Jury 2024

ATHENA Concours International d'Huile d'Olive

Le jury est composé de juges ayant de nombreuses années d'expérience dans l'évaluation organoleptique de l'huile d'olive, accrédités par le Conseil Oléicole International (CIO) ou par d'autres organismes internationaux ou nationaux.

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José María Penco


Panel Leader, ATHENA IOOC

José María Penco is an agronomist, consultant, manager and olive farmer in Cordoba. He holds a BSc in Agricultural Engineering 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 from the University of Cordoba. He is currently Director for the Association of Spanish Olive Oil Municipalities (AEMO), an organization made up of 170 communities across Spain and Executive Secretary of the Euro-Mediterranean Network of Olive Oil Cities (Recomed), an association that encompasses 10 Mediterranean olive-growing countries.

Previous to this, José María has worked as a project designer for more than 15 years, developing multiple food industry projects, especially in relation to olive oil. Early on in his career he worked as an agronomist for the government of Cádiz and as a manager for agribusiness companies in the oil and wine sectors. He is the author of several scientific papers on the production of olives and olive oil and has lectured at various national and international forums on contemporary olive cultivation techniques, cost and market analysis and quality control. He is a member of several tasting panels in Spain including those of Cádiz, Cordoba and Seville, and is a renown international judge and director of the EVOOLEUM international olive oil competition.

Maria de la Paz Aguilera Herrera


Maria de la Paz Aguilera Herrera holds a B.Sc in Biology from the University of Granada and a PhD in Chemical Sciences from the University of Jaén. She has more than 20 years experience in the production of olive oil and was for many years panel leader and head of the innovative “Experimental Cooking with Olive Oil” programme at the Center for Olive and Olive Oil Technologies (Citoliva), in Jaén. In 2019 she joined the Superior Facultative Body of the Junta de Andalucía as a specialist technician in the food and health derpartment of IFAPA (Institute of Agricultural and Fisheries Research and Training of the Ministry of Agriculture). Her main lines of research have focused on the differentiated quality of EVOOs and improving the lipid profile after its incorporation into the food chain.

Over the past 15 years she has participated as a judge in numerous national and international competitions and has been part of the Evooleum and Iberoleum guide books since their first editions. 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.

Filomena D’Avino


Filomena works for the Ministry of Agriculture as agricultural inspector specializing in the protection of quality production and the repression of fraud in the agri-food sector. She is also an educator, working for the Regional Government of Campania with the Regional School of Local Police, focusing on the same issues of consumer protection and quality control. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Food Science & Technology from the University of Naples and a postgraduate certificate in Food Hygiene, Nutrition and Wellness from the same university. She is an expert olive oil taster, registered with the Campania Region, national and international judge and Slow Food Guide collaborator since 2012. As an educator she has taught numerous courses on olive oil appreciation with an emphasis on the use of EVOOs in cooking and gastronomy.

Eleni Barbopoulou


Eleni Barbopoulou is an Agronomist with a degree from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and a postgraduate MSc from the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute (MAICh). She is currently employed in Chania, Crete, at the Food Technology Laboratory of the Olive Tree & Viticulture Institute (IELYA), which is part of the state-run Elgo-Dimitra national research network. As quality manager she is in charge of implementing ISO 17025 standards in olive oil tastings and is head analyst for chemical tests. She is technical manager and panel leader of the state-accredited local Organoleptic Assessment Panel of EVOO, also recognized by the International Olive Council. She has participated in many research projects on irrigation, phytopathology and olive oil and has co-authored several scientific publications. Ms Barbopoulou has attended olive oil tasting courses organized by the International Olive Council in Madrid and has judged in national and international EVOO competitions.

Angelo Lo Conte


Angelo Lo Conte is an olive oil expert in the fields of traceability, quality assessment and control. Following his degree in Agricultural Sciences and Technologies from the Faculty of Agriculture of Portici (Naples), Angelo held positions as both teacher and consultant with trade bodies such as the Salerno Olive Oil Association and the Association of Olive Oil Tasters in Naples. He is accredited as a taster and panel leader by the IOC-recognized relevant Italian Ministry of Education programme. He was part of the team that led to the delimitation of the PDO Irpinia-Colline dell’Ufita EVOO region and since 2003 is a founding member of the Èlaion Association, creator of the Ex Olivis event in Ariano where the Tricolle national EVOO competition is organized. Mr Lo Conte has been the curator for the Campania and Basilicata Regions for the Slow Food Extra Virgin Olive Oil Guide.

Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne

California, USA

Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne is an olive oil consultant, writer, and educator based in California. She has participated as a member of official IOC and AOCS-recognized taste panels since 2003 and has taught and organized classes on olive oil sensory analysis for the Culinary Institute of America, Institute of Agrifood Research & Technology (IRTA) Catalonia, University of California Davis Olive Center, Olive Oil Sommeliers of Japan, and others. She serves as a judge and advisor for various olive oil competitions at home and abroad and is a frequent presenter at domestic and international events, focusing on olive oil sensory attributes, communication, marketing and quality. Author of Olive Oil: A Field Guide, she has written on many aspects of olive oil for both popular and scholarly publications and websites. Her career in olive oil began with research and outreach at the UC Cooperative Extension, including work on organic controls for olive fly. As a freelance consultant she focuses on all aspects of improving olive oil quality and success, from helping clients select the best olive cultivars for their needs to creating outstanding blends and telling their stories in the marketplace. Alexandra is the director of Extra Virgin Alliance, the specialty section of the North American Olive Oil Association, working with olive oil producers and experts to foster appreciation and create value in the market for authentic extra virgin olive oil.

Selin Ertür


Selin Ertür is an olive oil taster, producer and olive oil farmer in Edremit. After graduating from university she travelled to Italy to further her education in olive oil. She was trained and licensed in Tuscany, where she spent eight years working next to Tuscan olive oil experts such as Dr Marco Mugelli. Her expert status is officially recognised by Mipaff. She holds an italian and international panel leader license according to IOOC norms and additionally holds panel leader authority as recognized by IOOC. Selin has twenty years professional experience in tasting olive oil. She also continues to produce olive oil as the 4th generation of her family, which has had an olive mill since 1899. She has given many lectures about olive oil tasting, olive varietals and quality parameters both nationally and internationally and has judged in many international competitions such as il Magnifico, Sol d’Oro, Los Angeles, Joop, Montiferru and Lodo Guide. Having been elected as a member of the Chamber of Agriculture Council, she has been supporting olive growers on olive cultivation and olive oil quality for many years.

Manolis Fafoutakis


Manolis Fafoutakis is based in Ierapetra, Crete. He is an analytical chemist with more than 36 years of experience in the quality control of olive oil and is himself an olive oil producer. During his long career Manolis has been in charge of several chemical testing laboratories specializing in olive oil. His current employer was the first in Greece to be accredited according to EN ISO/IEC 17025 for the determination of the chemical parameters specified in the European Regulation for Olive Oil and it is recognized by the International Olive Council.

He participates as a judge in the olive oil competition of Crete and 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.

Iliana Flessa


Iliana is a technological agronomist and an experienced olive oil taster with more than 10 years experience in the industry. She is a graduate of the Ionian University in Cephalonia with a degree in Agricultural Technology and has followed the EVOO evaluation curriculum at the University of the Peloponnese in Kalamata and the pro olive oil expert program administered by Staregister. She is a permanent member of the Kalamata Olive & Olive Oil School tasting panel. Since 2015 she is in charge of quality assurance at Konstantopoulos S.A., one of Greece’s biggest exporters of table olives and olive oil.

Brígida Jiménez Herrera


BBrígida Jiménez Herrera is a PharmD (Doctor of Pharmacy) with an MBA in Business Administration and a diploma in fats and oils from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). Since 1990 she is the director of the Agricultural Training Research Centre of Cabra, in Córdoba. The Olivar Center, within this institution, specializes in oil olive oil and table olives. She has extensive experience in research and development projects and in the sensory analysis of extra virgin olive with numerous participations in major local, national and international panels and competitions.

As a scientist she has participated in numerous conferences, national and international and has received many awards, such as the “Andres Nunez de Prado Organic Livestock Award” for her research in agriculture and for her papers on “Phenolic compounds with a beneficial health effect in Picual EVOOs” and “Comparative study of organic farming vs conventional farming”; the Olivar de Jaén Prize for her efforts to spread the Culture of the Olive Grove; the Olivar Award for her dedicated promotion of the olive and olive oil; the Weevil Award, by DOP Priego de Córdoba for her continued support for the operation and development of the appellation, and the Table Olive Award by the Foundation for the Development and Promotion of the Table Olive in Córdoba.

