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Portrait: Jose Sol / Spanish Ham Master

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1. Dear Jose, may you tell me how did you decide to begin Spanish Ham Master?


It is a long History but like with a lot of things I have been lucky. I came to the UK like a sales manager for a Jamón Company. After less than one year that company decided to send me back to Spain. I was living here with my wife and my two young children and we all really love the UK so we tried to start a new adventure…this is actually why Spanish Ham Master was born. I am absolutely food lover and also jamón lover so…this is my job…trying to become everyone as Jamón lover as me! We are very proud to be the first company introducing the jamón iberico at the Royal Albert Hall of London and also we are the first company carving jamón at the Legendary Old Trafford of The Manchester United. We also have been carving jamón in a private plane.

2. May we link the Iberico Ham and the Haute Cuisine?


Yes, definitely…Yes. The Jamón Ibérico de Bellota is the best ambassador of the Spanish Gastronomy, no just said by the Spanish Chef. There are very famous chefs using jamón in their recipes. I am very proud to help some of International chefs to design new recipes with jamón. Everything is working well around the world of the Spanish Ham (jamón ibérico de Bellota) As soon as the people know the jamón they love it.

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3. I bet that you are able to fascinate us with some nice recipes including Ham...

In our Spanish recipes we use jamón in many of them like soup, like casserole, stews…but now, people want more. The Jamón is being used in the oriental food, I know some recipe to do Japanese food with jamón…amazing! Something that we never thought. I was in Moscow last month and I could see amazing salad with jamón…very original. But honestly…nothing better than “Huevos estrellados” This is my favorite plate. Fried eggs with potatoes and jamón ibérico de bellota. Don't miss it!!

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4. What is your perception about the culinary landscape in London, and where do you locate Spanish Ham Master?

No doubt London is the capital of the world ... not only in the financial aspect ... In London you can eat whatever you want, anytime ... no limits. If you have money, you have world cuisine at your fingertips. As I told you I am a food lover…so this is the right place to live for me. I love to try everything.

5. How popular do you think is Iberico Ham in the UK?

I remember when I came to this country, it was very difficult to find a good jamón. It was easy in London but you had to pay too much money for a bad jamón: But now the things have changed. We have very nice hams in a good price. Even out of London you can find good jamón. I am doing different events all around UK and it is amazing how the people love the jamón. When I started my business it was very difficult, some people were scared when they saw the jamón…and now…now it is really easy! Everyone want to try it. I have a facebook page and I receive questions about the jamón or about my trainings every week. I think it is really good time for the jamón in the UK so…as I always say…Let´s Enjoy the Jamón!!

6. May you explain us your recent collaboration with The Repsol Guide?

The Repsol Guide is the most important guide to know Spain…no just to know different places, now they are working very hard with the Real Spanish Gastronomy Academy to choose the best Spanish products and I am very proud to have been named one of “The Official Taster” of jamón and sausages. It was a pleasure and an honor to be there choosing the best jamón, chorizo, salchichón and other sausages. It was too much responsibility…In Spain we are doing really good job to promote our products so it was difficult to say what jamón is good and why it is one of the best ones.

7. I heard that you travel abroad quite often by your work...could you tell me which country gastronomy has been more shocking for you and why?

I feel really lucky travelling with my jamón. I have been in the United States, Russia, South Korea and this September I will visit Hong Kong and I have to go back to South Korea because the market is growing up very well there. They want me to training their chefs and hotel staff. I love Korea and I am going to visit different cities of the country. It is a great experience to have the opportunity to share my knowledge with people from the other cultures. I show them as much as I can about our culture, about our gastronomy, I speak about jamón, about all the best of our gastronomy. Also I try to take as much as I can from them. I really enjoyed in Moscow, because the gastronomy of Moscow has a lot of influence from different parts of Russia. Full of soups, of stews…As we say in Spain I really love “platos de cuchara” it means food that you have to eat with spoon.

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8. Give a picture of Spanish Ham Master in 2 years time.

This is really difficult. Actually I cant believe how big is became in just four years so I can´t imagine how we will be in two years time. We are going to start with a new youtube channel speaking about our life, our products…we will answer all the questions we receive through facebook or our website. We want to show the people all about the jamón. I think it is going to be a great success. Very soon you will have Spanish Ham Master Channel

9. What do you expect when you go out for dinner?

Enjoy…I am not a judge…I just want to enjoy, enjoy the food, the place, the service and obviously the people. If you have a really good mix I am sure I will come back that restaurant. You can have an amazing food but what happens if the service is really bad?? You will never come back. It is the same when you order the best jamón in the world and then they bring the jamón really bad carved…we have destroyed the jamón!!! Please Try to do a good mix!!

10. What does good food mean to you?

Pleasure…If I have pleasure I feel happy. You have to enjoy the products used to cook, you have to enjoy the recipe and also you have to enjoy the presentation of the dish. It looks easy but not everyone work like this.
Food has to give pleasure to the senses and especially to the heart ... We have to be in love with the food. If it doesn´t happen...it means there was something wrong.

Gabriel.

Biography Jose:
José Sol was born in Madrid in 1972. He studied in Marketing and PR in Madrid. His
whole career has been linked to marketing and sales, has worked in Marketing Agencies and companies  related to Food & Beverage such Gonzalez Byass or as Pago de Peñuelas. He was introduced to the  world of ham with La Hoguera. In 2010 was appointed as sales Manager for the UK with this company.
In 2011 he decided to start his own company and funded Spanish Ham Master, company dedicated to events around the world of ham. Before long he has positioned itself as a reference company and has led him to be the official supplier for Manchester United cutting ham at the international matches at Old  Trafford. It was the first company to cut ham at the Royal Albert Hall in London. He has focused much of his goals in training hospitality professionals in the UK. He has travelled with his knives to many cities in the UK and also he has visited South Korea, Russia and USA. He will be visiting Hong Kong and South Korea again to finish the year.
Recently he has been named "Official Taster of The Repsol Guide" with the high responsibility to choose the best jamón and also the best sausages of
Spain.

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