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THE OLIVE OIL WORKSHOP

THE FOUNDER

Alexis Kerner is a born foodie originally from New Jersey and has been residing in and exploring Andalusia for over 12 years.

She received her BA degree in Environmental Science from Connecticut College and the title as Professional Olive Oil Taster from the University of Jaen and the International Olive Council. Alexis always had an interest in olive oil, but it wasn’t until the first course in tasting that she truly fell pit, peel, and lenticel for all there is to know about olive oil. 

It was from this moment that she became inspired to share the knowledge and joy of olive oil with others. She has more than 16 years of experience in environmental programming in the United States and Spain as well as on a European level. During her employment in the Andalusian Government she learned the intricate ins and outs of Andalusia´s farms and olive oil mills and was given a unique window into this world.Alexis also has 15 years of experience in imparting workshops and master courses for tourism and environmental agencies as well as olive oil producers. She also serves on the jury for the  OVIBEJA International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition in Portugal and TERRAOLIVO Competition in Jerusalem, Israel.

 

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ONAOO

First School in the World for the dissemination of olive oil tasting, in line with the principles and programs of the founding fathers. Over 15,000 people participated in the organized activities. The members, heart and engine of ONAOO, scattered throughout the planet, constitute a constant exchange of creative energies that have allowed continuous growth over the years. The numerous courses are interspersed with moments of cultural exchange, such as trips to Spain, Greece, Morocco, Tunisia, Portugal and California. Since its foundation in 1983, ONAOO has always chosen to inform its teaching by drawing on the most up-to-date scientific knowledge. This attitude has been extended to all the training areas that the ONAOO Tasting School offers its student

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UMAO

THE PRESIDENT  PAOLA FIORAVANTI

Paola Fioravanti graduated in Chemistry at the “La Sapienza” University in Roma. She has been teaching Chemistry, Agro-food Industries and Nutrition Scienze since 1973 in the high school. She has been the President of DOC and DOCG Wines Evaluation Committee since 1985 and she has also obtained a role in the National DOP Wines Review Committee. She is the President of UMAO (Mediterranean Oil Tasters Union) and a member of the EVO SABINA DOP Oil Evaluation Committee at CCIAA in Roma.

She has lots of international experience in training extra virgin olive oil panel members and she is often asked to blended taste extra virgin olive oils. She is also a speaker in numerous both national and international conferences about chemical and organoleptic characteristics of olive oil. Since 2014 Paola also organizes the Reward “Monna Oliva”, the first national competition for the best table olive according to producers and professional of the field. U.M.A.O. (Mediterranean Union of Oil Tasters) knows all this very well and works to bring this fabulous product to even those who do not directly carry out an activity related to olive or oil. The association has been active for 25 years now, and to achieve its objectives it uses both preparatory, beginner, and professional, more articulated tasting courses, guided visits to some of the most efficient oil mills, consultancy to companies and many other initiatives. The lively interest aroused over the years for this world rich in history and gastronomic culture has pushed and pushes the UMAO to continue on this path, sometimes not without skepticism and indifference, but always stimulating and engaging, with enthusiasm and with new ideas, starting with the realization from 2014 of “MONNA OLIVA” First National Competition on Table Olives.

OUR OPERATIONAL POINTS:

  • Expertise and training of oil and agri-food product tasters;
  • Establishment of a panel for sensory analysis;
  • Promotion and organization of Exhibitions, Competitions and Conferences for the dissemination of knowledge and gastronomic culture;
  • Collaboration with public and private entities;
  • International openings; 
  • Exchanges between Producing and Consumer Countries.

 The olive tree is undoubtedly the highest expression of Mediterranean civilization. Since ancient times, this noble millenary plant with a hollowed out and twisted trunk with silver-green foliage has been a symbol of peace prosperity and hope. For the goodness of its fruit, the olive, and the oil that derives from it, it is considered, with good reason, the main food of our table: the protagonist of that “Mediterranean diet” intangible heritage of humanity, hoped for by dieticians and nutritionists, ideal for preventing some diseases related to an often too hasty and inattentive diet.

