2020 Judges

2020 Extra Virgin and Flavoured Olive Oil Judges

Shane Cummins

Shane Cummins

AUSTRALIA - SYDNEY, NSW

Shane picked his first olives in 2000 with long paddock olive rustlers and has been hooked ever since. Shane is a landscaper and paver by trade but his incessant passion is for olives.

Shane has been formally assessing olive oil since 2007. In 2009 Shane completed the Extra Virgin Olive Oil Appreciation and Assessment course. Since 2010 he has been show judging in regional and national competitions including the Australian National Olive Competition, Olives New Zealand, Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria Australian Food Awards, Sydney Fine Food Show, Canberra Olive Oil Show and the Golden Olive Show.

He is the convenor of the ‘Tastebook’ program, a sensory professional development and training initiative in appreciating, describing and understanding how to improve the quality of extra virgin olive oil and table olives.

He has been the head judge of the Australian National Olive competition since 2016 and he is extremely honoured to be head judge for the  Australian International Olive Awards. He sees his responsibility as an advocate for olive oils and olives and facilitator for judges and the event team.

Helen Taylor

Helen Taylor

AUSTRALIA - WAGGA WAGGA, NSW

Helen has over twelve years experience in olive oil judging at regional, state and national olive oil competitions in an associate, standard and head judge capacity. Helen was a judge at the finals of the Armonia International Olive Oil Show in Spain. She is a trained food technologist and in 2003 began training in olive oil sensory evaluation. Helen was one of the founding members of the Australian Olive Oil Sensory Panel at Wagga who then went on to undertake olive oil sommelier and olive oil sensory analysis training in Milan, Italy in 2015. She has trained in table olive production and assessment and has judged in several table olive shows. Helen continues to be an active member of the Australian Olive Oil Sensory Panel.

Susan Pottie

Susan Pottie

AUSTRALIA - WAGGA WAGGA, NSW

Susan is based in Wagga Wagga and has been an active member of the Australian Olive Oil Sensory Panel since 2009.

She has judged at numerous Australian National Olive Competitions, The Australian International Olive Awards, Sydney Royal Fine Food Show, The Royal Canberra Extra Virgin Olive Oil Show and Golden Olive Awards, both in extra virgin and flavoured olive oils.

Susan has a Bachelor of Education and her interest in olive oil has encouraged her to further develop her skills and knowledge through regular tasting and maintenance meetings.

Margie Carter

Margie Carter

AUSTRALIA - WAGGA WAGGA, NSW

Margie has a horticultural and farming background and has been in the olive industry for over 20 years.

Having owned an olive tree nursery in 1996, she is well versed in the olive tree and resultant ‘naturally brined’ processing methods. She runs the third generation family farm www.parafieldolives.com.au in the Riverina region just outside of Wagga Wagga.

Margie is a producer of premium award winning organic table olives and olive oil.

She has been on the Australian Olive Oil Sensory Panel at Wagga since 2010 and has been judging olive oil at the Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne state competitions,  the Australian National Olive Competition since 2003 and the Australian International Olive Awards in 2017 and 2018.

Sue James

Sue James

AUSTRALIA - NSW

Sue has been an olive oil tasting judge at the Charles Sturt University and a show judge at the Australian Golden Olive Awards in North East Victoria and the Australian International Olive Awards in 2019.

She has a Bachelor of Arts, Diploma in Education and a Diploma in Information & Communications Technology. Sue is a retired high school teacher who currently spends time as a panel judge at the Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga.

Cassandra Nicholson

Cassandra Nicholson

AUSTRALIA - WAGGA WAGGA, NSW

Cassandra is a Gemmologist and Jewellery Valuer. She and her husband own and operate two jewellery businesses in Wagga Wagga, NSW.

Cassandra is very enthusiastic about all things olive. Having successfully completed training with Peter Olsen and the Department of Primary Industries, Cassandra became a member of the Australian Olive Oil Sensory Panel in 2014. She keeps her olive palate refreshed with regular training and refresher courses, most recently a tasting course with Claudia Guillaume & Toshiya Tada in Geelong.

She has enjoyed being a part of the olive oil and table olive judging panel for The Sydney Fine Food Show & Golden Olives Show for the past five years and the Australian International Olive Awards in 2019.

Cassandra is passionate about the industry, the produce and the fabulous people she has met through her association.

Ali Tanner

Ali Tanner

AUSTRALIA - WAGGA WAGGA, NSW

Ali is based in Wagga Wagga NSW. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Graduate Diploma in Education. Ali has been a member of the Australian Olive Oil Sensory Panel since 2014 and has judged at both the Australian National Olive Competition and the Northern Victorian Olive Awards. Ali has judged at the Australian International Olive Awards in 2017 and 2018.

Michael Thomsett

Michael Thomsett

AUSTRALIA - SYDNEY, NSW

Michael has been a career horticulturist in the olive industry for eighteen years. He is a graduate of Hawkesbury Agricultural College, and has over fourteen years experience as an olive oil judge at regional and national shows.

He has been involved with both table olive and oil production and now offers consulting services for small to medium growers from Mudgee and the Hunter Valley down towards the Murray River.

Michael has been Chairman of Judges for the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show and is now the President of the AOA.

Mick Boulton

Mick Boulton

AUSTRALIA - NSW

Michael has judged at the Royal Canberra Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition, Australian Golden Olive Awards, Sydney Royal Fine Food Show, Armonia International Olive Oil Competition and National Australian Olives Awards.

Michael trained at the Department of Primary Industries Australian Olive Oil Sensory Panel at Wagga Wagga in 2009 and has had continuous participation since.

He is a founding member of long paddock olive rustlers and has been voted president for life.

Whilst Michael’s opinions, tastings, descriptions and assessments of olive oils are highly regarded Michael himself is quiet and reserved. He is an olive tragic who believes there is a gold medal oil in every olive.