Stamoula (Tammy) Karambelas


Tammy Karambelas is a Greek-Australian accredited EVOO taster working currently as Product Specialist / Oleologist for Sitia Olive Oil – LASITIA as well as for Olympian Green International, both οlive-oil production and distribution companies. Tammy has vast experience in exports having worked in this sector for over 20 years. After earning a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mathematics and Computer Science from Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, she pursued a Bachelor of Economics in Business Administration from the Hellenic Open University. In 2019 she was granted a scholarship by the International Olive Council to attend University of Jaen’s olive oil tasting course “Diploma de Especializacion en Experto en Cata de Aceite de Oliva Virgenes” which she completed successfully. In 2020 and 2022 Tammy was the only Greek recipient of the Centro IFAPA & Union Europea annual scholarships to follow the prestigious “Curso Superior de Especializacion en Elaiotecnia” at IFAPA Venta del Llano de Mengíbar in Jaén & “Curso Superior de Especializacion en Olivicultura” at IFAPA Alameda de Obispo in Cordoba respectively. Additionally in 2022 she attended the summer courses of the University de Andalucia “Curso Plan de Marketing, Marca, Packaging y Responsabilidad Social en el Sector Oleicola” & “Estrategias y Calculo de Costes en la Cadena de Valor de los Aceites de Oliva”. She is a judge for several international olive oil competitions and also consults and educates chefs and producers in olive oil tasting and food pairing.

Sara Godena


Sara Godena works as a Research Associate at the Department of Agriculture and Nutrition of the Poreč Institute of Agriculture and Tourism, in Poreč (Croatia). In 2008 she first attended also an olive oil appreciation course at the International School of Sensory Analysis and Food Culture in Pesaro, Italy, and in 2014 she won a IOC scholarship and attended the University of Jaén’s specialized course in the organoleptic assessment of extra virgin olive oil. She is author and co-author of many scientific and professional papers and has participated in many national and international research projects. Since 2010 she is on her country’s national list of EVOO sensory evaluators approved by the Ministry of Agriculture and she is a member of the EU and IOC-recognized tasting panel of the Poreč Institute of Agriculture and Tourism. She has judged in several major competitions, including New York, Copenhagen, Athena, Monocultivar and Domina.

Alexis Kerner


Alexis is an environmental scientist and olive oil expert who is a long-time resident of Spain. She holds a degree in environmental studies from Connecticut College and certificates in olive oil tasting and olive cultivation from the Universities of Jaen, Seville and the IFAPA Centro Alameda de Obispo. Since 2014 she is the owner and general manager of The Olive Oil Workshop, through which she has been providing educational services and consultation to producers and buyers. Previously she worked for more than 10 years as an environmental inspector and compost specialist for both the Spanish government and the Staten Island Botanical Garden. She has judged in numerous international olive oil competitions, has lectured widely in Spain and internationally.

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".

Yusuf Küçük


Yusuf Küçük is a professional tour guide specializing in olive oil and wine. He holds a Master's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Stuttgart and a Sensory Olive Oil Tasting qualification from Anaoo (2008). He is a member of the IOC-accredited AYTB Panel in Aydin since 2008 and has judged for several international olive oil competitions. More recently he has provided training in 36 provinces of the country in order to increase olive oil consumption and raise consumer quality awareness.

Aida Lazzez


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.

Johnny Madge


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, the Australian International Olive Awards 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. Since the advent of Covid he has started holding online olive oil tastings.

Marina Lichterman


Marina Lichterman is an analytical chemist with a M.Sc. degree from the University of Armenia. She is a food and olive oil quality control specialist with 25 years of experience in this sector. She is currently employed by the Israeli Ministry of Health as an analyst at the ministry’s quality control laboratory, focusing on olive oil. Marina has been tasting EVOOs at a professional level since 2014 and is a University of Jaen graduate in organoleptic assessment. She is a permanent member of her ministry’s olive oil organoleptic panel and over the past seven years has been judging at several EVOO competitions, nationally and internationally. In 2018 she was part of the Near East’s Foundation project “Olive Oil Without Borders” team in Jordan. OOWB is a long-term, large-scale collaboration in the Middle East olive oil sector through cross-border initiatives and trade agreements that seeks to increase income, production yields, and regional trade. These efforts have so far brought together 5,000 Jordanian, Palestinian, and Israeli farmers, mill operators, producers, and other agricultural stakeholders.

Dionissis Papadatos


Dionissis Papadatos hails from Kalamata, Greece. He pursued his studies at the Department of Cultural Technology and Communication at the Aegean University, specializing in Cultural Representation and New Technologies. Additionally, he holds an MBA degree from the University of Nicosia, Cyprus. Since 2006 Dionissis has been actively involved in various roles across Greece including cultural event coordination and environmental work with non-profit organizations. Since 2012, has held the position of Head of Project Management at the "Captain Vassilis and Carmen Constantakopoulos Foundation." The Foundation's primary objective is to establish Messinia as a model for sustainable development by supporting and promoting related projects. Engaging in a wide range of fields including rural development, society, culture, and the environment, it fosters partnerships with relevant institutions and bodies. Dionissis also contributed as an active member of the Kalamata Olive Oil Taste Panel at the Technological Educational Institute of Peloponnese for five years and has judged at ATHENA IOOC in the past.