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OLEUM

OLEUM is the first National Professional Association of Olive Oil Tasters established in Campania in the early 90s on the initiative of a group of tasters with the aim of spreading the culture of oil tasting as well as defending, enhancing and protecting the important heritage technical and cultural of extra virgin olive oil. From 2002 to today, OLEUM has been an active partner in the organizational and technical group of the National Award Sirena d’Oro of Sorrento, a national competition reserved for extra virgin olive oils at D.O.P.

 

OLEUM coordinates the Professional Olive Oil Tasting Panel, legally recognized by Mipaaf, operating at the Salerno Chamber of Commerce. OLEUM collaborated with the University of Naples Federico II, Department of Food Science of the Faculty of Agriculture of Portici, as part of research projects relating to the Regional Program “Characterization of Campania oils” from 1994 to 1996 and to the Program National “Quality improvement of olive oil production” Reg.CE 2132/96 from 1997-98. OLEUM annually participates with its technical support in the national competitions of the Premio Tricolle of Ariano Irpino (AV), the Prize Extralburno of Controne (SA) and of the Bimboil and Oil Restaurants events organized by the Campania Region. Based on the experience gained over the years, OLEUM has provided its technical-scientific support to the numerous courses for professional tasters funded by the Campania Region, the Chambers of Commerce and individuals. Alongside certification, research, teaching, consultancy for companies and individuals, the organization of competitions, the OLEUM association has participated in numerous events of a popular nature with the aim of raising consumer awareness and enhancing quality oil production.

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APO

The Agricultural Cooperative Society of Olive Producers (APO) with registered office in Catania operates in the Territory of the Sicily Region and has the main purpose of aggregating the Product and marketing of the olive oil. It provides technical assistance to its members with the help of its technicians with particular reference to good agricultural practices in order to guarantee the improvement of the quality of the olive oil through actions in the field, on the transformation in the mill and on the promotion of oils on the market.

  

The APO strategy is aimed at affirming on the market the inseparable binomial of the typical products of high quality of which the oil is an integral part of the Mediterranean Diet and the high value of the territorial patrimony dense of Culture, Art, Landscape, environmental sustainability and human wisdom. It has 3600 olive producer members with an area of ​​about 6,000 hectares and also associates oil millers and packers, thus aiming at strengthening the olive / oil supply chain. With the Oil Charter it is present on the market by offering 4 brands that represent the identity of our territory. The PDO Monte Etna “Nativo” the PDO Monti Iblei “Radiant” the PGI Sicily “Baciato” and the 100/100 “Scirocco” extra virgin olive oil. Each of these oils can be placed on the market with the ICEA certified organic mark. Our oils are appreciated by experts and consumers for their organoleptic profile characterized by the vivacity of olive fruitiness and herbaceous notes, accompanied by hints of artichoke, green tomato, sometimes fresh almond and for the pleasant sensation of bitterness and spicy. Characterized by a good persistence and excellent fluidity, the result of a millenary culture, handed down and preserved to the best of our days, and a territory that has always known how to make true masterpieces of goodness flourish.

 

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FLAVOR

Improving the culture of taste of operators and consumers; Defending, protecting and enhancing the characteristics of quality agri-food products from production to consumption;  Use sensory analysis also for products of a nature other than agri-food; Encourage, enhance and guarantee the competence and professionalism of its members; Training in sensory analysis Synergies with associations and / or organizations, national and foreign, which have similar purposes; Establish registers of tasters x product and maintain the professionalism of the members.

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ANAPOO

Our association makes use of the most varied professional figures all united by a single common passion. Our members (from professors, researchers and chemists to agronomists, freelancers and producers to simple EVOO lovers) make the different skills available every day with the aim of enhancing and spreading quality EVOO  in the wake of our loved ones predecessors Marco Mugelli & Massimo Pasquini.

