St. Helena, CA, May 12, 2010 – As part of a groundbreaking initiative to introduce super-premium olive oil in the United States, The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) recently launched the Oleoteca® Villa Campestri and related OliveToLive restaurant offerings at its Greystone campus in the heart of the Napa Valley...
The Oleoteca Villa Campestri at the CIA at Greystone was created to bring some of the world's very best olive oils—what many are now calling "super-premium" olive oils—to American chefs and food enthusiasts. Representing top estates in California, Spain, Italy, and Greece, these oils are selected for their outstanding sensory profiles and for meeting technical standards higher than those for "extra virgin." These select olive oils are then handled under the most stringent storage and transportation conditions to assure a degree of freshness and flavor that will be strikingly new to most Americans.
The Oleoteca Villa Campestri was founded in Italy in 2000 to bring a new category of olive oil excellence, through educational programs, scientific partnerships, and culinary research, to the worlds of hospitality, food and wine. The third party in this partnership of elevating standards for olive oil quality is Association 3E, a non-profit organization whose mission it is to support the three "Es"—Ethics, Excellence, and Economics—in the pursuit of super-premium olive oils.
"The understanding and appreciation of top quality olive oil is perhaps 25 years behind that of wine in the United States. We have designed our new Oleoteca to bring these truly memorable oils to a wider audience, and stimulate greater interest in the entire top end of the olive oil sector," notes Charles Henning, managing director of the CIA at Greystone. "A focus on excellence—and the science and innovation that support excellence—will bring benefits to the entire production sector as well as olive oil lovers everywhere."
Olives are picked at the height of ripeness and flavor profile for a particular olive variety and then milled very quickly after harvest, typically within hours. The aromatics of these oils are captured at the peak of their "new harvest" freshness by being stored under nitrogen gas atmosphere and then transported under ideal conditions (away from light, air and oxygen). Oleoteca oils remain in this pristine state right up to the point of being individually bottled at the CIA at Greystone's Flavor Bar or served at its restaurant.
The Oleoteca at the CIA at Greystone will be part of the Marketplace at Greystone's innovative Flavor Bar, where dynamic and interactive "Taste Like a Chef" sensory and educational sessions give visitors insights into how a chef tastes and uses flavor to create a variety of foods. In the olive oil session, guests will learn how super-premium olive oils are produced, how to taste olive oil, olive oil attributes and styles, and how to cook with and store olive oil.