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Judges

ATHENA 2020

The panel consists of judges with many years of experience in the organoleptic assessment of olive oil, judges accredited by the International Olive Council (IOC) or by other international or national bodies.


Jose Maria Penco

Spain

Panel Leader ATHENA IOOC

Jose Maria Penco from Spain is an agronomist, consultant, manager and olive farmer in Cordoba. He holds an Agricultural Engineering degree from the University of Cordoba, an Executive MBA degree from the International Institute San Telmo in Seville and a Masters degree in Olive Growing and Olive Oil Technology also from the University of Cordoba. He is currently the Technical Director of the Spanish Association of Olive Oil Municipalities, an organization made up of 170 municipalities across Spain. Among his duties are studies and market research and EU projects management including Equal, Interreg, Enpi and Adapt.

Jose Maria has also worked as a designer for 15 years, developing multiple food industry projects, especially in relation to olive oil. Early on in his career, Jose Maria worked as an agronomist for the government of Cadiz and as a manager for agribusiness companies in the oil and wine sectors. He is the author of several technical papers about olive growing and olive oil production and has lectured at various national and international forums on olive cultivation techniques, cost analysis, market analysis, quality olive oil, etc. He is a member of several tasting panels in Spain, including Cadiz, Cordoba, Seville, BioCórdoba, Ecotrama, Community Heritage Award Montoro, AEMO and AOVE.

Lazzez Aida

Tunisia

Aida Lazzez from Tunisia, is an educator and permanent researcher at the unit of Technology and Quality at the Olive Tree Institute (L’Institut de l’Olivier) in Sfax, Tunisia, since 2005. Her research aims to improve the quality of olive oil through the study of factors such as the maturation process, olive tree varietals, extraction techniques, geographical locations, irrigation and climate factors. In recent years she has focused on developing olive oil authentication techniques through biomarkers and olive oil “fingerprints”. The author of more than 20 scientific papers and co-author of many more, she has participated in several national and international scientific conferences and is a permanent member of the Scientific Committee of the International Symposium Med Mag Oliva where she is in charge of developing several programs including a course on the sensory analysis of olive oil.

As a member of her country’s Audit Committee she is responsible for controling olive oil mills and practices and as a member of Tunisia’s National Olive Oil Office she controls the application of physico-chemical methods of analysis of olive oil and olive pomace oil. She is an accredited olive oil taster since 2009, through the University of Jaen, where she also teaches a university-level course on olive oil sensory analysis and another one on the chemistry of fats.

Marco Antonucci

Italy

Marco Antonucci is from Italy.

He is an architect, a journalist, a professional olive oil taster, a panel leader, an evo teacher and lecturer, a sensory analysis trainer and a boxes and labels designer.

For many years now he has been internationally engaged in spreading the culture of extra virgin olive oil through popular and university courses, conferences, guides, articles, podcast and books.

Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne

USA

Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne, olive oil consultant, writer and educator, is a co-founder of Extra Virgin Alliance (EVA), an international non‐profit trade association of olive oil producers and experts working to foster appreciation, restore consumer trust and create value in the market for authentic, high-quality extra virgin olive oil. She is the author of Olive Oil: A Field Guide from AOCS Press. She has taught olive oil tasting classes in cooperation with IRTA, Olive Oil Sommeliers of Japan, Culinary Institute of America, Los Angeles County Fair, UC Davis, and many others. She serves as a judge and advisor for several California and international olive oil competitions and chairs the Napa Valley Olive Oil Competition. Alexandra has presented at many olive oil conferences in the US and abroad, focusing on olive oil sensory education, communication, marketing and quality, and teaches classes on olive oil production. Beginning with her research work while at the University of California Cooperative Extension, she has written on many aspects of olive oil for popular and scholarly publications, and contributed a chapter to the international book Olive Oil Sensory Evaluation from Wiley.

Manolis Fafoutakis

Greece

Manolis Fafoutakis from Ierapetra, Crete, is the director of the department of olive oil of Chemicotechniki Laboratories. He is an analytical chemist with 33 years of experience in the quality control of olive oil and he is also an olive oil producer. He has been the head of several chemical testing laboratories specialized in olive oil. His laboratory is the first in Greece to be accredited to EN ISO/IEC 17025 for the determination of all the chemical parameters specified in the European Regulation for Olive Oil and it is recognized by the International Olive Council.