Michael Esposito

Michael Esposito

AUSTRALIA - ADELAIDE, SA

As a young gun, Michael started judging as an associate judge in 2014. In 2015 Michael completed his International Master for EVOO Taster & Olive Experts Diploma in Italy under the instruction of Andrea Giomo, Barbara Alfei and Maria Gabusi.

Since then he has been elevated to a full state and national judge and has participated in the Australian National Olive Competition, Royal Adelaide Olive Awards and Fleurieu Fine Food and Olive Competition. Michael has judged at the Australian International Olive Awards since its inception in 2017.

Michael is the general manager and olive grower of Kangaroo Island Olives, a family owned olive farm on South Australia’s pristine Kangaroo Island kiolives.com.au. The brand has received multiple awards from various olive oil shows around Australia.

Catherine Harbison

Catherine Harbison

AUSTRALIA, ADELAIDE, SA

Catherine has a foody background, stemming from a family love of all things edible and drinkable, hunting, gathering, fishing, diving.

She studied cooking in Paris, followed by years of chefing all over Australia and owning two restaurants.

Catherine has a degree in Oenology and has worked various vintages in the infamous Barossa Valley. She still helps out at Leibichwein.

For the last 10 years Catherine has worked in primary schools, teaching kids how to run an organic garden, growing food, cooking it and eating it (Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program).

Catherine’s interests include cheesemaking and giving workshops in cheesemaking, harvesting wild foods, including olives.

She has been judging olives and olive oil for the last five years at the Royal Adelaide Olive Awards and has been a regular judge at the Fleurieu Olive Awards. She has been an associate judge in training at the Australian International Olive Awards and in 2020 she has qualified as a full judge in this competition.

Briony Liebich

Briony Liebich

AUSTRALIA - ADELAIDE, SA

Briony works at West End Brewery as a Sensory Analyst. For the last 15 years she has honed her skills with a broad range of experience in the food and drink industries including working for her family’s Barossa Valley winery, as a sensory consultant and running a sensory lab.

Briony has been judging at state and national olive oil competitions since 2014 and has been head judge of the Fleurieu Peninsula Olive Competition. She has been a judge at the Australian International Olive Awards since its inception in 2017. She also runs food and olive oil sensory workshops to teach flavour descriptors under her Flavour Logic brand.

Briony also enjoys harvesting and processing wild and grove olives from around McLaren Vale with friends

Gerri Nelligan

Gerri Nelligan

AUSTRALIA - BAROSSA VALLEY, SA

Having spent seven years emerged in olive industry communications, Gerri formally put on her judging hat in 2015 as an associate judge at the Australian National Olive Competition. Working with some of Australia’s leading olive oil judges, it was a huge learning experience. Since then she’s has grasped every opportunity to taste and evaluate oils, and learn as much as she can about the organoleptic qualities of EVOO.

In 2017 she judged at the Australian International Awards, refining her skills as an associate judge in training while working alongside expert judges including Pablo Canamasas, Toshiya Tada, Shane Cummins and Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne. In 2018 she has qualified as a full judge in this competition.

In 2018 she joins the AIOA judging panel as a fully-fledged judge and has also been invited to judge at several state EVOO competitions across the country.

Gerri is Managing Editor of the Olivegrower & Processor industry publication platform and is currently establishing her own mini-olive grove on a two-acre property in the Southern Barossa.

Claudia Guillaume

Claudia Guillaume

AUSTRALIA. VICTORIA

Claudia joined Modern Olives early in 2006 to head up Modern Olives Laboratory. She has over 15 years’ experience in olive oil testing. She finished her studies in Argentina as a Food Scientist and olive oil specialist. After working for several years in the area of quality, authenticity and sensory testing in a commercial food laboratory, Claudia completed a Post Degree Course in Spain; where extensive experience in olive oil analysis was gained.

Claudia is an approved chemist of the AOCS, participates as technical members for the Australian Standard and USP committees, represents Australia in IOC and ISO as technical expert and is a NATA technical assessor. She has extensive experience in sensory evaluation of olive oil carrying out many trainings and judging in this matter.

Claudia has been invited to several national and international conferences as speaker and she has published numerous scientific papers in national and international journals.

 

Jill Barson

Jill Barson

AUSTRALIA - MELBOURNE, VIC

Jill has a background in personnel and staffing solutions. In 2003 Jill and her husband Julian established Paringa Ridge Estate in Red Hill, Victoria. They planted 1100 trees with four varieties. As well as growing olives, Paringa Ridge Estate also contract harvests for local growers.

Jill has won Grove of the Year (2010) as well as yearly awards for their Leontyna extra virgin olive oils. Paringa Ridge Estate has also won the best oil in the southern hemisphere three times and several ‘Best in Show’ awards.

Jill is on the Victorian tasting panel and has been for many years. She has attended many tasting and processing courses run by the Australian Olive Association, New Zealand Olive Association and Boundary Bend. She has judged on the panel for Victorian Fine Food awards seven times and the Royal Hobart Fine Food Awards twice. Jill was also on the committee of the Morning Peninsula Olive Association when it was functioning.

Jill is involved in the Olive Wellness Institute as a small grower representative. She has recently been asked to be on the panel of the Olive Industry Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP).

Helen Salem

Helen Salem

AUSTRALIA, MELBOURNE

Helen is a Melbourne based teacher with formal olive oil assessment training.

 She has judged at the Australian Olive Association National competition as well as the Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards and the Golden Olive Awards.

Helen provides specialised language and liaison support for the Australian olive oil industry for the Chinese market including facilitating trade partnerships, export compliance, design copy direction and product specifications.

Peta Zito

Peta Zito

AUSTRALIA, MELBOURNE

Peta is an OliveCare Certified olive oil grower and processor with vertical integration of growing, harvesting, processing and marketing.

For the last six years she has regularly tasted and assessed olive oil on a fortnightly basis at Boundary Bend Ltd. in Lara, Victoria. Having trained with Stan Kailis and Gino Russo, Peta was part of the inaugural table olive judging team at the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria olive competition.

