THE Japanese are well know for their immaculate knife skills when it comes to food, and many chefs have turned food preparation into an art form.

So when two of the country’s best visited Andalucía to try their hand at preparing traditional jamon carving, the culinary world took note.

Satoshi Taguchi and Kota Oguma, winners of the VII Ham Court Competition in Japan, visited Huelva last week to put their skills to the test to learn the proper way to correctly carve an Iberican Jamon leg, before travelling to Cordoba to understand the origins and preparation of Iberian ham.

The two Japanese knife masters were selected from a total of 132 fellow chefs to make the journey across the world to expand their knowledge and return to Japan to spread the word about one of Spain’s largest exports.

The program, in its twelfth year, has been organised by the Ministry of Interior in Japan and the Extenda Program in Andalucía, and was sponsored by various Andalucian jamon firms such as Sánchez Romero Carvajal and Hermanos Rodríguez Barbancho.

Japan is the third largest world economy after the United States and China, and their food market is an important target for the Spanish industry as the far eastern country makes a push for importing sustainable and high quality products.

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