Lancashire Agri-Chef Leads UK’s Olive Oil Conference

29 May 2013

Prepare for an outstanding burst of truly amazing Italian flavours in June as Maurizio and Cinzia Bocchi of La Locanda, Gisburn, Lancashire host the UK's Extra Virgin ‘Olive Oil Conference’. 

This is the very first time the winners of the prestigious Italian Ercole Olivario competition are being ushered North of London to provide Trade and Public alike with direct access to themselves and their sensational produce. The event takes place on 18 & 19 June at Gorton Monastery in Manchester.

Not only will the winning olive oil producers be available throughout a two day conference being held at the magnificent Gorton monastery in Manchester, but flying over with them is a wealth of knowledge from the top Italian olive oil and food sector specialists.  Italian Michelin star chefs will accompany them and our own UK Chefs; Nigel Haworth and Graham Cambell, both with stars to their names, have endorsed the need for this conference. 

Maurizio and Cinzia Bocchi, the hosts of the event, own one of the top authentic Italian restaurants in the UK.  They have a resolute passion for bringing more traditional Italian food production methods to the North West and UK as a whole. They use top quality local and British ingredients, and ‘Mile Zero’ their aim for food miles.  “I am constantly inundated with fellow chefs asking me to help them in their search for top quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Too many wholesalers and so called ‘specialist importers’, are not supplying the best quality available.  This is simply due in the main, to a lack of knowledge on all parts, and also to being won over on price by companies in Europe who have bigger marketing budgets than the smaller, artisan producers, hence the need for this conference”  Maurizio Bocchi, Chef Patron, La Locanda.

An earlier in the year, Cinzia was awarded the Premio Lekythos by Ercole Olivario, a lifetime award for the person who has significantly promoted Italian Olive Oil outside of Italy.  This brought further support for the conference by the Italian Government’s own HO.RE.CA project.

 The conference is over two days.  The first is dedicated entirely to the food industry; from reputed restaurant Chefs to industrial caterers, from journalists to wholesale buyers, deli’s to specialist importers.  They will receive professional tuition throughout, dedicated to unfurling the truths about sourcing good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the effects using the wrong oil has on food flavour and thus the bottom line, and how it can benefit their customer’s diets.  Tasting sessions by some of the Ercole Olivario Judges and one to one advice on selection and work methods for individual menus is also offered on the Wednesday.

On the second day the general public will also be able to listen too many of the speakers as they focus on the health benefits and multi uses of top grade Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Delegates are free to peruse and buy from the producers from mid-morning until late afternoon.  There is also a Chef’s demonstration during the day on how to get the best use of each category of extra virgin olive oil.

If this is not enough to tickle the taste buds, then maybe taking in the splendid five course, Italian tasting Gala Dinner Night, may encourage ‘salivation’? This will be held in the monastery on the Tuesday.  Hosted by the conferences Chefs; Maurizio Bocchi, Graham Campbell, Filippo La Mantia and Graziano Cominelli, with Guest Speakers none other than Paul Griffiths DL, The High Sheriff of Greater Manchester, who boasts 40 years in the food industry himself, and Stefano Vaccari – General Director of the Italian Ministry of Agriculture.

To find out more about the speakers, the agenda, information on the gala dinner and to book tickets (which are at an astoundingly low price given the content of this event) visit

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