Peta, a trained midwifery nurse and completed a Post Graduate Diploma, Horticulture, in 2004. She was a partner in Victorian Olive Groves, a business founded in 1997 and located in Bendigo Victoria.

Since concentrating on their family grove they have been awarded various gold, silver and bronze medals

Westerly Isbaih

Westerly Isbaih

AUSTRALIA – SYDNEY, NSW

Depending on the day, you might find Westerly Isbaih either wandering through the olive groves on the family farm, cooking up a storm with her son in her own kitchen, or managing the sales and marketing for the family business, ALTO Olives. Some days it’s all three.

Although born in Australia, Westerly spent her formative years in South East Asia, which instilled in her a deep-rooted curiosity & appreciation for all things edible.

She is a qualified Cordon-Bleu trained chef, and worked in the kitchens of a hatted Sydney restaurant before transitioning her attentions to wholesale and distribution, and the connecting of Sydney’s chefs & retailers to great Australian farmers and producers across the country. Firstly, with her time at Nicholas Foods, and then at Australia on a Plate. It was during this time that she first came across some excellent Australian extra virgin olive oil, which led her to pursue her love of the noble olive by focusing on the family olive business.

Westerly is a highly regarded extra virgin olive oil & table olive judge of 12 years, and also a long-standing contributor to the Australian Olive Association (AOA) Consumer Awareness & Education Committee. Westerly is an olive oil educator and regularly hosts EVOO tasting & appreciation masterclasses for the foodservice industry as well as the general public.

A graduate from the Michael Pollan school of thought, Westerly’s own philosophy around food is pretty basic: source the best & freshest produce available, know where it comes from and/or what is in it, and treat it simply. And always use high quality, Australian extra virgin olive oil joyously and with abandon. On everything!

Debbie Worgan

Debbie Worgan

AUSTRALIA - WAGGA WAGGA, NSW

Debra is a member of the Australian Olive Oil Sensory Panel, the peak chemical and organoleptic testing body based at the NSW Department of Primary Industries Australian Oils Research Laboratory in Wagga.

This will be Debra’s tenth year judging olive oil. She has judged at the Sydney Olive Oil Show, the Australian Olive Association National Competition, New Zealand Olive Awards, the Canberra Olive Oil Show, the Golden Olive Show and the Australian International Olive Awards. 

Debra works as a graphic designer and teacher but her passion for olive oil has seen her undertake regular and ongoing olive oil quality assessment

Abhijit Paul

Abhijit Paul

AUSTRALIA, SYDNEY / INDIA

Abhijit Paul is an avid user of Australian extra virgin olive oil and table olives and he is passionate about exploring the sensory nuances of Australian olive products. Abhijit has started his olive oil appreciation journey from Wagga Wagga, where he had successfully completed extensive palate training with Peter Olson in 2014. Since then, he is a proud trained member of Australian Olive Oil Sensory Panel (AOOSP) at Wagga Wagga.

Abhijit has been involved with Australian olive industry since 2014 as he has judged in various shows in and around Australia. Some notable mentions are Sydney Fine Food show (since 2015), Golden olives (since 2014) and Australian International Olive Oil Awards (AIOA) in Adelaide since 2018.

Abhijit was also part of the stewarding team with Trudie Michels when the 1st AIOA started in Adelaide in 2017. bhijit always gets amazed with the versatility of Australian olive products- both extra virgin olive oil and table olives, every time he tastes them.

Dr Soumi Paul Mukhopadhyay

Dr Soumi Paul Mukhopadhyay

AUSTRALIA, SYDNEY NSW

Dr Soumi Paul Mukhopadhyay is New South Wales Department of Primary Industries’ (NSW DPI) new Sensory and Consumer Research Scientist for Horticultural research. She is an expert in understanding how sensory and consumer science can facilitate better promotion and placement of various products (from grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, wine and olive oil to everyday grocery products).

She has extensive experience in both academic and food industries in her 10+ year’s career with national and internationally recognised FMCG companies such as Nestle, Global Calcium, Whirlpool and Goodman Fielder in India, Australia, USA and Italy. She brings together a fresh perspective of how sensory attributes of different food products can be better communicated to various stakeholders in the language they understand.

She is currently leading the Hort Innovation funded project OL17003- “Australian Olive industry sensory training” to deliver a series of integrated national sensory training program for promoting Australian extra virgin olive oil and table olives in domestic and international market and developing a guide to understand and appreciate the products.

Soumi is a trained member of the Australian Olive Oil Sensory Panel (AOOSP) at Wagga Wagga and has had extensive palate training. She is frequently travelling in and around Australia for various show-judging of Australian and international olive oils and table olives; some notable mentions are Sydney Fine Food show (since 2014), Golden olives (since 2014), the Australian International Olive Oil Awards (AIOA) in Adelaide since 2017 and New Zealand Olive Awards in 2018.

She has published several industry articles related to the TasteBook™ program in “Australian and New Zealand Olive Grower and Processor” and several peer-reviewed articles in international journals related to her sensory and consumer research work.

Margi Kirby

Margi Kirby

AUSTRALIA - NSW

Margi has been hands on involved in the olive industry for over 25 years. She is one of the founders of Gwydir Grove Olives, which began producing extra virgin olive oil at Moree in 1995. Her oils have regularly taken out champion medal status at oil shows across Australia.

Margi has travelled to Italy, Spain and Turkey many times to learn and immerse herself in the “olive culture “of the Mediterranean. She has attended several International Olive Oil Council run organoleptic tasting courses to learn the art and finer points of tasting olive oil and oil production.

Margi trained to become a member of the Organoleptic Tasting Panel set up by the AOA, IOOC and Olives South Australia. In 2001 the Australian Organoleptic Panel (of which she was a member) became accredited by the IOOC. She continued training with the Australian Panel throughout 1998 to 2001.

