A cut above: Spain’s ‘jamon slicers’ to be professionally certified

HAM slicers have a prominent role in Spanish bars and restaurants – and now they can have the certificate to prove their skills.

The Academia Española de Jamon (Asejam) is striving to create a qualification for professional ham cutters.

This is following an announcement from the Ministry of Education anticipating that by 2025, over 49% of jobs will require qualified professionals.

“We have always been hindered by not having any academic certificate that recognises our profession,” said Sergio Bellido, Asejam president.

The training will be a five part qualification covering the various phases of ham cutting, including preparation and preservation.

Asejam is currently working with the Spanish government to have this staple of Spanish gastronomy recognised as a national qualification.

Robert De Niro Jamon
Robert DeNiro learning the craft of Ham slicing. Photo: Madrid Fusion

The concept of ham slicing got an international boost earlier this year when Robert DeNiro paid a visit to Madrid.

The 78-year-old was served a show-stopping 16 course menu by Michelin-starred Spanish chefs Quique Dacosta, Carles Tejedor, Joan Roca and Martin Berasategui, as well as Argentinean Mauro Colagreco.

The Taxi Driver star spent more than three hours in the royal suite at Madrid’s newly refurbished Ritz hotel along with partner Tiffany Chen, and had a go at slicing jamon himself under expert tuition.

The picture was printed around the world giving the ‘profession’ a real boost as well as publicising the Madrid Fusion food fair.


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