He is a member of the tasting panel of UAC Mirabello and he participates as a judge in the Cretan Olive Oil Competition. His many years of experience and expertise in olive oil analysis and organoleptic assessment have established him as a valuable advisor to olive oil professionals.

Marí Eugenia Fernández

Argentine

After graduating as a Chemical Engineer and having won a scholarship to study one semester in Germany my first job was at BASF headquarters in Ludwigshafen; so my first steps were in a huge chemical company working in german language. Back in Argentina I worked at Techint as process Engineer. Techint has a very respected and demanding young professionals program for graduated engineers. I worked as a process engineer for an Gas Oil Separation Plant (GOSP II) that Aramco Co. was planing to build in Arabia, I also worked for a project involved in the exansion of Camisea gasoduct in Perú, the client was PlusPetrol. Later, I was offered to go back to Chemicals, to work as Technical Service and Development engineer at Dow Chemical. I worked in the polyethylene area assisting flexible packaging clients in Chile, Bolivia, Peru y Argentina, based in Buenos Aires. I was recognized for my labor, even developing a new product line and winning an award for that. We used Six Sigma methodology, I worked hand by hand with Sales people and production people at the lab and plant in Bahia Blanca, offering the clients and distributors the best solutions. Some years later I wanted to test myself as entrepreneur and started an olive oil small business which gave me the experience of sales, marketing, clients searching. I cointinued working in the olive oil business for others too, as employee or external consultant in Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. That took me to win a sponsorship to study and live in Jaen 4 months. After serious thinking over years, the time came to leave Argentina as a home country. I wanted to come to Europe and make my residence here. Spain is a country I love and I had come often as a member of jury of olive oil tasting contests, then made my residence here.

Cécile Le Galliard

France

After gaining a diploma in communication in France, she moved to Spain, olive oil country to continue her studies. This was where her olive oil education started, where she changed her cooking habits and became passionate about olive oil. Cécile Le Galliard is a French expert in olive oil tasting. She is graduated of the University of Jaén (Spain) in virgin olive oil tasting in 2014.

Cécile works as a consultant in olive oil in France, specializing in selecting oils, training, tasting and olive growing advice. Her olive oil blog www.jusdolive.fr written in French currently attracts more than 160,000 visitors per year. She is co-author with an other journalist, Alice Alech, of a book about health and olive oil which will be published in EEUU in early 2017, "The Seven Wonders of Olive oil". She passed the Savantes Tasting Skills test in March 2016, an individual assessment, and is now a Savantes associate.

cecile@jusdolive.fr
www.jusdolive.fr

Sara Godena

Croatia

Sara Godena works as a Research Associate at the Department of Agriculture and Nutrition of the Institute of Agriculture and Tourism in Poreč (Croatia). She won a COI scholarship in 2014, when she attended a university specialization course in the organoleptic assesment of virgin olive oil at the University of Jaen. In 2008 she attended also a course of the International School of Sensory Analysis and Food Culture O.L.E.A. in Pesaro (Italy). She is author and co-author of many scientific and professional papers, and she participated in many national, international and EU projects. She is on the national list of sensory evaluators of virgin olive oils of the Ministry of Agriculture in Croatia since 2010 and she is a member of the professional, authorized and official panel of the Institute of Agriculture and Tourism in Poreč (Croatia) which is on the list of official panels of the European Union and on a list of panels recognized by the IOC. She has participated on several VOO international judging panels since 2013: New York International Olive Oil Competition (NYIOOC), Copenhagen International Olive Oil Awards (CIOOA), Athena International Olive Oil Competition (ATHIOOC), MonocultivarOliveOil and Domina International Olive Oil Contest (D-IOOC).

