Sigona’s Inaugural Fresh Press Olive Oil Seminar a Success!

Sigona’s Inaugural Fresh Press Olive Oil Seminar a Success!

By Carmelo Sigona

We had a packed house for the seminar - thanks to all who were in attendance! Photo by A Girl and a Camera Photography (www.agirlandacameraphotography.com)

Oh what a night! Wednesday, July 28th was our first ever off-site olive oil seminar and we’re so grateful to those of you who came AND to those of you who have already asked when we’ll have another. I loved sharing knowledge that enhances a healthy lifestyle and adds exciting new flavors to meals. I can’t wait to do this again!

With more than 125 guests, we had a packed house. Guests enjoyed hors D’oeuvres by Luisa’s Catering, musical entertainment by Have a Party Pros and wine from our host venue, La Honda Winery. The seminar was given by Mike Bradley, the president of Veronica Foods, the company from which we receive our olive oil. Mike is one of the leading authorities on healthy, tasty olive oils and is an advocate on establishing new criteria and revealing accurate, factual information to the public before they purchase oils.

During the seminar, Mike highlighted eight new, in-season oils, including organic Chetoui Integrale, Leccino, Arbosana, Koroneiki, Ultra Navido Blanco, Hojiblanca, Manzanillo and Sweet Barnea, which just arrived from Tunisia, Australia and Chile. Mike travels the world monitoring the olive crops and harvest for these small estates that pick their olives green and press them within three to six hours to ensure high health benefits.

See more pictures from the event on our Facebook page!


Mike Bradley, president of Veronica Foods, presented expert information about olive oils during the seminar.

We provided a description for each of the eight new oils sampled at the seminar. Photo by A Girl and a Camera Photography.

Some of these just picked-and-pressed oils arrived at the Port of Oakland on July 22nd – now that’s fresh oil! It’s important to note that olive oils are seasonal, just like produce, so an understanding of the seasons helps guarantee good, fresh oil.

The seminar started with a slide show, which told the story about how the olive fruit becomes olive oil. Mike then walked guests through how to evaluate olive oil based on three criteria: 1). taste 2). aroma 3). sensation.

Each oil, as our guests learned, has a different flavor profile. Some are sweet and smooth while some are powerful and leave a lingering “peppery” or warm sensation in the back of your throat. Guests also learned about oleic acids, free fatty acids and polyphenol counts and why it’s important to know the levels when selecting olive oil. For example, polyphenols are powerful antioxidants found in olive oil that help remove free radicals, prevent cancer, high blood pressure and heart disease. In olive oil speak, a good rule of thumb is: the higher the polyphenol count, the healthier it is and the longer it’ll last once it’s in the bottle. We include the polyphenol count on each bottle of olive oil at Sigona’s.

Thanks to our staff and a few vendors, the event was a huge success. We’d like to give a big thank you to the vendors who helped us plan and put on quite a show. Following are links to learn more about these vendors. Join us in saying “thank you!”

CLICK HERE to Meet Luisa from Luisa’s Catering


CLICK HERE to Meet Ken & Cynthia Wornick of La Honda Winery

CLICK HERE to Meet Joe Sheldon and Kathy Schmidt from Have a Party Pros

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