Alicia Moya


Alicia Moya is an olive oil taster from Chile. An agronomy graduate from the Catholic University of Valparaiso, she is a disciple of Italian professor Marino Giorgetti. Alicia has worked for the Chilean Olive Oil Producers Association (ChileOliva) and has led many projects within the Chilean olive oil industry. She has judged at the Sol D’Oro Verona competition on two occasions and has been a judge at the New York International Olive Oil Competition (NYIOOC) since 2016. In 2014 she was in charge of organizing the first edition of Sol D’Oro Southern Hemisphere in Chile. She is the founder of Frutadoliva (@frutadoliva), where she publishes EVOO reviews and articles destined to the consumer. She continues to provide support to Chilean olive oil producers in commercial areas and brand marketing through the Catas y Olivas company. She is co-author of Guía Oliva, the specialized publication on Chilean EVOOs, now in its third edition.

Francisco Ataide Pavao


Francisco Manuel Aguia de Sousa Ataide Pavao, 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.

Carmen Sanchez Garcia


Carmen Sanchez Garcia is an olive oil consultant who was born in Valdepeňas, Spain and currently resides in Pulheim, Germany. She holds a degree in Economics from the University of Castilla La Mancha and is an accredited Extra Virgin Olive Oil Taster through the University of Jaén. Her consultancies have led her to work with many Michelin-starred chefs such as Alexandro Pape (Altes Fährhaus), Andreas Steinwandt (Kleine Brunnenstrasse) and Nelson Müller. With Munich’s Confiserie Opaque she has developed a ground-breaking series of EVOO chocolates exclusive to high gastronomy. As an educator and lecturer Carmen has led numerous events, presentations, lectures and workshops on olive oil, for prestigious entities such as Thyssen Krupp, Vitra, Anuga, Edeka Supermakets, Cervantes Institute Bremen and Google Deutschland. Recently, Carmen lectured at the Ciudad Real Chamber of Commerce and at the Mimara Museum in Zagreb. She was also a participant at the prestigious San Sebastiàn Film Festival, with Jose Luis Lopez Linares’ film Jaén Virgen Extra, in its new culinary cinema section. Carmen has judged at Biopress and Feinschmecker (Germany), at Ovibeja (Portugal) and at the Universitiy of Jaén in Spain at the Family Olive Oil competition (Israel).

Marcelo Scofano


Marcelo Scofano is a gastronomy and culinary technologist and olive oil sensory analyst. He holds diplomas in these fields from Brazil’s Estácio de Sá University, Uruguay’s Universidad de la Republica and Spain’s IFAPA – Instituto de Investigación y Formación Agraria y Pesquera de Cabra, where he received training as a professional taster and Master in Elaiotechnique. He is a contributing editor to the book “Um fio de Azeite” (A drizzle of olive oil) by Rosa Nepomuceno and has published many articles on olive oil in Brazil. He is an active olive oil lecturer, consultant and researcher and is partner at Estilo Gourmet – Saber Culinário (Gourmet Style – Culinary Knowledge), an event management company that also provides consultancy, gastronomy courses and corporate training in Rio de Janeiro.

Cristina Stribacu


Cristina Stribacu is a certificated olive oil taster and participates in international contests and conferences. She organizes 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 the 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.

Tomiko Tanaka


Τomiko Tanaka is an olive oil consultant who was born in Japan and has been living in Spain for the past 17 years. She is an accredited Extra Virgin Olive Oil Taster through the University of Jaén since 2008. Over the past ten years Tomiko has refined her knowledge about extra virgin olive oil through numerous courses, travels and seminars and has focused on communicating olive oil in both Spain and Japan. She is the creator of a start-up Oleotourism project called “Viaje de Olivos” and is a regular contributor on olive oil to Spanish and Japanese food publications. Among other projects she has created an olive oil specialist course destined to introduce Japanese consumers to olive oil appreciation. For all of the above in 2013 she was nominated and won second prize for “Disseminating Olive Oil Culture” by AEMO. Tomiko has previously judged at Ovibeja (Portugal), Evooleum and Jaén Selección (Spain) and Horeca (Lebanon).

