Oregon Olive Oil™
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Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne is an olive oil consultant and educator based in Sonoma
County. Working with Paul Vossen at the University of California Cooperative Extension
she participated in research on olive pests, olive varietal characteristics and a survey of
the California olive oil industry. She is a trained olive oil taster and participates in olive
oil sensory analysis for research and quality certification. She serves as an olive oil judge
at various competitions, including the largest in the US, the Los Angeles International
Olive Oil Competition, and the Yolo County Fair Olive Oil Competition. She has also
worked in an advisory capacity for competitions, developing protocols and policies; in
2007 she was the steward of the LA International Olive Oil competition. Alexandra
evaluates and blends olive oil for private clients and for the UC Olive Oil Project. Her
blends have taken numerous awards.
A co-instructor of the UC Davis Sensory Evaluation of Olive Oil course, Alexandra
teaches tasting technique and has helped develop the course curriculum. She also presents
olive oil appreciation classes at many venues including the Los Angeles County Fair. She teaches olive oil production, processing and evaluation, incorporating the sensory analysis of olive oil into the exploration of varieties, cultural practices and processing systems. She was selected to teach the first seminar in the new Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Sciences tasting lecture series.
Alexandra was the founding editor of First Press: The Newsletter of Olive Oil Production
and Evaluation from UCCE Sonoma County. She served as staff writer, layout artist and
editor for the first two years of its existence and occasionally still writes for the newsletter. She is the coauthor of many papers, articles and publications, including two
chapters of the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources publication
Organic Olive Production Manual. As a freelance writer she has been published in
Popular Farming and Hobby Farms magazines. She writes and designs a wide range of print material for olive oil clients, from catalogs and labels to magazine ads and press releases.
Alexandra is a member of the advisory board of the new UC Davis Olive Center at the
Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Sciences. She has recently been asked to
serve as the California coordinator for the Italian Association TREE, an organization
dedicated to excellence in olive oil. Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne is a graduate of UC