Maria de la Paz Aguilera Herrera

Spain

Maria de la Paz Aguilera Herrera is based in Jaén where she heads the tasting panel at CITOLIVA, the Center for Olive and Olive Oil Technologies. She also is in charge of the ground-breaking Food Lab at the same institution, that is exploring the various uses of olive oil in today’s food preparation processes. Maria holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Granada and a PhD in Chemical Sciences from the University of Jaén where she also teaches. Her extensive background in the sensory analysis of oils began during her research period at the Venta del Llano Center Institute of the Agricultural and Fishery Research and Training (IFAPA), where she specialized in the elaboration, classification and quality-control of extra virgin olive oil. From 2007 onwards she has participated as a judge in numerous national and international competitions such as Expoliva, Argoliva, OVIVEJA, and JOOP (Japan Olive Oil Competition). She has published more than 30 articles in international journals as well as several research papers in important scientific publications. She is co-author of several specialized books including “Manual of Olive Oil Tasting and Pairing” and “Olive Cultivation”, currently in its 6th edition.

Dr. Brígida Jiménez Herrera

Spain

Brígida Jiménez Herrera is a Doctor of Pharmacy, Master in Economics and Business Administration (MBA) and Diploma in Business Management by the CSIC, is Director of the Center IFAPA Cabra since 1990, specializing in the Olivar center, oil olive oil and table olives.

She has extensive experience in R + D + I in the sensory characteristics of virgin olive oil, as an expert panel participating in major international competitions of quality olive oil.

She has participated in numerous conferences at the national and international level and has received several awards as Andres Nunez de Prado Organic Livestock Award for Research in Agriculture and for the work “Phenolic compounds with beneficial health effect in Virgin Olive Oils Extra Picual variety. Comparative study of organic farming versus conventional farming:” Olivar de Jaén Prize, in recognition of the work in spreading the culture of the grove and its dedication to the promotion and development of the olive and olive oil, given by the Association for Culture and Olivar; Award The experience in the development and promotion of Table Olive awarded by the Foundation for the Development and Promotion of the Table Olive IFAPA center Cabra (Córdoba); Weevil Award 2005 awarded by the DOP Priego de Córdoba for their continued support for the operation and development of the appellation.

Aggeliki-Efstratia Kouzoumi

Greece

Aggeliki Kouzoumi is an olive oil expert based on the island of Lesvos, in charge of quality control for the Greek Ministry of Rural Development through the local Olive Institute.

Aggeliki is also panel leader of the Lesvos EVOO tasting commission and as such has an extensive knowledge of the olive oils produced on this island, the 3rd largest in Greece and an important extra virgin olive oil producer.

Aggeliki holds a B.A. and a Masters degree in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of the Aegean and has worked extensively on various environmental projects with an emphasis on waste management.

Kostas Liris

Greece

Konstantinos Liris from Greece, is a Kalamata-based agronomist (MSc, MBA) and olive oil expert. He is the founder of “Iris”, a newly established Greek private company providing consulting services to the wider agricultural and agri-food sector. He also cooperates with companies as an independent contractor on international olive oil trading. In 2013/2014 he was chief olive oil trader and taster for Salov Spa (Filippo Berio) responsible for the markets of Greece and Turkey. Earlier, from 2010 to 2013, he was responsible for the standardization of olive oil, olives and raisins for the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Messinia (Greece’s biggest olive oil cooperative) as Director for its agricultural industries, while previously (1998-2010) he served as Export and Quality Control Manager for the same company.

Konstantinos has participated in many olive oil conferences in Greece and abroad and has been among the team of judges at the NUIOOC since 2014.

Johnny Madge

UK

Johnny Madge started tasting olive oil on the panel of the Slow Food Guide “Extravergini” in 2005 in Italy, where he has lived since 1982. Since then he has talked about olive oil for many radio and television programmes of the BBC and elsewhere, such as in New York at the 1st NYOOC in 2013 where he analyzed the concept of bitterness in olive oil. In 2008 he initiated the “Johnny Madge Olive Oil Tour” a multilevel programme on olive oil education for tourists, chefs and producers from all over the world. Since 2014 he has judged olive oil in international competitions such as Olive Japan and Athena. In 2017 he was awarded the Lekythos award at the Ercole Olivario Competition for the non-Italian person who distinguished himself by spreading the good word of quality Italian olive oil in Italy and abroad.

Ayala Noy Meir

Israel

Ayala Noy Meir, from Israel, is an agronomist with a Masters degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is the manager of the organic, cold press olive oil mill "Rish Lakish", cultivating more than 100 acres of organic olive trees, and a lecturer of olive oil in various forums in Israel. Following an internship in olive oil cultivation and production at Tel Hai College, Ayala followed several IOC-approved olive oil tasting courses, including the "Olive Without Borders" training course in Spain, led by Jose Maria Penco and Dr. Fathi Abd El-Hadi.

