­site for a pro­gram sched­ule and to reg­is­ter.

Speakers at the sem­i­nar include:

  • Paul Bartolotta, Owner, Bartolotta, Wynn Casino Resort (Las Vegas, NV)
  • Mike Bradley, President, Veronica Foods (Oakland, CA)
  • Bill Briwa, Chef Instructor, The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone
  • Curtis Cord, Publisher, Olive Oil Times (New York)
  • Darrell Corti, Owner, Corti Brothers (Sacramento, CA)
  • Alexandra Devarenne, Olive Oil Educator and Consultant
  • Greg Drescher, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives and Industry Leadership, The Culinary Institute of America
  • Dan Flynn, Executive Director, UC Davis Olive Center
  • Mike Forbes, Vice President: Marketing, California Olive Ranch (Oakland, CA)
  • Jean-Xavier Guinard, Professor and Sensory Scientist, UC Davis
  • Nancy Harmon Jenkins, Food writer, author of the Essential Mediterranean, and con­trib­u­tor to The New York Times (Maine and Italy)
  • Aris Kefalogiannis, Owner, Gaea (Athens, Greece)
  • Gregg Kelley, President and CEO, California Olive Ranch (Chico, CA)
  • Paul Miller, President, Australian Olive Association (Melbourne, Australia)
  • Tom Mueller, Investigative jour­nal­ist & con­trib­u­tor to The New Yorker, and author of Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil (Genoa, Italy)
  • Dick Neilsen, Manager, McEvoy Ranch (Petaluma, CA)
  • Paolo Pasquali, Owner, Villa Campestri (Florence, Italy)
  • Claudio Peri, Founder, Association 3E (Milan, Italy)
  • Deborah Reynolds, Director — Foods, Daymon Worldwide (Stamford, CT)
  • Liz Tagami, President, Tagami International
  • Rosa and Francisco Vañó, Owners, Castillo de Canena (Madrid, Spain)
  • Paul Vossen, University of California Olive Oil Sensory and Processing Expert

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