Judges

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.

 

PierPaolo Arca has been a Taster of Olive Oil since 1991; Panel leader since 1997; Expert Olivecultural Sector of “Regione Sardegna”’ Technical Co‐ordinator “Comitato Concorso Nazionale Montiferru” olive oil from 1994 to 2011; Member of Jury of the regional selection “Concorso Nazionale Ercole Olivario” in 1995/96/97/98/2000/01/04/05/06/10 and Panel Leader in 1999/2003/2007/2011; Member of the National Jury “Concorso Nazionale Ercole Olivario” in 2000; Member of International Jury of the “Premio Biol – International Competition Organic Olive Oil from 1997 – 2011; Member of jury of SOL D’Oro International Olive Oil Verona 2003; Member of Commission of Organismo di controllo DOP Sardegna” olive oil.

 

Margaret Edwards enjoyed a career as a dietitian, university lecturer (part time), and management roles with leading New Zealand companies. She retired in 2003 to concentrate on olive oil. She was the leader of the now disbanded IOC recognized New Zealand tasting panel for olive oil. Margaret is an international olive oil judge, a consultant to the olive industry. She runs olive oil workshops and lectures about New Zealand extra virgin olive oil. She is the author of numerous publications about food, nutrition and olive oil. Margaret and her husband own a boutique olive grove and olive mill on Waiheke Island, New Zealand where they produce their award winning extra virgin olive oil.

 

Richard Gawel is a consultant taster and blender for a number of Australian olive oil companies. He was the inaugural head of Australia’s first recognized tasting panel and has been a long time appointee as presiding judge of most of the major Australian Olive Oil shows including the Australian National.

 

Orietta Gianjoro was born and raised in Rome, and she moved to California in 2008. Orietta graduated Summa Cum Laude in Film Studies and has a Masters Summa Cum Laude in Cultural Journalism. She is a member of the UC Davis Olive Oil Taste Panel, and she holds a diploma of Sommelier from the Associazione Italiana Sommeliers (Italian Sommeliers Association). She also is the Delegate in the greater Sacramento area for the Accademia Italian della Cucina (Italian Academy of Cuisine). She has written, produced and hosted several TV shows in Italy and America. Before moving to the U S, she was the food and wine Editor for an Italian publication. Today, Orietta is a regular guest on many TV stations and leading sensory seminars, tastings, cooking classes and food & wine tours in Italy, she is working on her fifth book.

 

Maria Luz Hurtado is an Agricultural Engineers, PhD, graduated from the University of Chile. Since 2003 she began her studies and specialization in olive oil in different countries like Argentina, Spain and Italy. In 2004 she took over as Director of Oil Production Diploma in the aforementioned university. She became an expert as a Tester in Olive Oil. Juan Ramon Izquierdo is a chemist in Spain's Ministry of Agriculture since 1976. He is the Head of the Fats and Oil Analysis department of the Arbitration Laboratory of Spain's Ministry of Agriculture. He is also the Panel Head of Spain's Oil Tasting Panel for the Ministry of Agriculture. Juan Ramon is a member of the IOC working group and a member of Olive Oil Experts group of the European Union Commission.

 

Denise Langevin has been associated with olive oil since 2004. For several years she imported olive oil from Argentina and now is owner of a small olive grove (8 hectares) that is currently in production. In 2009 Denise attended the Chateau Virant in France, the University of Bologna in Italy and Aspol, Italy for olive oil tasting. She is currently representing several brands in Chile for an Italian Blend, a French olive oil and a Portuguese brand.

 

Sue Langstaff is a sensory scientist working for her own consulting company, Applied Sensory, LLC. She is the leader of the U C Davis Olive Oil Taster Panel and is a member of two other taste panels: The U C Cooperative Extension Olive Oil Research Taste Panel and the California Olive Oil Council Taste Panel. Sue is co‐author of the forthcoming book “Olive Oil Sensory Evaluation” and she is the creator of “The Defects Wheel for Olive Oil.”