She has worked with, studied with, and undertaken several Savantes workshops with a number of olive oil greats including Mauro Martelossi (International School of Oil Masters – Italy), Justo Almo (Spain) Judith Ridgway (UK), Paul Vosser from USA Roberto Zucca (USA & Italy), Brigida Jimenez Herrera (Spain), Dr Luciano Di Giovacchino (Italy) and Juan Ramon Esquado (Australia and Turkey), Richard Gawel (Australia).

Margi has conducted various olive oil workshops and training seminars across Australia and internationally including Los Angles (USA), Auckland (NZ), and Vatulele Island Resort (Fiji). She was invited to Slow Food Salon del Gusto, Italy to present tasting workshops on the variations in Australian olive oils and to promote Australian extra virgin olive oil.

Margi has been a guest speaker and has tutored and chaired many olive-based events focusing on olive tourism, marketing, olive tasting. Margi was a member of the AOA Consumer Awareness and Education program. She was also on the Australian Olive Association Board from 1995 to 1999 and also held the position of secretary for 3 years.

Margi’s olive oil judging experience is extensive. She has been both a judge and a head judge at a variety of regional and state-based olive oil shows including Royal Canberra Oil Show, RNA Fine Food Show in Brisbane, Royal Perth Olive Awards, Australian Olive Awards, Sydney Royal Fine Food Show, Australian Food Awards, Golden Olive Awards, Royal Hobart Fine Food Awards, Royal Adelaide Olive Awards and New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards.

Nino Zoccali

Nino Zoccali

AUSTRALIA, SYDNEY, NSW

Nino is the executive chef and proprietor of The Restaurant Pendolino and La Rosa The Strand restaurants in Sydney’s historic Strand Arcade in NSW. The Restaurant Pendolino is a specialist olive oil restaurant profiling some of Australia’s best extra virgin olive oils www.pendolino.com.au and  houses a purpose built Lolioteca (olive oil store) which features a selection of world class Australian premium extra virgin olive oils, vinegars, olives and food products.

Prior to working in the restaurant industry, Nino completed a double major degree in economics and Italian. He opened his first restaurant, Caffe Contadino, in Margaret River Western Australia at the age of 25. Since then he has established landmark Sydney restaurants including Otto Ristorante Italiano, The Restaurant Pendolino and La Rosa The Strand.

He is a passionate chef, cookbook author and olive oil expert and also makes regular contributions to Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine. Nino has been judging olive oil in Australia at both the state and national competition level for more than twelve years

Isabelle Okis

Isabelle Okis

AUSTRALIA - PERTH, WA

Isabelle is based in Western Australia and has been tasting and judging olive oil for over 17 years.  She initially trained under Professor Stan Kailis and Dr Luciano di Giovacchino in 2000-2001 and since then has had training under Judy Ridgeway, Richard Gawel, Paul Vossen, Marc Morain, Gino Russo, Richard Butler and Linda Costa. In 2013 Isabelle completed her Diploma for Tasting Panel Supervisor in accordance with IOOC norms held in Viterbo, Italy and presented by Wenceslao Moreda and Mauro Martelossi. In the last two years Isabelle has been working with Stan Kailis to present refresher olive oil tasting sessions in Perth, WA.  Isabelle has been judging at numerous competitions including the Australian Olive Association National competition (since 2013), Olive Japan (since 2016), regional South West Olive Association (head judge since 2010), Perth Royal Show (since 2000 and head judge since 2015) and Sydney Royal Fine Food Show. She harvests fruit from her small 1000 tree grove in the great southern region of Western Australia and produces her award winning Yaribelle Braes brand of extra virgin olive oil.
Thelma Burnett

Thelma Burnett

AUSTRALIA, PERTH, WA

Thelma participated in training to taste and judge olive oils soon after she and her husband, Peter, established their olive grove near Margaret River, Western Australia in 1997. Initial training was under Professor Stan Kailis and visiting EVOO experts organised by both the West Australian Olive Council and the (then) Margaret River Olive Industry Association.

While continuing work as a health professional in Perth, Thelma has continually attended training sessions and joined EVOO judging panels for the Perth Royal Show and the South West Olive Association. In 2018, Thelma judged at the Australian International Olive Awards in Adelaide. In this extensive experience over many years she has shared tasting and judging experience with world class judges. In turn, this has allowed her and to develop high level skills in EVOO judging.

Thelma also participated in the early development of Table Olive judging and awards in Western Australia; a skill that she continues to use and develop.

Now retired from her profession, Thelma now lives on the family olive farm and works on the annual grove activities, including pruning and harvesting. Her hopes for the future include growth of the olive industry with a greater percentage of the population being aware of, and using, Australian EVOO and Table Olives.

Tim Martella

Tim Martella

AUSTRALIA - PERTH, WA

Tim is based in Western Australia and specialises in table olive assessment. He has a Bachelor of Science, (Hons) in Agriculture and was a lecturer in horticulture for eighteen years at Curtin University, Perth WA.

Tim has trained under Professor Stan Kailis and Dr Richard Gawel and has been judging olive oil and table olives at the Royal Perth Show since 1998.

Tim has been a big supporter of the burgeoning olive industry in Western Australia and is an enthusiastic consumer of olive products. He enjoys pickling his own olives for family and friends

Richard Taylor

Richard Taylor

AUSTRALIA - SWAN VALLEY, WA

Richard is based in Western Australia and has a background in olive production through his role at the Western Australian Department of Agriculture and Food providing agronomic and industry advice to olive growers. He co-authored several papers on olive growing including liaising on the NOVA project and researching and sharing knowledge with other state olive industry counterparts. He provided policy advice to the Western Australian Government on developments in the WA olive industry and participated in horticulture export development initiatives including olive oil promotion. Richard also led an olive study tour to Spain and Italy in 2000.

