Belazu: The first and last ingredient in Michelin star meals

By Belazu

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Belazu: The first and last ingredient in Michelin star meals

Related tags Belazu Chefs Ingredients Olive oil Mark hix

The quality Mediterranean and Middle Eastern ingredient specialist has been trusted by top chefs for over three decades.

Belazu have been loved and trusted by chefs across the UK’s top kitchens for over 30 years and today the company’s purpose remains the same – to inspire and serve chefs in every kitchen.

Belazu understands that quality ingredients are the only way to deliver intense flavour, so when it comes to sourcing the finest olive oil, there are no shortcuts. The priority is integrity and provenance with exceptional quality standards, and if the company is not proud enough to present a product to a Michelin-starred chef, then they won’t source it or produce it.

When Belazu founder George Bennell tried his first Provençal olive at a French farmer’s market in 1991 and decided to bring them back home, a rich partnership with chefs was born. Today, those olives – along with olive oil and a rich variety of authentic ingredients – are available for everyone from home cooks to culinary experts.

Belazu has worked closely with Eduard Pons and family for almost 30 years. A fifth generation olive farmer, Pons is dedicated to producing the best single-varietal olive oils on his family farm in the Lleida region of Catalonia. 


Bringing the best olive oil to market in the most authentic way, Pons and his team prioritise regenerating the soil by promoting biodiversity, reducing erosion, and increasing organic matter in the land. This ensures the oils chefs buy from Belazu are rich in both flavour and complexity.

Up until 2023, the Pons family produced oil in a small traditional mill in the centre of Lleida, but, as of September 2023, a brand new and hugely innovative mill was introduced, taking the family’s olive oil production to new heights. The farthest olive from the new mill is no more than 12km away, guaranteeing an unbeatable freshness and the ability to trace the olive oil from tree to bottle. 

The whole system is based on cold temperature extraction in a near zero oxygen environment, in order to preserve the delicate flavours of each olive varietal. After being washed and blown dry, the olives are chilled or warmed to precisely 26°C, the perfect temperature to extract oil while balancing flavour with yield.

The olives are then chopped rather than crushed before being pumped into a series of vacuum malaxers – limiting their contact with oxygen during this crucial stage where the aroma, flavour and texture will be defined.

The olive oil remains in contact with the olive water throughout this process, transferring the polyphenols from the flesh of the fruit directly into the oil. The vacuum also limits any opportunity for the oil to start to oxidise, preserving as many of the polyphenols as possible. This results in a higher polyphenol content and increased antioxidants, as well as enhanced perfume and flavour. 

Pons is among the first to adopt this ground-breaking technology of controlling both the temperature and oxygen throughout the extraction process, resulting in the highest quality olive oil. In the words of Mark Hix: “I’ve used Belazu for many years and have visited their olive and olive oil producers in Spain. They are the best in the business.”  

For more information visit the Belazu website here​ or contact the sales team here.

Belazu Early Harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Early Harvest is a single varietal, cold-extracted extra virgin olive oil made from the first Arbequina olives of the season. Arbequina is the dominant variety in Catalonia – originally from the town of Arbeca in Lérida and only 30km from Lleida where this oil is made – it is truly an oil of the region. Arbequina oil is usually made from black olives, but with Early Harvest, the olives are picked and pressed before they are fully ripe and still appear green and purple. While this results in a lower yield, the polyphenol levels are enhanced, producing a fragrant oil with a vibrant flavour that stands apart from other Arbequina oils. Full of character with notes of grass, almond and banana, it has a creamy mouthfeel with a peppery finish. A real all-rounder, it shines when added to soups, stews or pasta, to make the most of its unique and delicate aromas. Use for finishing dishes such as grilled fish or dressing salads. 


Verdemanda is a single estate, unfiltered extra virgin olive oil pressed from young Arbequina olives. The name Verdemanda is derived from the Portuguese ‘verde’ meaning ‘green’ and ‘manda’ meaning ‘on demand’. Processed from tree to bottle in a matter of just a few hours, it guarantees unbeatable freshness with every bottle. The Spanish talk of an oil ‘dying’ over its lifetime, referring to the idea that no matter how well it is looked after, the natural flavour and aromatics of the oil will inevitably degrade over time. In his quest to preserve the integrity of the product, Eduard experimented with various freezing techniques and discovered that oil flash frozen at -50°C and held at -25°C will maintain the same organoleptic properties as the day it was extracted. In the case of Verdemanda, oil from Arbequina olives that is harvested in November can be frozen immediately and remain at its best for six months. In May, the frozen Verdemanda oil is thawed and delivered ‘on demand’ as its name suggests, delivering the freshest possible flavour throughout the year. The result is a vivid emerald green oil with a smooth, velvety texture that gives way to complex grassy, herbal flavours and distinct notes of banana. The fresh fruit taste of the olive lies front and centre, followed by a peppery bite on the finish. Best used to dip and drizzle, Verdemanda is ideal as a quality finishing oil for both savoury and sweet dishes, including dark chocolate mousse and ice cream.

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