`Plenty of Enthusiasm At NYIOOC Tasting Event - Olive Oil Times

Plenty of Enthusiasm At NYIOOC Tasting Event

Apr. 15, 2014
Michael Goodwin

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NYIOOC Conference atten­dees enjoyed an exclu­sive tast­ing of olive oils vying for gold at the International Culinary Center in New York City April 10, 2014, just before the results were announced at a press con­fer­ence.

As the sec­ond annual New York International Olive Oil Competition came to a close at the International Culinary Center last week, an olive oil tast­ing was held to sam­ple a selec­tion of this year’s entries. The recep­tion was a chance for pro­duc­ers, importers, and con­fer­ence atten­dees to reflect on the week’s sem­i­nars, pan­els, and con­fer­ences.

Diamando Stratakos

Diamando Stratakos, pro­ducer of an Athenolia-vari­etal oil that will be com­mer­cially avail­able begin­ning this spring, began her busi­ness as a means to sup­port the Greek econ­omy and inform Americans on the high qual­ity of Spartan prod­ucts. After spend­ing sev­eral years research­ing the indus­try, and months in the field with olive oil pro­duc­ers, Stratakos learned a great deal more from her inter­ac­tions in New York. The week has been a very uplift­ing expe­ri­ence,” she stated. The com­pe­ti­tion is a place to learn that there are many dif­fer­ent paths to the same goal: pro­duc­ing a higher qual­ity oil and edu­cat­ing the pub­lic.”

Damien Duchamp, a sec­ond-time com­peti­tor, also spoke of the ben­e­fits of the com­pe­ti­tion at the tast­ing. His oil is not yet avail­able in the Untied States, which makes it a great find” for those who learn about it in New York. Discovering new oils is much of his moti­va­tion for par­tic­i­pat­ing in the com­pe­ti­tion. Finding a new prod­uct and get­ting to taste it before any­one else; that itself is gold.” Duchamp’s Slovenian oil, Lisjak Gold Essense, won its sec­ond NYIOOC award with a sil­ver medal this year.

Damien Duchamp

The tast­ing was also an oppor­tu­nity for pro­duc­ers and dis­trib­u­tors to inter­act with the tast­ing panel because judges had been busy sam­pling hun­dreds of oils in pre­vi­ous days. Miciyo Yamada, the panel’s only Japanese tast­ing expert, reflected on her first judg­ing at NYIOOC. This is a unique com­pe­ti­tion,” she remarked. It is by far the most inter­na­tional of those I have judged. All of the tasters are truly experts in their coun­tries, and the judg­ing is incred­i­bly trans­par­ent.” Yamada became inter­ested in olive oil 15 years ago, as a jour­nal­ist writ­ing for Japanese peri­od­i­cals in Italy. This is not only a very well-orga­nized com­pe­ti­tion, but New York is a win­dow to the world,” she com­mented. Many Japanese mag­a­zines look to this com­pe­ti­tion and its results.”

Curtis Cord, the event orga­nizer, announced the results imme­di­ately after the tast­ing. Amid the excite­ment, many pro­duc­ers called friends and fam­ily abroad to inform them of their medals and hon­ors. More buzz took place as pro­duc­ers shared news of their awards with one another.

Gioanna Brorson

Gioanna Brorson pro­duces Casale 3 Danesi, which won gold in its first entry to the com­pe­ti­tion. With an estate pro­duc­tion of only 450 trees, Brorson over­sees oper­a­tion on an 18th-cen­tury Tuscan farm. This is only our sec­ond year pro­duc­ing oil – the com­pe­ti­tion has been a great expe­ri­ence and a way for us to get our feet wet.”

Mahmut Cimet pon­dered his sec­ond year in the com­pe­ti­tion, after he was awarded two gold medals for his Ottoman Gourmet line from Turkey. We are focused on the East Asian mar­ket, and are cur­rently the biggest Turkish man­u­fac­turer in China.” Though his oil is not yet avail­able in the US, Cimet noted that the win will mean good press for us abroad; the Asian mar­ket has great trust in New York and this impor­tant com­pe­ti­tion.”


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