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Judy Ridgway

About Judy Ridgway

Judy Ridgway is one of the few independent experts on olive oil outside the producing countries. She has been working with olives and olive oil for more than twenty years and her tasting experience covers oils from all the European producing countries as well as from the emerging producers such as California, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Chile.

In 1993 she was commissioned by the Direction Generale de l’Agriculture (Promotion Huile d’Olive) of the European Commission to write the paper on ‘Taste and Flavour in Olive Oil’. This paper has now been completely revised and published as a paperback booklet. For more information on how to obtain the paper please click here. As well as outlining the factors which play a part in determining quality and taste, the paper also defines a vocabulary for describing extra virgin olive oil. These descriptions are now in general use.

In 1996 she was appointed by the Italian Mastri Oleari (Masters of Olive Oil) to sit as the first non-Italian judge on the judging panel for the prestigious Leone d’Oro Awards for olive oil.

She sat on the panel each year until 2000 and again in 2002.She was the independent consultant appointed to The Olive Oil Council, the UK arm of the EU Promotion Huile d’Olive (1991-1993) and subsequently to the Olive Oil Information Bureau for the UK and Eire (1996-1998). She also advised on an ad hoc basis for the Olive Oil Information Bureau 2000-2003.

Her book “Judy Ridgway’s Best Olive Oil Buys Round The World: The New Edition”, published in September 2005, was the result of research all around the olive growing world. It included over 130 different olive oils from both the northern and the southern hemispheres, with estate and family details, olive varieties, production methods and tasting notes. An earlier book was ‘The Olive Oil Companion’. Originally published in 1996 in eight languages in fifteen countries, there have been a number of later unrevised editions which are completely out of date.

Her tasting experience is extremely wide taking in both premium and commercial oils. She travels to the producing regions to keep up-to-date with new developments and is in regular contact with university agricultural departments and olive oil research institutes in order to follow current academic thinking and research.


  • Honours Degree in Economics and Biology
  • Wine Diploma, Wine & Spirit Education Trust


  • UK Guild of Food Writers
  • Society of Authors


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