 

Monica Marin, was born and raised in Madrid, Spain. Throughout her career, Monica has visited the best wine regions of Italy, Germany, Austria, France, California and Spain, falling in love with the culture, wine and gastronomy in Piemonte, Toscana, Rioja and Ribera del Duero. Monica has completed the WSET Diploma/AIWS/French Wine Scholar Instructor/Wine Academy of Spain Educator/WSET Intermediate and Advanced Instructor. Monica and her family now live in California, where she dedicates her professional efforts and time to wine by working at The Wine House (the largest independent retailer in Southern California).

 

Julie Menge is a member of both the UC Davis and COOC Taste Panels since inception. Her background includes biochemical and field research at Texas A&M Department of Soil and Crop Sciences/Texas Ag Extension Service. Her tasting career began as an in‐house taster for Dole Packaged Foods, where she was a chemist.

 

Lina Smith is an olive oil educator based in Boston. She teaches classes with Slow Food Boston, CCAE and other organizations on a regular basis. She wrote her master’s thesis on olive oil while living in Tuscany and received her first professional olive oil training under the late Dr. Marco Mugelli. Deborah Rogers is a trained olive oil taster and participates in olive oil sensory analysis for research and quality certification. Deborah serves on two taste panels and serves as a judge for Domestic and International Olive Oil Competitions.

 

Toshihisa Suzuki was born in 1959, and received his M.A. in Agricultural Chemistry from Tohoku University in 1985. Since then he has joined the Nisshin OilliO and has mostly engaged in R&D and quality assurance. In 2002, he was recognized as the “Supervisor of the company panels’ by the International Olive Oil Council. He has been a member of the International jury as taster at the BIOL Prize since 2007.

 

Chef David Teig’s cooking career began at an upstate New York Buddhist ashram, giving him an early appreciation for fresh products and organic foods before it became mainstream. Further experiences lead him to France, working at the Michelin three‐star, Maison de Bricourt, followed by a number of private and hotel restaurants, throughout Europe and United States. Prior to settling at the Sheraton Fairplex, he traveled for Starwood Hotels, leading hotel openings and providing operational support. At McKinley’s Grill, the focus is on fresh market cuisine, using local and sustainable food sources. The menu revolves around seasonality and the Fairplex Fairview Farms, where the hotel organically grows produce ranging from stone fruits to citrus to herbs and vegetables.

 

Marino Uceda Investigator Titular of the Andalusian Institute of Investigation, Panel Chairperson and the Technical Director of the Proper Title of the University of Jaen. University expert in Tasting of Extra Virgin Olive Oil Coordinator and a participant of 41 projects in the field of the extra Virgin Olive Oil.

 

Mercedes Uceda has her MS in Biology and is a very qualified taster from the University Of Jaen, Spain. Technician in Environment and sustainable development during 5 years in the Experimental Station “Las Palmerillas”, Almeria, Spain. Participates in courses of olive oil tasting from UNIA in Baeza, Spain and Evora, Portugal.

 

Pablo Voitzuk is an olive oil maker and taster, he is currently working with Pacific Sun Farms in Gerber, Northern California. 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 is a member of the UC Davis olive oil tasting panel and of the California Olive Oil Council tasting panel. He has judged in different olive oil competitions; Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition, California Olive Oil Council, Napa County Fair and BIOL, Puglia, Italy.

 

Paul Vossen has been a University of California Cooperative Extension – Farm Advisor in Sonoma and Marin Counties since 1980. He works in the areas of fruit tree, berry, and specialty vegetable culture; pest control; and marketing of farm products. He also manages the Master Gardener and Sudden Oak Death Programs. He helps local farmers with the evaluation of their land, selection of appropriate specialty crops, cultural practices, and advice on selling their produce. He was one of the founders of the Sebastopol Apple Promotion Committee (1982), Sonoma County Ag Marketing Program (1986), and the California Olive Oil Council in 1990.

Northern Hemisphere Competition
March 26, 27, 28 – Entry Deadline March 1
Southern Hemisphere Competition
July 16 & 17 – Entry Deadline July 3