Jose Sol, originally from Madrid, but now based in Marlborough, will be carving a special selection of Jamón Ibérico 100% acorn-fed Alta Expresión, Vintage 2018, at the Jardin Blanc garden-themed dining room at the Chelsea Flower Show. Jose commented, “I did a tasting for Raymond Blanc and he was really happy with my presentation and invited me to take part in his dining experience at Chelsea Flower Show.”
Sol, a father-of-two, is an expert in 100% acorn-fed Iberian ham and prides himself on his renowned hospitality events around the world, where he educates guests on cuts of the cured meat before tasting it. Slicing jamón is a skilled trade, reserved only for professionals.
Sol has been lucky enough to train and meet celebrities including Gordon Ramsey, Marco Pierre White, and Eric Lanlard. He has organised VIP events attended by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Brad Pitt, Quentin Tarantino, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Clients include The Queen, Hollywood celebrities, and Liverpool and Manchester Football Clubs.
“The best way to sell jamón is by creating a “Jamón Culture”, which means, talking about the product to people, promoting the excellent quality of the ingredients (oleic acids and omegas), how to consume it, how to keep it and what to pair it with,” he said.
There are few luxury events where you will not find jamón ibérico, which is considered an exclusive and niche product, a ‘gastronomic jewel’ alongside caviar and truffles,” said Sol. ‘I have carved jamón at some of the most exclusive events in the world, and I am lucky enough to have met some amazing people. They are always fascinated when I get my carving knives out and want to try themselves, but it is not as easy as it looks.
Carving jamón well is crucial, but it’s also important for staff to know what jamón they are selling, how to look after it and how to make a profit from it, where it is sourced and how to buy it from the best suppliers in Spain.”
With a background in marketing, Sol originally moved to the UK to become the sales manager of a Spanish ham company. He became so interested in the product, he decided to branch out into the hospitality industry and set up his own company in 2011.
Talking about his best experiences since setting up his business, Sol recalled working in the Royal enclosure at Royal Ascotraces. “The first time I was carving jamón in the Royal enclosure at Ascot was very special to me. Having my product at that event next to the Queen and the Royal family was a dream. One day I hope to host an event at Buckingham Palace.”