After an obligatory two-year hiatus when the gala could not be held due to the pandemic, the International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Quality Awards Gala-EVOOLEUM Award, hosted by journalist Cristina Villanueva, returned to its in-person format to celebrate the great international festival of extra virgin olive oil and highlight the work and effort of producers from all over the world in order to obtain the highest quality.
The event, held in Espacio Ventas and sponsored by CaixaBank, Kubota, Pieralisi and Caja Rural de Jaén, Barcelona and Madrid, brought together a broad representation of the gastronomy and extra virgin olive oil sector, both nationally and internationally; not in vain, among the fifty or so award winners were companies and EVOOs from a dozen producing countries, not only from the Mediterranean basin, but also from exotic destinations such as Brazil and South Africa.
The BEST OF CLASS EVOOLEUM Awards, the most influential and prestigious private competition for the quality of extra virgin olive oil in the world, organised since 2016 by Grupo Editorial Mercacei and AEMO, were presented at the gala. For the first time in the seven editions of the competition, the World's Best EVOO for the 2021/22 campaign was not one, but two: Rincón de la Subbética Altitude, from Almazaras de la Subbética, S.L.U., and Monini Monocultivar Coratina BIO, from Monini S.p.A., sharing the prize ex aquo as a result of a technical tie that had never happened before.
The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, who attended the gala, once again demonstrating his commitment to the sector in general and to Grupo Editorial Mercacei in particular, received the Special Ambassador of EVOO 2023 Award for his defence of Spanish extra virgin olive oil and his strong support for the Spanish olive and olive oil industry; At the same time, Abel Matutes Prats, president of Palladium Hotel Group, main sponsor of the EVOOLEUM Guide 2023, received the Special EVOO Ambassador Company Award, another of the novelties of this edition.
In addition to the awards for the Best of Each Category, the gala also saw the presentation of the awards corresponding to the exclusive EVOOLEUM TOP10; the TOP10 Limited Production EVOOs - a new category introduced this year to recognise the commitment to excellence of small producers (less than 2,500 litres per year); the EVOOLEUM 2023 EVOOs of the EVOOLEUM 2023 Guide; the EVOOLEUM 2023 EVOOs of the EVOOLEUM 2023 Guide; and the EVOOLEUM 2023 EVOOs of the EVOOLEUM 2023 Guide. 500 litres per year); the TOP10 Healthy EVOOs -the 10 extra virgin olive oils with the highest total phenol content-; the Best Woman Producer Award -which went to Nuria Yáñez, technical director of Almazaras de la Subbética- and the EVOOLEUM Packaging Awards, which recognise the most beautiful and original packaging in the categories of Best Premium Design, Best Innovative Design and Best Retail Range Design.