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.

Kostas Liris


Panel Leader

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.

Dionissis Papadatos


Dionissis Papadatos was born in Kalamata, Greece. He studied at the Department of Cultural Technology and Communication of the Aegean University specializing in Cultural Representation and New Technologies. He has also obtained MBA degree from University of Nicosia. Since 2006 he has worked in various areas around Greece, as cultural event coordinator. Since 2012 he is the Project Management Officer of “Captain Vassilis and Carmen Constantakopoulos Foundation”. The main aim of the Foundation is to establish Messinia as a model for sustainable development, by supporting and promoting related projects. So far the Foundation has supported a range of activities, varying from research on local seed varieties to seminars and promotional activities on local gastronomy and products. Dionissis was also an active member of the Kalamata Olive Oil Taste Panel of the Technological Educational Institute of Peloponnese for five years.

Konstantinos Tsoronis


Konstantinos Tsoronis is a chemist in Kalamata, specializing in food safety and olive oil technology. He has a collective experience of over 15 years in the food industry, consultancy and academia and has been involved in olive oil production from milling to refining, from evaluation to blending. Currently, he is working at the Captain Vassilis & Carmen Constantakopoulos Foundation. In addition, he is a founding member of the Organization for the Promotion of the Gastronomy of Olive Oil (Oliverse). Konstantinos holds a Master’s Degree in food safety and quality management and is also a graduate of ONAOO’s olive oil sensory analysis course in Imperia (Italy), IOC’s University course on the Organoleptic Assessment of Olive Oil at the University of Jaen (Spain) and IOC’s International course for panel leaders on the organoleptic assessment of olive oil. He is an expert olive oil taster, member of Kalamata’s olive oil tasting panel and has judged in olive oil competitions at both national and international level. He has also been recognized as an Associate Member of the Register of International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Savantes.

Stamoula (Tammy) Karambelas


Tammy Karambelas is a Greek-Australian accredited EVOO taster currently in charge of exports and marketing for Olympian Green International, an olive-oil production and distribution company. Tammy has vast experience in exports having worked in this sector for over 20 years. After earning a Bachelors of Applied Science in Mathematics and Computer Science from Swinburne University of Technology, in Melbourne, she pursued a Bachelors of Economics in Business Administration from the Hellenic Open University and, more recently, a Certification of Training in Olive Oil Tasting from "Organizzazione Nazionale Assaggiatori Olio di Oliva-Olive Oil Seminars", in Greece, and the IOC’s University course on the Organoleptic Assessment of Olive Oil at the University of Jaen (Spain).

Eleni Katsirma


Eleni Katsirma, is an Oenologist & Spirits Technologist and Diploma student of Wine & Spirit Education Trust Institute. From 2000 she has worked in the wine industry as oenologist, in gastronomical restaurants as sommelier and since 2006 she works in one of the top fine wine distribution chains, as responsible for communication in imports and marketing departments, in Greece. She is a constant participant of wine, spirits and food tastings, seminars or exhibitions. In 2010 she has joined the first group of Greek sommeliers that were educated as accredited Extra Virgin Olive Oil tasters. From 2012 she is an official member of the accredited sommelier’s panel that has participated in the first evaluation of typical organoleptic characteristics of Greek PDO EVOO, in 2014. Since 2019, she is an adult educator in wine and olive oil tasting at the Institute of Agricultural Science. This is the second time of participation at Athena International Olive Oil competition in 2016.

Dr. Kiki Zinoviadou


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.

Aggeliki-Efstratia Kouzoumi


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.

Chryssa Sergentani


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.

Manolis Fafoutakis


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.

Odysseas Vlachavas


Odysseas Vlachavas from Greece is an olive oil producer based in the Chalkidiki region of Northern Greece. After studying physiotherapy in Greece and Germany, Odysseas worked in sales for various companies before deciding in 2009 to follow his passion, the production of olive oil. Odysseas is an accredited, by Paratus Europe, olive oil taster and has attended numerous seminars on olive oil tasting, quality control and blending. He recently organized a workshop on olive oil good practices with the support of the Chalkidiki Chamber of Commerce.

Panos Paganis


Panos Paganis has studied computer programming and analysis and currently lives in Gargaliani, Messinia. Panos is carrying on a family farming tradition that can be traced back many generations, producing olive oil in one of the most important regions for olive oil production in Greece. He is an active member of the agricultural cooperative of Gargaliani and was an active member of the “Nea Epochi” (“New Age”) group of producers, which won numerous national awards and was a Mario Solinas finalist in 2008. Panos is an accredited panel member of the Kalamata Olive Oil Taste Laboratory since 2009. Part of the Technological Educational Institute of the Peloponnese (a higher educational institution in Kalamata), the Kalamata Olive Oil Taste Laboratory is recognized by the International Olive Council for conducting sensory analysis of olive oil. Panos has attended numerous national and international educational programs in olive oil tasting. As a panel member, he has contributed to the research work of the laboratory on sensory analysis, has participated in local and regional olive oil taste competitions and provides consultation on olive oil quality.

