About

Michael North tasting olive oilMichael North is an English epicure and olive oil expert, judge and taster, TV & media personality, and founder of the Seasonal Fresh Olive Oil Club.

Michael North is a leading authority on seasonal fresh extra virgin Olive Oil and gourmet Balsamic Vinegars. He is an acknowledged expert Olive Oil Judge and taster with over 40 years experience in quality lifestyle, food and drink.

He has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows including UK TV Great Food Live, UK TV Food Market Kitchen, Ready Steady Cook, BBC TV Dragons’ Den, Dragons’ on Tour and BBC Radio.

Michael founded the UK’s first Seasonal Fresh Olive Oil Club in to help discerning food enthusiasts gain privileged access to “heavenly class” extra virgin Olive Oil right at its peak of perfection, and the Club boasts members as far away as New York, Brisbane and the Bahamas.

He rose to prominence in 2009 after appearing on Dragons’ Den (UK)|BBC TV Dragons’ Den to champion the benefits of seasonal fresh extra virgin Olive Oil and although he didn’t receive funding to grow the Olive Oil Club, his interesting and infectious style captured their interest was subsequently short listed in August 2009 to appear in a “where are they now” feature, aired Sunday 6th September 2009. He became known as “The Olive Oil Man”Michael’s ebullient personality, articulate communication skills and expert knowledge make him an ideal candidate for TV food shows, radio features, media articles and personal appearances.

Michael North was born in Walthamstow, Essex and began his career as a mining engineer and then onto insurance broking, investment advisor and pensioner trustee.

After a successful career in Africa he returned to the UK and started a new path working in financial services, Michael later sought a Mediterranean climate to help improve the health of his partner, and subsequently moved to Poros, Greece, where he lived for six years.

During this time Michael formed a passion for all things related to the Olive Tree and became immersed in the local Artisan culture.

Much of his initial time was spent in his studio working with Olive wood, and the locals affectionately named him “The Pen Maker of Poros” in recognition of the beautifully crafted collectible writing instruments he made.

However, it was the creation of “The Olive Trail” experience that subsequently embraced Michael’s passion for exquisite culinary taste and inspired him to bring the experience of seasonal fresh extra virgin Olive Oil to a wider audience.

The Olive Trail provided visitors with guided tours of working Olive groves around Poros and gave them the chance to taste extra virgin Olive Oil straight from the press.

Michael had already learnt that Olive Oil deteriorates quickly after harvest and only retains its health and taste characteristics for around six months before it starts to become stale, so tasting Olive Oil fresh from the press was a unique experience.

Many of the thousands of visitors his “Olive Trail” were disappointed to learn that seasonal fresh extra virgin Olive Oil was not readily available because it was produced by small Artisan growers and rarely left the country of origin.

This gave Michael the inspiration to form a unique Club, where the very finest seasonal fresh extra virgin Olive Oil could be sourced, tasted and tested, then supplied directly in small quantities to like-minded food enthusiasts and gourmet foodies.

Michael formed the UK’s first “Olive Oil Club” in 2006 and began to work closely with fellow expert taster Judy Ridgway to select special Olive Oil for club members sourced from Olive growers around the world.

Each Olive Oil would be tested for quality and provenance and sold in limited numbers so that stocks would all be purchased and consumed within a “best taste” shelf life of six months from harvest.

Specially sourced gourmet Balsamic Vinegars and Olive Leaf health products quickly complimented the sale of seasonal fresh extra virgin Olive Oil.

Michael has appeared on a number of TV and Radio shows, championing the cause of seasonal fresh extra virgin Olive Oil and receiving plaudits from celebrity presenters, chefs and audiences thanks to his unending enthusiasm and an expertise aligned to an accomplished wine sommelier.

During the last eight years Michael has delivered talks and tastings to various institutions and corporate bodies including The Women’s Institute, Avalon Ladies and local Round Table Groups.

In 2008, he appeared on BBC TV Dragons’ Den, where several millions of viewers witnessed Michael stand up to intense questioning by Deborah Meaden, and has appeared again in September 2009 in a follow up feature where he expertly blind tasted an Olive Oil to correctly confirm the olive variety, the country of origin and the year of the harvest.

Media Appearances

Show Title Presenter
Radio London Introducing Fresh Olive Oils Jenny Lyndford
UK TV Great Food Live Introducing Olive Oil Tasting Jeni Barnett
BBC Scotland Grass Roots Olive Oil and Rapeseed Oil Dave
Radio Somerset Sound Fresh Olive Oils Jo
UK TV Food Market Kitchen Tasting Fresh Olive Oil Matt, Tanya and Tom
UK TV Food Market Kitchen Introducing the Olive Oil Club & the Delights and Dangers of Balsamic Vinegar Jeni Barnett
Ready Steady Cook Olive Oil Expert “Quickie Bag” Ainsley Harriot
BBC TV Dragons Den Introducing Seasonal Fresh Olive Oil Evan Davis
BBC TV Dragons Den On Tour Evan Davis
LBC Jeni Morning Show Jeni Barnett
BBC America Dragons Den Evan Davis
Channel 4 Sunday Brunch Tim Lovemore & Simon Rimmer

• TV and Media Appearances • Presenter & Speaker • Product Quality & Provenance Testing • Tasting Workshops • Expert Consultancy To Growers & Producers • Guided To Tours to Growers Around The Globe

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