Magic Oil by Wendy Logan. Curtis Cord, Founder, New York International Olive Oil Conference. On a brisk spring day in New York City’s Soho, the International Culinary Center (founded as the French Culinary Institute) welcomed an exclusive, international group to the largest olive oil competition in the world. Over the better part of three days, 15 experts sipped and assessed 671 olive oils from 25 countries. On the third and final day of judging, producers and their representatives, nutritional experts, world renowned chefs, business magnates, and olive oil cognoscenti from Italy, Spain, and France, from Greece, Australia, Turkey, and even Japan, gathered for a day-long conference, competition, and awards ceremony broadcasted live to 14 countries.