Show 167, April 9, 2016: Darrell Corti, Corti Brothers, Sacramento & Chair of the L.A. International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition

Darrell CortiNoted gourmand Darrell Corti of Corti Brothers gourmet grocery and spirit purveyors in Sacramento is the Chairman of the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition. We’ll chat about the Best of Show award recipients and lots more about gourmet specialty food with the revered Mr. Corti. has dubbed him one of the coolest people in food and drink in America.

Now in its 17th year, the Los Angeles International Olive Oil Competition is the top ranking EVOO competition in the United States and fifth worldwide. The goal is to bring together the highest standards of integrity and professionalism in awarding medals to the best oils from around the globe.

The L.A. International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition conducts two judgings a year. Just completed in March was the 2016 Northern Hemisphere Judging.

The overall winner is the Premio Mugelli / Mugelli Award recipient. For 2016 (the 2nd year in a row) it’s Olio di Dievole, Coratina, Robust, from Gaiole in Chianti, Italy. Unfortunately it’s not readily available in the United States. It will be available for tasting (along with the other notable award-winners) at the L.A. County Fair running from September 2nd to September 25th, 2016.

Show 167, April 9, 2016: Darrell Corti, Corti Brothers, Sacramento & Chair of the L.A. International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition Continues…

Darrell CortiFor “Best of Show – Domestic” at the L.A. International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition there is an award-winner in Delicate, Medium and Robust category oils. Best of Show – Robust is Pacific Sun, Riverview Ranch Tuscan Blend, Yolo County, California.

Chef Andrew tasted this EVOO. He compares notes and flavor profiles with Corti who was tasting the premium oil on-air. It’s a grassy, bright, fruity, peppery olive oil.

Suggested Food Pairings: “Delicious with poultry, lamb, beans, soups, or any dish you want to add a little pepperiness to.” Darrell (a serious and accomplished home cook) advises it does wonders for kale.

One sign of how cool this Italian-American Sacramento grocer is is the fact that he’ll think the whole idea of being considered cool is just plain silly. Running the family business in the California capital is a full-time job, and he doesn’t have spare moments for a lot of folderol. Of course, Corti is a grocer like Itzhak Perlman plays some fiddle. Corti is simply one of the most deeply knowledgeable food and drink experts in America, able to expound with equal authority on Chinese tea, Spanish vinegar, Central Asian wine, Italian pasta, and about 30,000 other gastronomic topics.

The Corti Brothers online store, where you can buy their Italian specialties even if you don’t live in Sacramento, remains charmingly low-tech and straightforward, giving away very little about the vast treasures and culinary knowledge amassed by this family. At the store itself, you can shop for everything from toilet paper and skim milk to artisanal soy sauce and sherries so rare you can’t even find them in Spain — or just stand in line for one of the California capital’s best deli sandwiches.

Corti, a member of The Daily Meal Council, knows everybody worth knowing in his chosen field, and everybody knows him. They call him “The Professor.” If you’ve never heard of him, well, that sort of makes him even cooler, you know?