I am very fortunate to collaborate with some of the best academic organizations in the Country on research projects for quality standards and labeling system. I consult with the University of California (Davis), The Olive Center (U.C. Davis), The Honey and Pollination Center (U.C. Davis), the Mars-UC Davis Chocolate Taste Panel and the California Olive Oil Council.
I am a member of the California Olive Oil Council Taste Panel, where we certify extra virginity of olive oil. For COOC, I am also part of their education team traveling the Country to educate consumers. I have also helped shape some interesting education program with the California State Fair, the Italian Trade Commission, the Istituto di Cultura Italiana (San Francisco, Los Angeles). I have judged in many competitions for wine, olive oil, honey and chocolate internationally.
I am honored to have helped some fantastic producers create high quality and award winning products. Among many I would like to mention the Napa Valley Reserve, Darioush Winery, Whole Foods Markets, Mars Chocolate, Boundary Bend, Experience Italy, Vasadonna Olive Oil, Vernera Olive Oil (Sicily), Papagna Honey (Puglia), Apicoltura Finocchio (Abbruzzo).
I am honored to work for such acclaimed academic organizations and inspiring producers, but what I am most passionate about is consumer education. I lead sensory evaluation classes, tastings and speaking engagements around the Country and internationally for adults and children. I educate consumers of every age on quality standards and labeling system. Most of all, I show consumers how easy it is to taste looking for quality. My goal is to inspire people to look at food like a taster does: with love, curiosity, appreciation and fun.
Learning how to taste will allow consumers to detect low quality ingredients that have no health benefits. Every Sensory Evaluation Class starts with an entertaining and informational section. This first part is educational and includes practical information about production and labeling. The second section includes a guided and interactive tasting and allows consumers to use what they have learned during the first section to assess quality standards while looking, smelling and tasting. Because I believe that we need to start our healthy relationship with food as young as possible, I wrote a couple of children’s books and I like to lead book readings and tasting parties of children as well.
My sensory evaluation classes or speaking engagement can be on a different variety of subjects. Mostly I lead classes on: Wine, Olive Oil (quality standards, extra virginity and health benefits), Traditional Balsamic Vinegar, Honey, Chocolate, Cheese. Wine is also a subject very close to my heart because it was my first introduction to the world of sensory evaluation. Therefore, every adult class can have a wine pairing section. I also enjoy book readings and tastings for all ages. Just go to the "Contact Us" page and send me an email. We will shape your event in the best way possible!