The Economic and Commercial Office of the Spanish Embassy in Beijing is preparing for a very special event on November 30th: its 2nd annual ham-cutting contest. The event will be held at the InterContinental Hotel – Beijing Financial Street, a 5-star venue in the city’s financial district. The event is expected to draw quite a crowd, including chefs from top restaurants in Beijing, while the panel of judges will comprise a selection of leading figures on the city’s gastronomic scene.

What does the contest entail exactly? Participants will have two chances to display their expert cutting skills, after which they will have to prepare a simple ham dish in under 20 minutes. The jury will make the final decision. People attending the event will be invited to samples of Ibérico ham and will be able to taste Spanish wines offered by Chinese importers.

This event is part of Spain’s China Plan, the main goal of which is to promote Spanish food products. China is an important market for Spain: food and beverage exports amounted to 168 million euros in the first six months of 2011, i.e. up 125% compared with 2010.