Amsterdam International Olive Oil competition at Hotelschool The Hague

On the last day of May, Hotelschool The Hague proudly hosted the first edition of the Amsterdam International Olive Oil competition (AIOOC) on its Amsterdam campus. The AIOOC was organised by HTH alumnus Gregor Christiaans, olive oil expert and guest lecturer at Hotelschool The Hague.

"Without the incredible help, flexibility, enthusiasm and determination of the students and teachers at Hotelschool The Hague, the AIOOC wouldn't have been the success it was. Compliments from all over the world, from South Africa to Italy and from Turkey to Spain!"

Gregor Christiaans

The AIOOC aims to raise awareness on olive oil, promote its use among chefs, communicate its quality to nutritionists, and educate consumers. The competition was made possible thanks to the 'Stichting Olijfolie Nederland', a non-profit organization about olive oil, in collaboration with HTH and Streats.

After the kick-off session in September, a panel testing took place in 1-3 May. During the testing session, oil tasters, experts and judges got together on our Amsterdam campus to try no fewer than 83 olive oils from 13 countries all over the world. The oil tasting was executed in HTH’s wine room and each olive oil received individual scores for its fruitiness, bitterness, pungency, smell and taste. The oils were organised in four categories (light, medium, robust, organic) and competed for the platinum, gold, silver, bronze and Chefs’ awards.

The judge panel consisted of Dennis Jong, owner and chef of Michelin-starred restaurant Soigné, Richard Meijer, owner of restaurant Sans Frou Frou, Leonardo Pacenti, chef at Toscanini, Alain Caron, French- Dutch TV chef, Aldo Mazzini, quality business consultant & ideator of the Masters of Olive Oil competition, Marije Passos, olive farmer in Portugal, Müge Nebioglu​, food engineer and expert in olive oil, Francesca De Ritis, professional olive oil taster & trainer, and Richard Wolny, copywriter and food writer.

On 31 May, chefs Alain Caron, Leonardo Pacenti and Dennis Jong met again with expert tasters Marij vd Boogaard and Francesca de Ritis to award the winners of the competition. 32 olive oil producers from Spain, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Morocco, France, Jordan, Tunisia, Portugal, South Africa and Croatia were present on campus to collect their award from the ambassadors of Italy, Tunisia and Turkey.

The grand prize was a tour through the Netherlands and the chance to be showcased at Horeca, retail and consumer exhibitions.

For the extended list of winners per category, have a look here.