Richard has trained in Olive Oil Assessment under several leading tasters such as Richard Gawel, Stan Kailis, Judy Ridgeway, and visiting Italian and Californian specialists.

Richard has been a big supporter of the Western Australian olive industry helping establish the West Australian Olive Council (WAOC) of which he is a life member and continues to do so in his retirement. He has a background in viticulture and regularly attends wine tastings sessions in the Swan Valley to keep his palate trained.

Richard has judged at the Royal Extra Virgin Olive Competition for 19 years and has also judged at regional WA shows such as the South West Olive Competition. He has also judged at the Australian National Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition and recently at the Australian International Olive Awards in 2019.

Margaret Edwards

Margaret Edwards

NEW ZEALAND

In 2000 Margaret retired from full-time employment after a career as a dietitian and university lecturer (part time), and having held management positions at major New Zealand companies, to concentrate on olive oil.

She is the author of numerous publications about food, nutrition and olive oil and a member of several specialist food and oils related organisations. 

Margaret attended the International Olive Council’s (IOC) organoleptic training courses in New Zealand and the IOC Training Courses for Supervisors of Virgin Olive Oil Tasting Panels held in Italy in 1999 and 2005. She also attended Savantes courses in Australia.

In 2003, in conjunction with The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Consumer and Sensory Science Facility, Margaret set up, trained and led the ONZ Sensory Panel for Extra Virgin Olive Oil. In 2005 the panel obtained IOC recognition and retained this until the panel was disbanded in 2012.

Margaret has been an international olive oil judge since 2004 and judges regularly in the USA, Australia and Japan. She is a consultant to the New Zealand olive industry, runs olive oil workshops and lectures nationally, and internationally about New Zealand extra virgin olive oil.

For the past 30 years, Margaret has owned an olive grove and olive mill on Waiheke Island where she produces award-winning extra virgin olive oil.

Charlotte Connoley

Charlotte Connoley

NEW ZEALAND

Charlotte was a member of the Olives New Zealand IOC accredited Sensory Panel since its inception. Charlotte became involved in olive oil judging after completing her honours dissertation on “Olive Oil Quality; The Effect of Cultivar and Location on Oil Quality” during her B.Hort.sc at Lincoln University. She received first class honours based on this research.

Charlotte has a passion for the olive industry in New Zealand. She has been in the judging pool for the NZ EVOO Awards since the beginning in 2001. Charlotte has been a regular judge at the NZ Olive oil Awards, a panel member of the IOOC accredited NZ Olive Oil Panel and a speaker at the NZ Olive Conference (2001).

Charlotte is the Managing Director of South Pacific Seeds NZ LTD, a subsidiary of the Australian based vegetable seed production and marketing company SOUTH PACIFIC SEEDS PTY LTD. The SOUTH PACIFIC SEEDS group (est. 1986) has since grown to be the largest specialist vegetable seed company in Oceania.

Professor Marie Wong

Professor Marie Wong

NEW ZEALAND

Professor Marie Wong is an experienced academic with a PhD in Food Engineering and a Bachelor of Technology (Honours) in Biotechnology. She is currently a Professor at the School of Food & Advanced Technology, Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand. Prior to this she worked as a scientist with DSIR and HortResearch in Auckland.

Marie has been involved with olive oil research with the NZ olive industry since 2007 – working with the NZ industry and postgraduate research students. She is currently involved with a number of ongoing research projects on olive oil.

She has extensive research expertise in edible oil extraction, processing and chemistry, not only with olive oil but other plant oils. She has authored and co-authored numerous referred publications on oil research. Marie has contributed various chapters in books relating to food science and edible oils as well as presenting conference posters, papers and oral presentations both in New Zealand and across the globe.

Marie has judged at many olive oil competitions including the Auckland Agricultural & Pasture Show Easter Olive Oil competition and the Olivetti Olive Oil Competition, Northland.

Anne Staminaroff

Anne Staminaroff

NEW ZEALAND

Anne has honed her olive oil, wine and food knowledge and her tasting skills by spending several years as a restaurant manager, tour manager, tastings manager and office manager at Stoney Ridge Vineyard.

Anne and her husband then established Rangihoua Estate on Waiheke Island in 1997. This olive growing business produces premium quality olives and world class olive oil. The brand is well known across the world and is popular with several very well-known celebrities. Combining the traditional and modern methods of Olive Oil processing, Rangihoua is now a leading brand in Extra Virgin Olive Oils, and produces the most prolific award-winning Extra Virgin Olive Oils in New Zealand.

Anne proudly declares she was the first person in the North Island of New Zealand to grow olives and make quality olive oil. Anna plants, grows, hand harvests, processes, blends, markets and sells her oils. She has operated and grown the business for twenty-three years now.

Anne has worked with the esteemed Margaret Edwards on judging panels and regularly assess and tastes olive oil. Anne’s oils have wone numerous national and international awards including thirteen golds and five best in class awards in the last five years.

Today Anne operates tours & tastings at Rangihoua Estate all year round, concentrating on educating the public on how olive oil is made, what makes it extra virgin, the way it enhances food and the enormous health benefits of the oils.

Ángeles Calvo Fandos

Ángeles Calvo Fandos

SPAIN - REUS

Angeles has been manager of a family run agricultural-livestock company since 1991. In 1989 she graduated in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Zaragoza with specialties in food science, technology and food safety. Angeles has also completed numerous panel leader courses COI and MAPA in Granada and Madrid (1999, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2014).

Angeles has been leader of the ‘Panell de Tast Oficial d’Olis Verges d’Oliva de Catalunya’ since 2004. Since its creation in 1997 she was technical secretary and member of this Catalonia virgin olive oil tasting panel. Angeles has also taught oil tasting courses at a variety of locations including Federació de Cooperatives Agraries de catalunya, Escola d’enologia de Falset, ECA-Mas Bobé, Gandesa y Borges Blanques, Vallfogona, Escoles d’hosteleria, and Unió de Pagesos.

