Darrell Corti of Sacramento, Calif., is a wine merchant/grocer, President of Corti Brothers, Sacramento. He is a long-time judge at the Los Angeles County Fair beginning in the early 1970s. He is Chairman of the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition.
Dr Richard Gawel trained and headed the first International Olive Council accredited panel in the Southern Hemisphere. He was the inaugural lecturer in sensory science at the University of Adelaide, and later taught food and wine matching at the Le Cordon Bleu culinary school. He has authored peer-reviewed papers on the bitterness and pungency of phenolic compounds and on the consistency of expert tasters in judging situations and the concept of terroir in Australian extra virgin olive oils. Richard Gawel has judged in international extra virgin olive oil competitions in Greece, Japan, South America and the US. He was the presiding judge of the Australian National competition for 15 years and has also presided over 40 other Australian competitions conducted by state-based organizations. He currently is a full-time research scientist working on taste active polyphenols. Qualifications: BSc, Grad Dip Wine Sc, Dip Ed, PhD.
Ehud Soriano is an olive oil expert, living in Israel.
He consults producers and farmers on olive oil from the grove to the shelf and teach about olive oil practices and quality.
Ehud is accredited by the IOC as a panel leader, and judge in numerous olive oil competitions around the world.
Harold McGee writes about the science of food and cooking, and has been a frequent judge for the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition since 2007. He started out studying physics and astronomy at Caltech and then English literature at Yale University. In 1984 he published On Food & Cooking: The Science & Lore of the Kitchen. Twenty years later, the revised and enlarged edition of On Food & Cooking was named best food reference of 2004 by the James Beard Foundation, and in 2008, Time Magazine named him to its annual list of the world’s most influential people. From 2006 to 2011 he wrote a monthly column for The New York Times. Since 2011 he has been a visiting lecturer in the Harvard University course “From Haute Cuisine to Soft-Matter Science.”
Began her tasting career as an in-house taster for Dole Packaged Foods, evaluating pineapple, fruit, and packaged food products. Her background includes biochemical and field research at Texas A&M Department of Soil and Crop Sciences/Texas Ag Extension Service. In the late 90’s she began tasting olive oil with UC Davis/COOC to improve the quality and standards of US produced olive oil. She has been a member of California taste panels since 1998 and continues to serve as a taste panel member, judge for olive oil competitions, and instructor of olive oil tasting classes.
Jean-Xavier Guinard is Professor of Sensory Science and Co-Director of the Coffee Center at the University of California, Davis. Trained as a food and agricultural engineer in France, he earned MS degrees in sensory physiology and in food science/enology and a PhD in microbiology from UC Davis. His research focuses on sensory strategies for dietary change and the optimization of the sensory quality and consumer acceptance of foods, beverages and other consumer products. He has authored over 150 peer-reviewed publications. He teaches undergraduate, graduate and lifelong learning courses at UC Davis and consults for food and beverage companies and consumer agencies worldwide. Over the past 20 years, Jean-Xavier has served in various administrative roles for international education at the University of California and for the Robert Mondavi Institute at UC Davis.
Maria Luz Hurtado is an Agricultural Engineer, PhD, graduated from the University of Chile. She began her studies and specialization in olive oil in 2003, in different countries like Spain and Italy. She is an academic at the University of Chile and carry out research and classes on the production of quality olive oil. In 2004 she took over as director of Diploma in Olive Oil Production. She became an expert as a Tester in Olive Oil and has been working for more than 18 years in olive oil research at the University of Chile.
Marino Uceda Ojeda is a well-known international advisor in all areas of oliviculture and the management of agro-industrial farms and oil mills. He was born in Jaén, Spain, and has a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Jaén. Dr. Uceda Ojeda has been professionally involved in numerous publications and projects as either the principle investigator or a participating researcher. He has in-depth experience with the production of olive oils, the health and quality of olive oil, and analyzing the sensory and secondary characterization of the gene bank. Dr. Uceda Ojeda began as a team leader of the Directorate-General for Research in the Ministry of Agricultural and Fisheries before becoming an experimentation technical advisor. He later worked as technical advisor with the Andalusian Institute of Agricultural, Fisheries, Agrifood and Organic Production Research and Training within the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Business before being named a Senior Researcher – the title he currently holds. Dr. Uceda Ojeda also has experience with higher education institutes. He was the Director and a teacher at the Andalusian Research Institute and, later, a teacher in the Master of Technology and Food Control program with CSIF in Madrid. Dr. Uceda Ojeda also taught a course on oil mill masters at UC Davis in California.
Matteo Mugelli was born in Florence, Italy, and has over 20 years of specialized experience with olive oil production and tasting techniques. Mr. Mugelli spent his early adult years supporting his family’s farm where he gained a knowledgeable foundation of pruning and olive oil extraction methods for commercial purposes, in addition to learning how to successfully manage the business. Between the years of 2008 – 2011, Mr. Mugelli collaborated with Dr. Marco Mugelli at the Chemical Laboratory of the Chamber of Florence where they conducted experimental tests with various innovative systems to better extract oil from olives. Mr. Mugelli was also a lecturer at several higher education institutes as a part of the “Vetrina Toscana” project designed to highlight the outstanding production of food and wine within the region. Mr. Mugelli has experience with designing and planning international high-quality oil mills in Crimea, Spain, Greece, and Albania. For more than 14 years, Mr. Mugelli has been the proud owner and manager of his family farm in Italy, “Torre Bianca.” The farm specializes in the production of high quality extra virgin olive oil. It has been certified organic since 2008 and has a strong focus on renewable energy and eco-sustainability.
