Sommelier Program Heads to San Francisco

The Olive Oil Times Education Lab's Sommelier Certification Program will convene within the San Francisco Art Institute in the city’s Marina District.

The San Francisco Art Institute at Fort Mason in the Marina District of San Francisco
Jul. 9, 2019
By Olive Oil Times Staff
The San Francisco Art Institute at Fort Mason in the Marina District of San Francisco

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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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