Following the requirements of DOGC nº 4291 (2004), Angeles is responsible for the implementation of the ISO 17025 Standard for the accreditation of the Official Tasting Panel of Catalonia. She has also consulted and provided auditing services at the Fòrum Verge Extra: Oli I Territori.

Since 2005, Angeles has been a member of the MAGRAMA group of olive oil tasting experts. Since 2008 she has been a member of the olive oil sensory analysis expert group on IOC and she is also a member of the Olearum Association.

Angeles participates in the selection and training for new emerging olive oil tasting panels across Spain (Toledo, Murcia, Aragón and Navarra). She also has numerous collaborations in scientific activities of various entities (IRTA, URV, UB, P H2020-Oleum).

Angeles has participated in the IBEROLEUM (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020), EVOLEUM (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020) and EVO IOOC Guide (2018, 2019) olive oil guides. She has also participated in national and international congresses in Greece, Morocco, Chile and Tunisia. Angeles has been a valued judge and panel leader at numerous olive oil competitions in Spain, Italy, Israel, Argentina, Portugal, Japan and Turkey.

Enrique García-Tenorio

Enrique García-Tenorio

SPAIN - TOLEDO

Enrique García-Tenorio, agricultural engineer and expert in international business management, is CEO of the foundation “Montes de Toledo Olive Oil” from 1998. Responsible of management, promotion and product certification of this Protected Designation of Origin, he also drafted the application for EU registration and its specifications.

As olive oil taster, Enrique has qualifications as sensory judge and panel leader, has conducted olive oil workshops and seminars across the world including European Union, Japan, China, Korea, México and USA, and been jury member in various international olive oil competitions such as Spanish Ministry of Agriculture awards, the Evooleum and Iberoleum guides in Spain, Olive Japan International Competition and others.

He also collaborated in the creation and accreditation of the sensory laboratory of virgin olive oils owned by the Montes de Toledo foundation, which is certified by IOOC and the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture.

In addition, he is external collaborator of the Spanish Accreditation Body (ENAC) as technical auditor for the accomplishment of product certification audits in the olive oil sector and guest speaker at several seminars on product certification and designations of origin management.

Dr. Agustí Romero

Dr. Agustí Romero

SPAIN - REUS

Dr. Agustí J. ROMERO, PhD (Food Technology) Specialized in plant pomology from University of Lleida, Spain. Researcher of the IRTA’s Food Division since 1987 and leader of the IRTA’s Olive & Oil research team. His work focuses on virgin olive oil extraction and quality, olive orchards designs and nut processing and quality. Since 2000 he is involved in mill technology improvement programs, supported by Catalan Government, involving more than 50 olive mills and 50.000 ha of olive orchards.

A.Romero is co-author of one book about olive cultivars in Catalonia and made contributions to technical books on olive oil, sensorial analysis, etc. Co-author of more than 80 scientific reports and more than 100 articles of divulgation. Currently, he is involved in several research projects on olive oil and nuts. Furthermore, he is an expert assistant for both the International Olive Council (IOC) concerning olive germplasm banks and the United States Pharmacopaea regarding olive oil quality standards.

Professor in several master courses: “International Expert on Olive Oil Tasting” University of Jaen; “Food Industry Innovation and Management” University of Lleida. He collaborates regularly with “Escuela Universitaria de Hotelería y Turismo” (University of Barcelona) and “Escuela Superior de Hostalería de Barcelona” for olive oil subject.

Member of the official olive oil tasting panel of Catalonia (Spain), he contributed to its formation and currently is responsible for its continuous training under ISO-17025 regulations. He has designed special training strategies for many tasting panels in several countries (Argentina, Chile, China, Germany, Japan, Morocco, Spain, Turkey and USA). He has been jury of several international olive oil competitions (Argentina, Berlin, London, Los Angeles, New Zealand, Shanghai and Tokyo)

 

Juan Baseda Torruella

Juan Baseda Torruella

SPAIN - REUS

Dr Francesca Rocchi

Dr Francesca Rocchi

ITALY, ROME

Francesca is a teacher and educator in the fields of food, wine and olive oil. She has been a regular taster and journalist at the Slow Food publisher’s Guide to Extravergini and is a member of the Il Ministero delle Politiche Agricole Alimentari e Forestali’s (MIPAAF) working group dedicated to the culture of extra virgin olive oil.

In 2010 she was elected President of Slow Food Lazio and became a National Council Member for Slow Food Italy. In 2014, Francesca was made Vice President of Slow Food Italia, a role she continues today. Francesca is a member of the Italian Slow Food Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Presidia, an international project which promotes the environmental, landscape, health and economic value of Italian extra-virgin olive oil, and inform consumers about the qualities of good, clean and fair oil. She is also an educator in the field of food and wine for Slow Food and Eataly, with a focus on the olive tree cycle and on the potential of using EXTRAVERGINE in the daily diet.

Francesca is the artistic director of Fiera di Roma, an event dedicated to the Mediterranean Diet, which is held in Rome every year in November (www.mercatomediterraneo.it) where she facilitates a number of presentations dedicated to the culture of extra virgin olive oil. Furthermore, she is part of the tasting panel of SOL/Vinitaly and the Olive Japan International Olive Oil Competition. She speaks Italian, Spanish and English.

Francesca has numerous qualifications in the olive oil and wine (sommelier) as well as a Doctor of Philosophy (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice) and enjoys volunteering her time as a representative committee member with Foodinsider (www.foodinsider.it), a digital platform devoted to food education with a focus on Italian school canteen menus.