Graduated in Biology and tasting expert From the University of Jaén (UJA). Consultant and Director of Quality at IADA Ingenieros S.L. – a company specialized in the virgin olive oil sector- Regullar colaborator with UNIA and UJA in training activities and member of the jury of important international competitions.
Nicholas is an international olive oil expert, educator, speaker and co-founder of Grove and Vine, a bespoke full-service olive oil procurement center. He has taught oil courses for The International Culinary Center, Zagat’s Master Class, Bon Appetit, The Institute of Culinary Education, Cornell, Yale, NYU and Columbia University, Platinum Country Clubs and to Joe and Lidia Bastianich’s critically acclaimed chefs and sommeliers nationwide.
Nicholas finished top of the class from The National Organization of Olive Oil Tasters (ONAOO) and was Chief Oleologist at Eataly from 2010-2017, during which he opened four stores with the company and trained thousands of employees. He has been a judge at The New York International Olive Oil Competition, The Los Angeles International Olive Oil Competition and the Sol D’Oro Southern Hemisphere Competition in Santiago, Chile.
His expertise has been featured in The New York Times, GQ, Esquire, Food & Wine, F*ck That’s Delicious, The Los Angeles Times, La Cucina Italiana, Real Simple Magazine and Lucky Peach among others. He is an honorary member of the International Order of Disciples of Escoffier and taught the International Culinary Center’s olive oil sensory certification program in New York City, California and London. Over the past decade he’s built and maintained relationships with producers all over the world, culminating to his appointment on the advisory committee for the Yale Olive Institute.
Pablo Voitzuk is an olive oil maker and taster, working as an independent consultant, with projects in California, New Zealand and Turkey. A native from Buenos Aires, he learned his skills in olive oil and table olives curing working with Apollo Olive Oil and studying in Tuscany with Dr. Marco Mugelli and in Sardinia with Pier Paolo Arca. He has judged in different olive oil competitions; he is a regular at The Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition Fair and Japan Olive Oil Prize, in Tokyo, Japan. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Paul Vossen is a University of California Emeritus Extension Agent – Farm Advisor – retired after 36 years (http://cesonoma.ucanr.edu
). He has a degree in Tree Crops Production from UC Davis, a Certificate in Olive Oil Production from the U of Córdoba, Spain; Panel Head Certificate from the IOC; and a Certificate in Marketing from UC Berkeley.
His olive research focused on efficient fruit harvest for small-scale growers, olive fruit fly control, organic cultural practices, comparison of different mill equipment types, comparing oil cultivars growing in different climatic regions of California, the productive potential of the super-high-density and medium-density oil olive production systems, and the influence of tree irrigation on olive oil sensory qualities. Over the years, he coordinated many California Olive Oil Production Short Courses and taught several Olive Oil Sensory Evaluation Courses in the US and internationally to train producers, consumers, and marketers, about high-quality olive oil. He was a founder of the California Olive Oil Council, UC Davis Olive Center, and he developed the first olive oil taste panel in the USA to become recognized by the International Olive Council. Paul has been the panel leader for the UCCE olive oil taste panel in Santa Rosa, CA. He serves as an olive oil judge at several US and international fairs and competitions.
He currently works as a private olive oil production, processing, and sensory evaluation consultant worldwide. He also sources olive oil all over the world for MillPress Imports serving many restaurant, food service, private label, and tasting room stores in the USA and Canada. Paul Vossen Ag Consulting: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sue Langstaff is principal of Applied Sensory, LLC, a consulting company specializing in providing independent sensory services to the wine, beer and olive oil industries. She leads a commercial olive oil taste panel which is recognized by the American Oil Chemists’ Society and she has judged olive oil at numerous competitions worldwide. Sue is co-editor of the book Olive Oil Sensory Science (Wiley/Blackwell, 2014) and is the creator of The Defects Wheel for wine, beer and olive oil. She has a Master’s degree in Food Science from U.C. Davis where she studied Sensory Science, Enology and Brewing.
Tullia Costa is a certified olive oil taster (part of the Italian Registry of Olive Oil Tasters and Experts), chemistry and biology teacher. She is also an olive oil producer from Le Marche region, in Italy where she studied with Dott.ssa Barbara Alfei. She won the first prize as a professional olive oil taster at the 2022 AIRO competition (International association of olive oil restaurants) and she took place as judge in the olive oil competition “I IMagnifico” (in Tuscany) and Montiferru (Sardinia).
Olive oil taster, producer and grower.
I started in the olive oil industry in 2014 after a wonderful family trip to Tuscany where I first tasted true Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Needless to say I loved it!
I dedicated myself to becoming a taster and joined both the COOC sensory panel and the Applied Sensory Panel in the following years.
In an effort to learn all I could about olive oil I decided to study milling, a critical part of making olive oil.
I completed the Master Milling course at UC Davis and have since worked in various olive mills during the harvest in California. This led me to work with Pablo Voitzuk a fellow panelist and wonderful miller and mentor.
As a next step I planted a small orchard consisting of Frantoio, Coratina, Picual and Arbequina olive trees. About the same time I started managing and producing olive oil from my neighbor’s established Frantoio trees. I now split my time between our home in the Bay Area and the olive orchards in Butte county.
Our Olive Love label was created out of my passion for making California Extra Virgin Olive Oils that express the unique flavor of each olive varietal and the desire to share the experience with our customers.
I have judged at various competitions over the years and continue to taste olive oils for certifications as well as consulting on olive oil quality during the milling season.
In the future I hope to travel to other olive oil producing areas in the world.