Enrique García-Tenorio


Enrique García-Tenorio, agricultural engineer and expert in international business management, is CEO of the foundation “Montes de Toledo Olive Oil” since 1998. His duties cover general management, promotion and product certification for this Protected Designation of Origin body, for which he has also drafted the application file for its EU registration and its specifications. As an olive oil taster, Enrique has qualifications as a sensory judge and panel leader and has conducted olive oil workshops and seminars across the world including most countries of the European Union, Japan, China, Korea, Mexico and the USA. He has served as judge in many international olive oil competitions such as the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture Awards, Evooleum and Iberoleum in Spain, Olive Japan and Australian International Olive Awards. Enrique has also participated in the creation and accreditation of the sensory laboratory of extra virgin olive oils owned by the Montes de Toledo foundation, which is certified by the IOOC and the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture. In addition, he is an 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 around the world. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Mediterranean Diet Foundation, representing the Montes de Toledo Foundation

Vasiliki Vandera


Vasiliki Vandera is a chemist based on the island of Lesvos. She is a member of the local IOC-accredited organoleptic panel of the Olive Oil Analysis Laboratory of Mytilene. She had been a technical officer at the Olive Oil Analysis Laboratory in charge of quality and purity criteria. Vasiliki holds a B.Sc. from the School of Chemistry of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and a M.Sc. in Environmental Engineering from the University of the Aegean.

Veloudo Velissari


Veloudo Velissari is a Food Technologist with a Master's degree in Technology and Quality Control of Table Olives and Olive Oil from the University of the Peloponnese. She has followed IOC's university level course on the organoleptic assessment of olive oil at the University of Jaen and is an olive oil taster at the organoleptic laboratory of the Greek Olive Oil Industry Association (Sevitel) panel and a member of the Kalamata Olive Oil School. Veloudo has worked as quality control manager for over 15 years for important companies in the Greek food industry and since 2020 is the quality control manager at Sparta Gourmet SA

Odysseas Vlachavas


Odysseas Vlachavas is an olive oil expert based in Thessaloniki, Northern Greece. After studying physiotherapy in Greece and in Germany, Odysseas worked in sales for various companies before deciding in 2009 to follow his passion, the production of olive oil. He is an accredited olive oil taster and has attended numerous seminars on olive oil tasting, quality control and blending. In 2012 he created Ellion, a company that produces high-quality olive oils and gourmet table olives based on the famous local cultivar Chalikidiki. Since 2014 Odysseas has also worked as a consultant for various Greek mills in the fields of oil production and marketing, building on his experience in blending EVOOs from different cultivars. He has led seminars on olive oils from Greece at international trade fairs (SIAL, Natural & Organic Products Europe, Detrop) and has developed a special live oil appreciation seminar for children and consumers. Recently he started collaborating with the Perrotis College “Krinos” Olive Oil Center on various research projects.

Anita Zachou


Anita Zachou is an agricultural engineer, expert olive oil taster, olive oil quality assurance consultant, educator to culinary professionals, holistic wellness coach, writer, trainer, and host of the first olive oil podcast in Greece. She has a B.Sc. in agronomy form the University of the Peloponnese and gained her first certification in olive oil tasting in 2012. Later on she was granted a scholarship by the International Olive Council to attend University of Jaen’s olive oil tasting course which she completed successfully. Anita was director of education for various multinational companies for twenty years (including Global Training Manager for APIVITA Natural Cosmetics) before deciding to follow her calling: to move permanently to Mykonos, to teach, offer guidance and inspire people to live a healthier, happier and longer life by adopting the Mediterranean lifestyle and the consumption of high-quality extra virgin olive oil. She is therefore the founder of “Mykonos Olive Oil Tasting”, an educational and consulting company offering seminars and workshops on olive oil tasting and gastronomy, the Mediterranean Diet and holistic health and wellness. Her programs have been attended by hundreds of people, including food lovers, children and culinary professionals. She holds seminars and consults producers and olive oil mills in Greece and abroad regularly on how to produce quality EVOOs and establish high-end brands. She is a pioneer in Greece of alternative olive oil tourism and her ambition is to share her knowledge and experience on the value, quality, right choices and multiple health benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the Mediterranean Diet by creating ambassadors of these values in different parts of the world. She has judged in several international olive oil competitions and is member of the Italian Association of Olive Oil Tasters (ONAOO), the Spanish Olive Oil Gastronomy Academy, the FILAIOS Club of Olive Oil Friends, the Women In Olive Oil (WIOO) International Group, the International Coach Federation and the European Lifestyle Medicine Organization.

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