 

ANAPOO has as its main objective the protection of the interests and the professional qualification of the category of professional virgin and extra virgin olive oil tasters and intends to achieve the statutory purpose through all those initiatives that involve intervention in a proactive and consultative form at public bodies and private individuals and any interested party for the application, modification, coordination, issuing of regulations, in relation to community, national and local legislation on virgin and extra virgin olive oil.

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MYKONOS OLIVE OIL TASTING

Mykonos Olive Oil Tasting is an educational company based in Mykonos island in Greece, delivering seminars & workshops on Olive Oil Tasting, Mediterranean Diet, Holistic Health & Wellness to adults, kids and food professionals all over Greece and abroad.  Mykonos Olive Oil Tasting was created by Anita Zachou following her passion for nature, olive oil, and a healthy lifestyle. She was born and raised in Athens – Greece but spent almost all her childhood vacation in Kalamata (South of Peloponnese), her mother’s homeland. Since she can remember herself she was playing around or climbing on some of the millions of olive trees of the Messinian land creating a special bond with them. When she finished school it came so naturally for her to study Agronomy. She was so curious to learn how nature really works and how she could contribute to this amazing process. Her great passion for gastronomy and good olive oil led her to seek deeper knowledge and become an Expert Olive Oil Taster in 2012. 

Later on, she was granted a scholarship by the International Olive Council to attend the most prestigious course in the world on olive oil tasting at the University of Jaen in Spain, from which she holds the title of Expert in Virgin Olive Oil Tasting. She believes that learning to taste, select and pair olive oil with food is one of the most valuable pieces of knowledge that one can offer himself since olive oil is not only a main culinary ingredient consumed every day but a unique & precious health & wellness elixir. Anita is also a Certified Holistic Life & Wellness Coach and a HeartMath Licensed Mentor. She is a Member of: the Italian Association of Olive Oil Tasters (ONAOO), the Spanish Olive Oil Gastronomy Academy, the FILAIOS Club of Olive Oil Friends,  the International Coach Federation, and the European Lifestyle Medicine Organization. She participates as a judge in various International Olive Oil Competitions.

NATASCIA RIGGI

Natascia Riggi graduated in 2005 in Agricultural Science and Agricultural Technology Faculty of Udine. She is a Chemistry Teacher since 2014 in the State Technical Institute with the Slovena– Državni Tehniški Zavod ŽIGA ZOIS teaching language. She is enrolled since 2008 in the National Register of olive oil and extra virgin olive oil technicians and experts. She has both national and international experience as agronomist in the management of the entire olive oil and olive-growing supply chain.

She is consultant agronomic technician for the Tergeste Oil DOP and Carso-KRAS DOC Consortium and she is ERSA certified counselor in the field of the pest management. Natascia is also a coordinator technician and she is responsible for the olive sector cross-border monitoring in the Interreg-Sigma Ш A Italia-Slovenija community project.She is member of the jury of the Monna Olive competition since 2017 with UMAO (Mediterranean Olive Oil Tasters Union), a national table olives competition directed by Dott.ssa Paola Fioravanti. Natascia Riggi is also ONAOO teacher and teacher for the KNOIL Association. She is vice-president of the Women in the Oil Field National Association since 2014.

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SELIN ERTUR

Selin Ertur graduated from Bilkent University in 1996. Participation in the blend Master and coupage program in Athens and Anapoo course for millers in 2010 in Florence. She is a professional olive oil taster and producer, with 17 years of professional experience in the olive sector. Selin carries on the family tradition of oil production (4th generation of the family, since 1899) and its status as an expert is officially recognized by the Italian Ministry of Agricultural Policies (MIPAAF) and the Tuscany Region.

Its right to carry out organoleptic analyzes in all European Union countries is also recognized by the International Olive Council. Panel Leader with Italian and international license, according to COI regulations. As there is no equivalent system in Turkey, Selin trained with the most prestigious Tuscan olive oil experts in Italy, in particular with Dr. Marco Mugelli. Selin Ertür is the first international olive oil expert in Turkey and is the producer of the 22 times awarded “Selatin extra virgin olive oil”.

