October 6th, 2011 by emilydavis
Pablo Voitzuk educates Slow Food members on California Extra Virgin Olive Oil
As the premier retailer of California extra virgin olive oil, We Olive takes educating consumers about EVOO seriously. And by seriously, I mean that we’re committed to getting locally made olive oil in the hands of Californians, but not so serious that we won’t turn it into a party. Which is just what happened a few weeks ago in our San Francisco store when We Olive partnered with Slow Food to host an event that was educational, delicious, and in true We Olive fashion, a good time.
If you’re not familiar with the Slow Food organization, but like to eat food that was grown or produced locally, or you appreciate the value of sharing the pleasures of a meal with family and friends, you should really check out their movement. Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment. For these reasons, teaming up with Slow Food seemed like a natural partnership. We Olive offers the best quality extra virgin olive oil from small producers in California and celebrates the idea that sharing good food and good wine with good people is what makes life pleasurable. With this in mind, Owners and Managing Partners of We Olive, Frank and Ruth Mercurio, created an event that was both informative and tasty.
In addition to being educated about California’s extra virgin olive oil by some of the industry’s top producers and foremost experts, guests were treated to locally sourced foods, prepared with EVOO of course, as well as top notch wines from California winemakers. Presentations were made by California Olive Oil Council (COOC) Executive Director Patty Darragh and Pablo Voitzuk, an olive oil expert and member of the COOC and UC Davis tasting panels. Chef John McReynolds, Culinary Director of Stone Edge Farm demonstrated three fantastic dishes using extra virgin olive oils from Stone Edge Farm, including a shaved zucchini salad that I’m still trying to replicate at home. Acclaimed food writer and Author of “The New American Olive Oil”, Fran Gage was also in attendance and brought some fabulous truffles she’s prepared with Blood Orange Olive Oil from California. Finally, Ronna Stone from Roanti Ranch was in house offering tastings of her robust extra virgin olive oil produced in Sonoma.
COOC Executive Director Patty Darragh and Roanti Ranch Founder Ronna Stone behind with tasting bar at We Olive San Francisco
Inspired by the Slow Food ethos, Ruth and I put together a menu of locally sourced food and wine that showcased the versatility and range of flavors in California EVOO. Guests enjoyed:
A spread of artisan cheese and charcuterie all made either in the Bay Area or Wine Country. We also prepared a tasty accompaniment made by reducing We Olive’s Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar with smashed fresh blackberries until it began a thick, syrupy glaze, perfect for drizzling over soft cheeses.
We Olive’s Signature Hummus made with our Tuscan Varietal Blend extra virgin olive oil.
A creamy Smoked Albacore Spread made with Sonoma Smoked Olive Oil from the Smoked Olive.
A panzanella salad composed of toasted bread, arugula, heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and a balsamic vinaigrette made from a robust Pacific Sun Extra Virgin Olive Oil and We Olive’s Aged Balsamic Vinegar.
And finally, a roasted pork tenderloin slider, made with Llano Seco organic pork that was roasted with Ronna’s Roanti Ranch olive oil and served on a slider roll from San Francisco’s Chesnut Bakery with a Balsamic Onion Jam.
Recipes for some of these preparations can be found in the Recipes section or by clicking on any of the above menu items. If you’re interested in attending future We Olive events like this one, check the store pages for the location nearest you for coming events. Hope to see you at a We Olive event soon!
Slow Food members enjoying some wine on We Olive’s patio