The Philippine Embassy in Madrid, through its Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), conducted the first-ever training on Basic Ham Carving for Overseas Filipinos on 7 September 2019 at the Asociación Cultural ACUMACE in Madrid, Spain.
Mr. Michael Lopez Teves, the first Filipino Master Ham Carver in Spain and currently a Master Carver in Cinco Jotas, one of Spain’s top tier brands of jamon Iberico de bellota. personally introduced the participants to the art of jamón carving, a prestigious and lucrative career in Spain.
During the training, Maestro Lopez showed videos on how the jamón ibérico de bellota is produced, talked about how to distinguish between the various types of jamón, and demonstrated the proper way and techniques in jamón carving. Participants were able to individually practice jamón carving techniques under the Maestro’s guidance.
H.E. Ambassador Philippe J. Lhuillier emphasized the Embassy´s commitment to promote the welfare of overseas Filipinos in Spain through skills training to enhance their employment and entrepreneurial prospects. Said training is also one of the benefits of being an active member of OWWA onsite.
He also lauded Maestro Lopez for unselfishly sharing his talent and time to his fellow Filipinos in the true spirit of bayanihan.
Mr. Lopez Teves, who has been working with Cinco Jotas for more than 18 years and his brother Mark, who is also a master ham carver himself, owns “Maestro Cortador Filipino (MCF),” which provides jamón selection and carving services in Spain and in the Philippines.
Jamón or cured pork leg is usually associated with Spain and one of its iconic foods. It is produced all over Spain and is considered a staple food in the Iberian peninsula, thus ham carving is an important position in every Spanish restaurant.
Mastering and understanding the correct way to break down and to slice a ham to ensure a paper-thin cut takes years of training. With this training however, twenty-nine (29) overseas Filipinos were introduced to basic skills and understanding on ham carving, which will hopefully open up to more opportunities.