Olive Oil Sommelier Certification Program Expands to California

The six-day program at the ICC's Campbell, CA campus features the world’s foremost olive oil experts and educators in a comprehensive course spanning production, quality management, and advanced sensory assessment.

Jun. 6, 2017
By Olive Oil Times Staff

Recent News

The International Culinary Center (ICC) and the Olive Oil Times Education Lab will present their pop­u­lar Olive Oil Sommelier Certification course at the ICC’s Campbell, California cam­pus this October.

I was so inspired after the course that I decided to make it my per­sonal mis­sion.- Wilma van Grinsven, owner of the Oil & Vinegar retail chain

The six-day, two-level pro­gram fea­tures the world’s fore­most olive oil experts and edu­ca­tors in a com­pre­hen­sive series of courses span­ning pro­duc­tion, qual­ity man­age­ment, and advanced sen­sory assess­ment.
See Also: Register for the October Olive Oil Sommelier Certification Course
Those who suc­cess­fully com­plete the course receive a joint olive oil som­me­lier cer­ti­fi­ca­tion from the International Culinary Center and the Olive Oil Times Education Lab and join a grow­ing com­mu­nity of olive oil sen­sory ana­lysts and edu­ca­tors.

The pro­gram’s direc­tor, Curtis Cord, said the aim of the series is to pro­vide the most com­pre­hen­sive and prac­ti­cal instruc­tion pos­si­ble through inter­ac­tive, guided tast­ings with renowned experts that will make those who com­plete the courses uniquely knowl­edge­able so they can, in turn, edu­cate oth­ers.

Instead of look­ing at the oils of a par­tic­u­lar region, we will be ana­lyz­ing oils from every region — tast­ing far more oils than any other course in the world to pro­vide a com­plete, inter­na­tional per­spec­tive and to build a vast sen­sory library to guide deci­sions,” Cord said.


So far, the pro­gram has offered four ses­sions in New York that saw stu­dents travel from every cor­ner of the world — 19 coun­tries in all — toward becom­ing experts in olive oil sen­sory assess­ment.

The suc­cess of the course is reflected in the new­found con­fi­dence of its grad­u­ates to put their knowl­edge to imme­di­ate use in ways only they could imag­ine.

Wilma van Grinsven, the owner of the Netherlands-based Oil & Vinegar chain of spe­cialty shops said, I came back very moti­vated and full of energy and won­der­ing how to share my inspi­ra­tion and all the infor­ma­tion I gained. Of course being one of the own­ers and buy­ing direc­tor of a world­wide retail chain that buys olive oils from farm­ers in the Mediterranean, the knowl­edge I gained through the course in New York could be imme­di­ately put to work.”

I was so inspired after the course that I decided to make it my per­sonal mis­sion,” van Grinsven said. I truly feel the need to spread the word.”

Perola Polillo, the chef de cui­sine at a Brazilian per­sonal chef net­work Meu Bistro, put her knowl­edge to imme­di­ate use at her cater­ing net­work: I orga­nized a pri­vate din­ner for twenty peo­ple to cook a spe­cial menu: The Olive Oil Experience. I sold out the first day, so I did another one,” she said. Polillo recently instructed a class of 200 uni­ver­sity stu­dents on olive oil tast­ing and qual­ity analy­sis.

John Canevari, the pro­pri­etor of a fam­ily-owned olive oil and vine­gar tast­ing room, The Blue Olive in Pawling, New York, emerged from the advanced course ready to share his new­found exper­tise with chefs through­out the north­east U.S., offer­ing edu­ca­tion on olive oil cul­ti­va­tion, pro­duc­tion, sea­sonal rota­tion and qual­ity.

Yale School of Public Health’s Tassos Kyriakides said he has taken on the role of EVOO ambas­sador” fol­low­ing the course, in line with what I feel is our respon­si­bil­ity now.” He was invited to meet with the chefs at an award-win­ning resort in Cyprus to show them how to choose qual­ity olive oils for their cus­tomers. All this, thanks to the train­ing from the Olive Oil Times Education Lab and the International Culinary Center.”

Olive oil pro­ducer Priscila Vejo said that what she learned at the ICC courses has had a sig­nif­i­cant impact on pro­duc­tion deci­sions that will be made going for­ward. We have made some arrange­ments with impor­tant restau­rants to have three vari­eties offered to cus­tomers with a lit­tle descrip­tion of each one — a very straight­for­ward way of edu­cat­ing con­sumers — let­ting them know EVOO has dif­fer­ent char­ac­ter­is­tics and is a valu­able prod­uct.”

Another pro­ducer who took the course last fall, Karim Fitouri from Tunisia, said, I loved every minute of the course and I would take it all again.” Fitouri went on to win a Gold Award at the New York International Olive Oil Competition in April with his Olivko — a mono­va­ri­etal Chetoui.

Registration for the October 2 – 7 course in Campbell, California is avail­able on the International Culinary Center web­site.


Related News

Feedback / Suggestions