Duccio Morozzo Della Rocca

Duccio Morozzo Della Rocca

ITALY

Johnny Madge

Johnny Madge

ITALY

Pablo Canamasas

Pablo Canamasas

ARGENTINA

Pablo lives in Argentina and is an agriculture scientist specialising in olive oil production and oil quality. He has been in the olive industry for 22 years. He is an olive oil production consultant in over ten countries including North America, Japan, Argentina, Australia, Chile, Brazil, Israel, China, Mexico and New Zealand. Initially Pablo specialised and trained in olive oil and table olive production in Spain and Italy. He has undertaken valuable olive oil processing research funded by the Australian Government and published numerous research papers on olive processing.  Pablo has broad experience in modern olive oil extraction techniques, olive processing, oil blending and quality control. He has extensive experience in olive oil tasting and has regularly been invited to judge at many competitions including The Australian National Olive Competition, Melbourne’s Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria Olive show, Royal Adelaide Olive Awards and the Fino Oliva Show in Brazil. He has had wide-ranging experience in the design and development of olive oil processing facilities and in the continual improvement of their industrial efficiencies. Pablo is respected worldwide and is a regular key speaker on olive oil and processing courses, conferences and seminars around the world including World Congress
Dr Wang Wei

Dr Wang Wei

CHINA - HANGZHOU

Dr Wang Wei graduated from Zhejiang University with a doctorate in food safety in 2008. He was the creator and now executive director of The International Centre for Olive Oil Quality Research (ICOOQR) with a key focus on promoting academic cooperation between China and Australia in the field of olive oil, to improve Chinese enthusiasm for the consumption of quality olive oil and to promote market share of Australia high quality olive oil in China. He is the head director of Nutrition and health research team of Institute of Quality and Standard for Agriculture Products, Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences. He is as a Master advisor mainly engaged in functional nutrition and health research of agricultural products. He had finished more than 20 research projects, published more than 70 research papers, 21 patents for inventions, include 1 U. S. patents, and 14 patents has been authorized. Dr Wang is also an executive director of the sixth Zhejiang Food Association, and a member of Zhejiang New Century “151 talents project”, “talent plan” of Zhejiang academy of agricultural sciences, and premium members of Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology. Dr Wang is also a senior member of AOCS, the world’s most extensive and respected collaborative proficiency testing program for oil- and fat-related commodities, oilseeds, oilseed meals, and edible fats.
Zhu Shenlong

Zhu Shenlong

CHINA - HANGZHOU

 Deng Yu

Deng Yu

CHINA - GANSU

Dr Zhang Yu

Dr Zhang Yu

CHINA - HANGZHOU

Dr Zhang Yu graduated from Zhejiang University with a doctorate in fruit quality in 2004. She is the deputy director of nutrition and health research team of Institute of Quality and Standard for Agriculture Products, Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

She is also a researcher in the International Centre for Olive Oil Quality Research (ICOOQR), which is dedicated to promoting academic cooperation between China and Australia in the field of olive oil. She is mainly engaged in evaluation of quality and functional nutrition of agricultural products.

Dr Zhang Yu has completed more than 20 research projects, published more than 30 research papers and authorized 15 invention patents. She is familiar with sensory analysis and quality analysis of olive oil.

She has completed study in the training course of olive oil sensory analysis organized by International Olive Council in 2018. In 2019, she has completed study in the training course on olive oil sensorial analysis senior qualifier organized by Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences in China and Institute of Agriculture and Food Research and Technology in Spain,and get the training certificate.

Dr Mariem Gharsallaoui

Dr Mariem Gharsallaoui

TUNISIA

Mariem is a researcher at the Olive Tree Institute in Sfax, Tunisia. She has a PhD in Chemistry and a Masters in Chemical Engineering. She is also an expert academic in tasting virgin olive oil (University of Jaén).

Mariem has been a researcher at the Institute of the Olive Tree since 2001 and has been responsible for two research projects “Extraction systems and exploiting by-products” and ‘Olive Oil Quality and Voice Recovery’. She is responsible for the national innovation research project ‘New ecological process of olive oil extraction: Qualitative, economic, and environmental impact’.

Mariem is an acclaimed teacher of olive oil extraction systems and refining processes for olive-pomace oils and acid oils for the Master’s degree at the Higher Institute of Biotechnology in Sfax. She also teaches sensory analysis for a Master’s degree at Higher Institute of Technological Studies. Mariem also teaches quality tools for a Master’s degree at Higher Institute of Technological Studies.

Mariem has supervised over 50 completed study projects as well as eleven Masters Degrees thesis, five Doctoral Degree thesis and 80 training courses for students. She has participated in 18 scientific paper seminars and is an author and co-author of 15 scientific peer-reviewed papers in international journals.

Mariem is a member of the National Chemistry Committee for the revision of the commercial standard for olive oil and pomace olive oil and also a member of the regional Sensitization Oil Mills Operators committee.

Mariem has judged at Olive Japan from 2015 to 2019. She has judged the best olive oil in the competition at the 2016 and 2018 ‘Mon Olivier Festival in Sfax and has been a C’TOVert tasting panel leader.

Mariem has run over 50 training days for the production of good quality olive oil. She has also organised and provided training for over 20 workshops and courses for professionals in the field of olive oil.

She is a consultant for the accreditation of chemical and sensory analysis laboratories for the Tunisian olive industry.

Mahdi Fendri

Mahdi Fendri

TUNISIA

Abdelkarim Laatar

Abdelkarim Laatar

TUNISIA

Dr Sondri Laroussi

Dr Sondri Laroussi

TUNISIA

2020 Associate Judges 

Eloise Emmett

Eloise Emmett

AUSTRALIA - HOBART TAS (Associate Judge)

Eloise is the chef and owner of Little Norfolk Bay Events and Chalets, a boutique luxury accommodation and event space on the beautiful Tasman Peninsula in Tasmania. Eloise regularly cooks formal dinners for her guests who are staying as part of the Indulgence Weekend Packages and the Cooking Retreats she hosts. Eloise has been cooking in commercial kitchens for 25 years, including 7 years owning her own restaurant she has always been passionate about using seasonal Tasmanian produce in her cooking. Eloise is the international award winning author of 4 cookbooks and now manages the production of cookbooks for clients. Eloise works as a photographer and stylist, and also teaches cooking, photography and styling in regular workshops which she organises and hosts.

