Six-Day Program in London to Train New Generation of Olive Oil Experts

Few spots remain in the first London edition of the renowned program on olive oil quality assessment.

Nov. 12, 2018
By Olive Oil Times Staff

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Few spots remain in the first London edi­tion of the Olive Oil Sommelier Certification Program, an inter­na­tional course jointly pro­duced by the Olive Oil Times Education Lab and the International Culinary Center.

It is the first time the course, which has trained hun­dreds of indus­try pro­fes­sion­als, chefs and enthu­si­asts in olive oil qual­ity assess­ment since it began in 2016, will ven­ture beyond its annual New York and California ses­sions.

Curtis Cord, the exec­u­tive direc­tor of the pro­gram said there will be atten­dees from at least 15 coun­tries at the course, which will be held January 20 – 25 in the Bloomsbury dis­trict in London’s West End.

This pro­gram is inter­na­tional in every respect,” said Cord. Our expert instruc­tors are from 8 coun­tries, the olive oils we are explor­ing and ana­lyz­ing are from every cor­ner of the world and past par­tic­i­pants have trav­eled to New York and California from 28 coun­tries to take the course. So it was obvi­ous that we needed to branch out and bring this com­pre­hen­sive cur­ricu­lum to London.”

Graduates of the pro­gram have included olive oil pro­duc­ers; importers, dis­trib­u­tors and retail­ers; chefs, restau­ra­teurs and food­ser­vice pro­fes­sion­als; health pro­fes­sion­als, jour­nal­ists and entre­pre­neurs; and those who just want to deeply under­stand one of the world’s health­i­est foods. There are no pre­req­ui­sites to enroll in the course.

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Program top­ics span olive oil tast­ing and qual­ity assess­ment, cul­ti­va­tion and his­tory, har­vest­ing and pro­duc­tion, health ben­e­fits, chem­istry, regions and cul­ti­vars, stan­dards and grades, culi­nary appli­ca­tions and con­sumer edu­ca­tion.

More than 100 olive oils curated from the largest col­lec­tion of sam­ples in the world are ana­lyzed in guided tast­ings to expose par­tic­i­pants to an unequaled vari­ety of regions, cul­ti­vars, pro­duc­tion tech­niques and unique sen­sory char­ac­ter­is­tics.

Instructors will include Chilean olive oil expert Carola Dummer Medina; Italian expert Antonio G. Lauro; Greek con­sul­tant Konstantinos Liris; ole­ol­o­gist Nicholas Coleman; Brazilian chef and culi­nary instruc­tor Perola Polillo; physi­cian and author, Simon Poole; award-win­ning pro­duc­ers Karim Fitouri from Tunisia and Lucia Gamez, Sebastian Romero and Juan Ignacio from Spain; and pro­gram direc­tor and Olive Oil Times pub­lisher, Curtis Cord.

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.

Past par­tic­i­pants of the pro­gram have said it was an edu­ca­tional expe­ri­ence that empow­ered them to take on a range of far-reach­ing ini­tia­tives.

The qual­ity and range of instruc­tion were at a level that far sur­passed my expec­ta­tions,” said Jacqueline Tyburski, who suc­cess­fully com­pleted the course in New York. The pro­gram was very bal­anced and in depth, with a real empha­sis on train­ing a new com­mu­nity of empow­ered, knowl­edge­able, and pas­sion­ate olive oil experts,”

I will apply what I have learned by going back to our pro­duc­tion pipeline from cul­ti­va­tion all the way to bot­tling,” said an olive oil pro­ducer from Sparta, Greece, Demosthenis Chronis. We can fine-tune some things so we get a bet­ter qual­ity olive oil and, hope­fully, an award-win­ning extra vir­gin olive oil.”

Fabulous course with incred­i­ble amounts of infor­ma­tion that will be used as a ref­er­ence guide for years to come,” a pro­ducer from Turkey said of the New York pro­gram.

I highly rec­om­mend it. Every day was absolutely worth it,” a gro­cery exec­u­tive, Elise LaGamba said.

The qual­ity and range of instruc­tion were at a level that far sur­passed my expec­ta­tions,” said Willem Voorvaart, an investor from the Netherlands.

For more infor­ma­tion or to enroll in the London course, visit the Olive Oil Times Education Lab web­site.


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