“Take sunshine, clean country air, constant warm days and cool nights – add professional grove management and a dash of ingenuity – and you have ALTO Olives” – ALTO Olives alto olive oil Fresh, local and high quality ingredients are a staple for every dish cooked in the VIVE Cooking School Kitchen, and that’s why we love ALTO Olives. Multiple award winning and internationally recognised, ALTO Olives is known for their exceptional quality olive oils and table olives. They are proudly Australian and have a beautiful estate that is home to 20,000 European olive trees in the foothills of Australia’s Great Dividing Range in New South Wales. We believe there is value in knowing where our food comes from, and this led us to meet with incredible food artisans and producers. We spent some time chatting with Westerly from the ALTO Olives team, to catch up, get an update on their latest release and share their story and passion for what they do, with our VIVE Cooking School community. “Olive oil is an ingredient that can be overlooked in the kitchen. And since 2019, with the incredible support of Westerly and Robert from ALTO Olive Oils, together, we get to change our student’s perception on how the right olive oil can dramatically impact our dishes.” –  Jean-Luc Tan, Founder VIVE Cooking School

Delicate; Robust; Pro-blend. What is Novello (‘new’)?

The Delicate, Robust & Pro EVOOs (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) are all blends that constitute our core range of ALTO EVOOs available all throughout the year, and are based on the varietals that we grow ourselves on our farm and some oils that we outsource to create consistently delicious & true to style oils every year. The Novello EVOO is an oil that we release straight after harvest each year, made from varietals grown only on our own farm. I blend the Novello depending on what varietals we have available and in what volumes, so each year it is different – and the amount that we release as Novello varies too. The oil is typically cloudy due to the fact that we do not filter it, quite green in colour, and very fragrant as it is literally hot off the olive press and as fresh as it gets.

Can you name a few restaurants in Sydney that use your olive oil and where they’re based?

  • Bar Vincent in Paddington
  • Nomad in Surry Hills
  • Icebergs Restaurant & Bar in Bondi
  • Cafe Paci in Newtown

You recently moved to Tasmania, how has that been? 

My move to Tasmania has been great. I wouldn’t say it was a smooth transition moving our whole life interstate (and basically overseas!) during a pandemic, but 6 months on and we are thrilled to be here. Living in a city but all the conveniences that entails, but with such easy access to such extraordinary nature all around us fills my cup every day.  The quality of the produce available coupled with such a thriving food scene means that I am super happy whether foraging in the forest, shopping at the weekly farmers market, cooking in my own kitchen or eating out… and because I have always worked remotely for ALTO, I can continue to do my role from here. All I need is a phone, a computer and to jump on a plane every once in a while. Plus trips back to our farm at key times in the year, like during the olive harvest. 

Learn more about the tale of the people behind the award winning ALTO Olive Oil in our Youtube video:

Click here to check out the ALTO Olives range. Stay up to date with ALTO Olives and follow them on Instagram!