Eloise loves being involved in all types of food awards, and is the Chief Judge of The Hobart Fine Food Awards. Eloise hopes to establish her own small olive grove with the eventual dream of producing a small amount of her own oil one day in the future.

Thomasz Fisher

Thomasz Fisher

AUSTRALIA – PERTH, WA (Associate Judge)

Rojina Maharajan

Rojina Maharajan

AUSTRALIA - WAGGAE WAGGA, NSW (Associate Judge)

Brook Purdue

Brook Purdue

AUSTRALIA - CLARE VALLEY, SA (Associate Judge)

Geoff Treloar

Geoff Treloar

AUSTRALIA - WAGGA WAGGA NSW

Geoff and his family planted their 1700 tree grove in 1998. Located on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River, the grove has flourished with the ideal climate, soil and irrigation. Since then, Geoff has grown to appreciate the quality of EVOO as a highly valuable food for its sensory characteristics and health benefits.

An early collaboration with local growers formed the brand W20 EVOO and Agrumato olive oil. Now owned by Geoff, W2O has striven for best practice producing many award winning oils over the last decade, 2019 proving its most successful year, scooping the best awards in Australia in both EVOO and agrumato oils. Geoff has gained from training in sensory analysis through the Australian Olive Oil Sensory Panel at Wagga and has been an active panellist for 6 years. Further training workshops have been undertaken.

Geoff has judged at the Sydney Royal Easter Show and Golden Olive shows. Since retirement from Veterinary Practice in 2018 Geoff has enjoyed the opportunity to engage with the business and science of EVOO and the wider grower community.

2020 Table Olive Judges

Bob Barrett

Bob Barrett

AUSTRALIA - ADELAIDE, SA

Bob Barrett was Lecturer at the University of Adelaide with over 25 years of teaching at Waite Campus and the National Wine Centre in Oenology, horticulture and wine marketing. His book “Olive Production & Marketing in Australia”, published in 2008, was the based on his lectures developed for this subject at the Waite Campus of the University over a period of years. Bob was Chief Judge at the inaugural National Table Olive Competition in 2010. Prior to retirement he was on the inaugural panel Australian Panel which sought and obtained accreditation from the International Olive Oil Council to make judgements as to the organoleptic status of oils (Extra Virgin, Virgin, and so on). He was a long standing member of Olives SA board and initiated the original Olives South Australia website in 2010. Bob has been a table olive judge at both the Australian National Olive Competition and the Royal Adelaide Olive Awards. He currently consults to the olive industry.

Dr Andrew Markides

Dr Andrew Markides

AUSTRALIA - ADELAIDE, SA

Andrew has judged table olives at the Australian National Olive Competition, the Royal Adelaide Olive Awards and the Fleurieu Fine Food and Olive Competition for some years.  He holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) and PhD in Microbiology from the University of New South Wales. After 25 years in wine academia teaching wine production, microbiology and sensory evaluation at the Riverina Murray Institute of Higher Education, Roseworthy Agricultural College and The University of Adelaide, Andrew moved to the private sector joining a French-Canadian Company servicing the wine industry worldwide. Andrew’s Greek background has had him interested in olives since his teenage years. Over many years, he learnt a great deal exploring the relationship between olive maturity, flavour, texture and size using various olive varieties. Andrew is now professionally retired from full-time employment but remains active in the olive sector. He continues exploring micro olive processing techniques and is particularly looking forward to increasing my involvement with the olive sector, both nationally and internationally.

Sarah Asciutto

Sarah Asciutto

AUSTRALIA - ADELAIDE, SA

Sarah has come from a long line of passionate food lovers. Having spent her younger years in a renowned South Australian food producing region, quality and freshness have always been at the fore of her culinary experiences. Growing up in an Italian – Australian household has meant extra virgin olive oil always takes center stage in the Kitchen.

Being involved in her family’s Olive groves in both the Adelaide Hills and Murraylands has allowed her to refine her skills in blending and tasting extra virgin olive oils, as well as working along with a strong South Australian extra virgin olive oil community where her family’s oil is respected and well awarded.

Sarah has completed the Extra Virgin Olive Oil Savantes course and has been involved in judging the Fleurieu Olive Awards and associate judging at the Royal Adelaide Olive Awards in 2018. She thrives on the nuances found between olive varietals and flavours and is currently involved hands on with the blending of varietals and oils for her family grown and operated Rio Vista Olives in the Adelaide hills as well as undertaking a number of marketing and sales roles.

Dr Michelle Wirthensohn

Dr Michelle Wirthensohn

AUSTRALIA - CHARLESTON, SA

Dr Michelle Wirthensohn is the Horticulture Innovation Australia Senior Research Fellow with the University of Adelaide. Michelle has been involved in horticultural breeding and research since graduating from the University of Adelaide where she gained her Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Hons), Graduate Certificate in Higher Education and a PhD in Horticulture. As a member of the Australian Olive Association’s (AOA) National Table Olive Committee, Michelle helped develop the Voluntary Industry Standard for Table Olives and the Australian Olive Association’s Code of Practice for table oil, table olives and other products. She has been Head Judge for the Australian Olive Association’s National Table Olive competition since 2011 and for Olives South Australia (OSA) Royal Adelaide Olive Awards. She also judges for the Fleurieu Fine Foods competition.

Delyth Taylor

Delyth Taylor

AUSTRALIA - COONALPYN, SA

Briony Liebich

Briony Liebich

AUSTRALIA - ADELAIDE SA

Gerri Nelligan

Gerri Nelligan

AUSTRALIA - ADELAIDE, SA

Michael Esposito

Michael Esposito

AUSTRALIA - KANGAROO ISLAND SA

Catherine Harbison

Catherine Harbison

AUSTRALIA - ADELAIDE, SA