The Philippine Embassy in Spain, through its Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), recently sponsored a basic ham carving seminar for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) at the Asociación Cultural ACUMACE in Madrid.
“This livelihood training seminar is part of the embassy’s commitment to improve the employment opportunities of OFWs in Spain and to foster their entrepreneurial spirit through skills training,” said Philippe J. Lhuillier, Philippine ambassador to Spain.The training is one of the benefits of being an active member of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, an agency of the Department of Labor and Employment of the Philippines assigned to protect the interests of OFWs and their families.
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, introduced 29 OFWs to the art of jamón carving, a prestigious and lucrative career in the region.
Maestro Lopez demonstrated the proper way of jamón carving and guided participants in practicing the carving techniques. Prior to this, he also showed videos on how the jamon iberico de bellota is produced, and talked about how to distinguish between the various types of jamon.
Maestro Lopez has been working with Cinco Jotas for more than 18 years. His brother, Mark, is also a master ham carver and owns Maestro Cortador Filipino (MCF), which provides jamon selection and carving services in Spain and in the Philippines.
Jamón or cured pork leg is one of Spain’s iconic dishes. It is produced all over the country and is considered a staple food in the Iberian Peninsula, earning an important position in every Spanish restaurant.