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Chef Nate Norris on 2019 Extra Virgin Olive Oil

A dish finished with high quality, current vintage Extra Virgin Olive Oil can completely transform a diner’s experience. Chef de Cuisine Nate Norris of San Francisco’s legendary Zuni Café says, “While guests may order a salad for the pomegranate and goat cheese, they leave amazed by the lingering flavors of the extra virgin olive oil I used.” Chef Nate uses many EVOO’s with his rustic California cuisine, much of it local, with an occasional Tuscan or Sicilian producer featured. He continues, “I look for oils that have nice aromas and balanced flavor attributes of fruitiness, bitterness, and pungency. Typically I will taste the oil on its own first, then with fruit, cheese, meat, and greens. As with wine, varietal is important in the flavors and aromas of an olive oil. For example, Arbequina olives tend to produce a fruity olive oil with moderate bitterness and mild pungency. Frantoio olives tend to produce a peppery-grassy oil with a pleasantly bitter finish.”
Chef Nate was our featured guest for our 6th Planet Grape Wine Review vodcast for Santé Magazine. Here are his top five from the 2019 harvest. Reviews provided by Planet Grape Wine Review. Samples provided by Roberta Klugman and Manicaretti Imports.

Chef Nate Norris's Top Five 2019 EVOO Picks:

2019 Bondolio Extra Virgin Olive Oil California -  Fresh and lively with notes of meyer lemon, dried basil, oregano and tarragon. Certified Extra Virgin COOC. Certified Organic USDA. $40, 500 ml. Direct.


2019 Fat Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil Gold Label California - Delicate and silky in texture but bold in flavor with notes of lemon verbena, dill, oregano and orange blossom. Certified Extra Virgin COOC. $34, 500 ml. Ask Kathryn Tomajan for the Gold Label.


2019 Frantoio Grove Extra Virgin Frantoio Olive Oil - Silky and clean with notes of lemon pepper, honeysuckle and leafy greens. Certifed Organic CCOF and Certified Extra Virgin COOC. $24, 375 ml. Direct.


2019 Laudemio Frescobaldi Olio Extra Vergine di Oliva Toscana - Silky and refined with long lasting notes of lime zest, fresh basil, avocado and chamomile $34, 500 ml. Importer: Manicaretti.com


2019 Gianfranco Becchina Olio Verde Olio Extra Vergine di Oliva Castelvetrano Sicilia - Clean and fresh with lime zest, green apple, cumin and coriander seed. 500 ml $34, 500 ml. Importer: Manicaretti.com

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