Ayala is the representative of the Organic Olive Growers on the Israeli Olive Growers Board and from 2012 to 2016 was a member of the Israeli IOC olive oil panel. She has judged at the Terraolivo and Masters of Olive Oil competitions in Israel and Italy, respectively.

Francisco Ataide Pavao

Portugal

Francisco Manuel Aguia de Sousa Ataide Pavao, from Portugal, is an agronomist, olive grove manager, olive mill expert, educator and accredited taster. A graduate of the Superior Institute of Agronomy at Lisbon’s Technical University, he has managed olive groves, olive tree nurseries and olive mills for many years with a vast array of responsibilities. As technical manager and president of the Producers Association in Integrated Pest Management of Trás-os-Montes and the Alto Douro Region, Francisco has been in the forefront of implementing novel integrated production and organic farming techniques in these regions.

He teaches at the School of Agronomy at Bragança’s Polytechnic Institute and is a permanent member of the school’s extended panel of olive oil tasters. He has been the director of the Portuguese Farmers Confederation and judges regularly in several international competitions outside Portugal.

Marcelo Scofano

Brazil

Education:
Gastronomy and Culinary Technologist, Estácio de Sá University– RJ - September/2005; Olive oil sensory analyst, Professional taster and Master in Elaiotechnique, IFAPA – Instituto de Investigación y Formación Agraria y Pesquera de Jaén y Cabra (Andalusia/Spain) – October/2013; Specialist in Integrated Management System (QHSE)– Fatec/SENAC Rio - December/2014

Publication:
Gastronomy contributor to the book “UM FIO DE AZEITE” [“A DRIZZLE OF OLIVE OIL”], by Rosa Nepomuceno, published by Casa da Palavra and Editora SENAC in December/2009; Author/contributor of the article: “Fat Acids Composition of monovarietal olive oils grown in Brazil”, Embrapa/RJ, published and presented on Expoliva Scientific Symposium on may/2017; www.estilogourmet.com.br 21 98443-8833

Professional Experience:
Olive Oils lecturer / Consultant / Researcher / Taster / Partner of Estilo Gourmet – Saber Culinário [Gourmet Style – Culinary Knowledge], a company which provides consultancy, offers gastronomy courses and corporate training, and organizes events.

Chryssa Sergentani

Greece

Chrysa Sergentani, from Greece, is an agronomist at the Olive Tree, Subtropical Plants and Viticulture Institute of the agricultural organization “Demeter” at Chania, Crete. She is an accredited taster with the organoleptic panel of the food technology laboratory of the Institute since 2009. The panel is accredited according to the European commission regulation EEC 2568/91- ISO 17025.

Chrysa has attended many seminars concerning the evaluation of olive oil and has co-authored numerous scientific publications mainly about the cultivation of the olive tree. She is part of several national and international projects related to olive oil production and quality control.

Ehud Soriano

Israel

Ehud Soriano, from Israel, is an olive oil consultant, head of the Israeli Olive Oil Tasting Panel (recognized by the IOC) and instructor of other olive oil panels in Israel including the IOC-accredited Israeli Organoleptic Assessment Course, which he heads.

Ehud is panel leader at both of Israel’s national olive oil competitions and travels extensively abroad as a taster in several international olive oil competitions including Biopress, Ovibeja and Der Feinschmecker.

Dr. Kiki Zinoviadou

Greece

Dr. Kiki Zinoviadou is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Food Science and Technoloy at Perrotis College, Thessaloniki, and also chairs the MSc programme in New Food Product & Business Development. Kiki earned her PhD from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki as a fellow of the Ministry of Education, her Masters degree in Product and Ingredient Functionality at the Wageningen University in the Netherlands (with a scholarship from NUFFIC, the Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education), and her Bachelors in Food Science from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Her research interests include the development of delivery systems and biopolymer-based antimicrobial packaging, as well as the understanding of the factors that determine the relationship between sensory perception, texture, microstructure, physicochemical properties and shelf-life of food systems. She has attended various seminars concerning the sensory evaluation of olive oil and is a member of the National Table Olive Taste Panel. Kiki has been a member of the Athena International Olive Oil Competition since 2016.

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