Aris Kefalogiannis


Aris Kefalogiannis is one of Greece’s pioneers in the international fine foods arena. He is a graduate of the Law School of Athens University and holds a Master of Law degree from the London School of Economics and an MBA from City University London. After creating a startup company offering services to the shipping industry, Aris created Gaea and, subsequently, Gaea North America, both leaders in the areas of production and distribution of Mediterranean foods, including premium EVOOs. Both companies have won numerous business and product awards. Mr Kefalogiannis’ current endeavor is Legendary Food/The Arsakeion Project, a startup aiming to promote in Athens and internationally the best products of Greece and the Greek Med culinary-cultural heritage. Mr Kefalogiannis also has a special interest in education which has led him to serve on the Board of Trustees of the American Community Schools of Athens and to lecture at various institutions of higher learning, including the Culinary Institute of America and the Academia dei Georgofilli in Florence, Europe’s oldest agricultural university.

Maria Perdikari


Maria Perdikari is an agronomist based in Kalamata. Since 2005 she has worked as an agricultural consultant focusing on best practices for agriculture and the environment, especially in regards to olive tree cultivation and olive oil production. Maria holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science from the Agricultural University of Athens and a MSc in Environmental Design of Cities and Buildings from the Hellenic Open University. Prior to her current position, Maria worked for the Ministry of Agriculture, in charge of issues pertaining to the processing, standardization, quality control and marketing of industrially produced agricultural goods. As an instructor she offers her expertise on issues related to the improvement of agricultural productions and the sustainability of the environment; as a consultant she specializes in organic and integrated farming of olive groves. Ms Perdikari is a member of the Kalamata Olive Oil Tasting Panel of the University of the Peloponnese. In 2018 she received an IOC scholarship to attend the EVOO organoleptic assessment program of the University of Jaen in Spain.

Nicolas Koutsoukos


Νicolas Koutsoukos is a chemist and founder-president of the Kalamata Olive Oil School. He is an accredited EVOO taster and member of the tasting panel of the Greek Agricultural Organization “Demeter”. He is a consultant to numerous olive oil mills and a quality consultant to a number of companies in the olive-oil sector. Nicolas has more than 30 years of experience in the olive oil industry. Since 1994 he has been the chief chemical analyst of the "Peter Boufeas" chemical laboratory in Kalamata and, prior to this role, he was in charge of quality control at "Greek Agricultural Products".

George Moforis


George Moforis is an olive oil producer and accredited taster by ONAOO and IRVEA. After graduating with an MSc in Civil Engineering and Management and acquiring ten years working experience as a Construction Project Manager, George decided to follow his passion and educate himself in the production and professional tasting of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. A few years ago he began cultivating his family’s olive grove in the region of Laconia (Peloponnese) and applying his knowledge in sustainable production of EVOOs.

Catherine Papaioannou


Catherine Papaioannou from Athens is an olive oil expert with degrees in Economics and Business Administration (MBA) and Computer Science. Catherine has spent more than 30 years in the olive oil business and has acquired of diversified work experience in sales and marketing She is recognized for contributing to top sales figures, territory expansion and new account development, with several awards for her work. She has been running olive oil businesses and managing exports to 27 countries in North America, Australia, Europe and Asia. Catherine has participated in numerous international quality olive oil competitions and has been granted several awards. Additionally, she has been expanding company contact base through soundly- planned olive oil trade shows and special olive oil events. In 2004 she was educated in panel test (sensory analysis) by ESVITE, Greece. She is a founder and CEO of Creative Milestones, specializing in olive oil communications and strategy, developing products and ideas for international markets, recognizing the qualities and Greek olive oil varietals and buying bulk EVOOs for important companies. She is training people to do exports and olive oil business with success, as she believes that the olive oil experience is a journey!

Cristina Stribacu


Cristina Stribacu is a certificated olive oil taster and participates in international contests and conferences. She organises tasting courses for schools, tasters and producers, sharing in this way the importance of EVOO production, consumption and the values of the Mediterranean diet. Her last project is a “Master on Greek Olive Oil Varietals” program organized under the umbrella of thw Slow Food chapter of Messinia and in collaboration with an international advisory board. Through this project she aims to support a more sustainable olive oil agriculture, inspire EVOO producers in Greece to preserve olive oil biodiversity by cultivating native varietals and promote the importance of EVOO consumption in our daily diet. Cristina is passionate about nature and the environment. She has studied Italian Language and Art History and her entrepreneurship spirit led her to found an export-oriented Greek EVOO brand focused on super premium quality.

Maria Kalitsounaki


Maria Kalitsounaki is a chemist educated at the University of Crete. During the past ten years she has taught chemistry and undertaken numerous research projects in analytical chemistry for the University of Crete and other institutions. Maria has worked in the field of quality control for the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Monofatsi in Crete and is currently the owner of a private chemical laboratory near Heraklon, specializing in analyses of wine, olive oil, water, soil and food. She is a member of the olive oil tasting panel of Meramvellou and a judge at the annual Pancretan olive oil competition.

Maria Koliatsou


Dr Maria Koliatsou has been Deputy Panel Leader of the official, IOC recognized, sensory panel of the Ministry of Development & Investments of Greece since 2012. After graduating as an Oenologist, she received her MSc in Brewing and Distilling and subsequently a PhD in the field of Life Sciences, both from Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, UK. Her personal interests lie in the areas of olive oil aroma profiles and gustatory characteristics which she has been developing professionally at the Chemical Laboratories of the Ministry of Development & Investments. She has taken the IOC-approved international course for panel leaders on the sensory analysis of virgin olive oil and has judged at various national olive oil festivals in Greece.

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