Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Fancy Food Show
The Fancy Food Show concluded in New York, today. It was great to see old friends such as Jean-Beinot Hugues of Castelas olive oil in Les Baux de Provence, France. I was able to catch up with John Magnuson of Global Speciality Foods in Atlanta. John was there to give me a big push into the olive oil world over ten years.
I also met producers from many of my old reliable olive oils from around the world, Gerard Vea Balona of Les Estronell and Andres Coucera of Marques de Grinon, both from Spain. Marques de Grinon produces wonderful wines and were the first to bottle the first 100% Petit Verdot, a yummy wine. Clara Cimo represented one of the best value oils in the world, Manfredi Barbara. Manfredi didn't attend due to the birth of his second child. Natalia Ravida carried the banner of my desert island oil (if I were stranded on one), Ravida, from Sicily. In tasting demonstrations I refer to Ravida as the Gregory Peck of olive oils. It's manly, suave, sophisticated and takes the Oscar. If you've never tasted Ravida, you must. Buy Natalia's new cookbook, Seasons of Sicily. I did.
My most exciting discussion was with Jayne Benitivoglio of Rylstone Olive Grove in New South Wales, Australia. She and her husband Peter are making fabulous oils and are preparing to invade the U.S. I will be there to assist.
It's also fun and amazing to meet producers from Crete, Jordan, Chile, Argentina, Morocco, Tunisia, and, of course, Italy and Spain. These contacts will no doubt aid my future travel adventures. I'm packing my bags.