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ORIETTA GIANJORIO

Orietta Gianjorio, native of Rome, has worked in sensory evaluation for 20 years. She expands her expertise to several commodities. Orietta holds a 3rd level Sommelier certificate (Associazione Italiana Sommeliers), an Olive Oil Sensory Evaluation Expert certificate (IOC/EU), and she is part of the Italian Registry of Olive Oil Experts. She is one of only two people in America to hold a certificate as an Expert in Honey Sensory Evaluation, and she is part of the Italian Registry of Honey Sensory Experts. Orietta also holds a 2nd level certificate as a Qualified Chocolate Taster (International Institute Chocolier). Orietta is the owner of ORIETTA LLC, a consulting company on sensory evaluation and descriptive analysis to the wine, olive oil, chocolate and honey industries.

She works mainly on research for quality standards and labeling systems and for consumer outreach. Some of her clients are: The Culinary Institute of America and COPIA, the California Olive Oil Council, University of California (Davis), The Honey and Pollination Center (Robert Mondavi Institute), UC Davis-Mars Chocolate Taste Panel, Le Belge Chocolier, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, The Napa Valley Reserve, Promontory, Bond, Antinori Antica, Darioush Winery, Boundary Bend, Whole Foods Markets, Gio’ Gelati, Chef Deborah Dal Fovo, Chef Viola Buitoni, the California State Fair Competition and the Educational Center, the Los Angeles County Fair. In Italy: Michelin Starred Chef Maria Cicorella, Chef Alain Rosica, Castel de Paolis Winery (Lazio), Vasadonna Olive Oil and Vernera Olive Oil (Sicily), Papagna Honey (Puglia), Apicoltura Finocchio (Abbruzzo). Orietta is the author of A Guide to Olive Oil and Olive Oil Tasting and three children’s books about olive oil and sensory evaluation, Coratina, Come Visit The Teeny Tiny Town of Taste, and Brainy Boo. She is in the process of finishing her next book: A Guide to Olive Oil, Food and Wine Pairing. Orietta has judged in national and international wine, olive oil, honey, chocolate and cheese competitions including the Los Angeles International Wine Competition, San Francisco International Wine Competition, The California State Fair Wine Competition; the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition, Biol Internationtral Olive Oil Competition (Puglia, Italy), Sol D’Oro (Verona, Italy), The California State Fair Cheese Competition, The Guittard Chocolate and California State Fair Chocolate Competition, and the Good Food Award. Orietta graduated Summa Cum Laude in Film Studies, has a Masters Summa Cum Laude in Editorial and Journalism and she part of the Italian Registry of Journalist. She was a Food and Wine Editor in Italy and has written produced and hosted several TV shows in Italy and America and is a regular guest on many TV stations as a food and wine expert

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NOBUYUKI HAYASHI

Born in 1979 in Hitachi, Japan, Nobuyuki Hayashi moved to Italy in 1999 with the dream of a professional career in the world of football, a passion that over the time he left behind dedicating himself completely to studies in viticulture and enology. During his training he collects various experiences in the field of university research at the food technology department of the University of Tuscia. Professionally engaged in various wineries during his most important experience at the “Tenuta Ammiraglia of the Marchesi De Frescobaldi” he meets Aurora, winemaker of “Cantine Neri”, who will become his wif

In 2009 he discovers the magic of olive oil and meets Paola Fioravanti who will be a guide and a “teacher of life” for him. Registered in the national list of technicians and experts in virgin and extra virgin olive oils since 2013. In 2016 he founded his own import-export company CUBE s.a.s to meet the needs of the Japanese market by providing only quality products that respect the environment and the man. Japanese kitchen equipment supplier for some star chefs. Currently he carries out agro-food consultancy activities for Japanese companies and training activities related to the sensory analysis of food. “Always traveling to discover new producers and new flavors linked to the territory.”