Carlos Sánchez (Barcelona, ​​1981) is the same man before Barack Obama as he was before the clients of the butcher shop he ran together with his brother in Burgos, when he was not yet the ham cutter for Hollywood stars. He is, he says proudly, the butcher who has brought Iberico ham and its cut to the highest sphere in the United States, where he practically spends his days from event to event.

There he works, side by side, with another great ambassador of Spain, chef José Andrés, who was able to see in him the talent to dazzle the American public in his restaurants. “The show is important,” he says without complexes, with a ‘hipster’ aesthetic that he accompanies with a suit, black vinyl glove and perfect tie knot.

All this is compatible with knowing where he comes from and never forgetting that he is the son of Juli Gonzalo, his mother. “I called her excited minutes after Obama shook my hand and said, ‘Very well, but when are you coming back, son?'” she says with a smile.

He fights every day for his job to be as important as that of any other actor in the hedonistic gastronomy scene. “Our profession is not recognized. There is no job title. In the US there is more respect for the ham slicer than in Spain », he laments. Since he left the Burgos butcher shop – there he trained until exhaustion to achieve perfection in the cut – his life has been a carousel of emotions.

“The ham makes people happy”, he boasts as co-artificer of that atmosphere along with a product that he reads and interprets at the stroke of a knife. “I like the legs of the females, with an infiltration and a good coat of fat,” he explains about his preferences.

However, live the luck of the matador. “When you arrive at an event you don’t know what you’re going to cut or how it’s going to look. You have to know how to work with what you have, like a bullfighter when he jumps into the ring », he exemplifies. Theirs has a lot to do with art and culture. In his work visa it states: ‘artist’, reads the document. «Every time I pass a control I have to spend half an hour explaining what I do. One day, tired of doing it and in a hurry, taking advantage of the fact that it says ‘artist’ on my visa, I said I was a porn actor and they let me pass without a problem, “he recalls among a thousand anecdotes, as many as he has traveled around the world. “Traveling with knives doesn’t help either. My suitcase is almost always searched », he says.

Because the ham mini-tapas -his personal hallmark in terms of the shape of the cut, small and in one bite- have passed through the palates of kings -the Queen of England, the Kings of Spain or Don Juan Carlos-, of presidents of the Government , and celebrities of all kinds and conditions: soccer players -he will cut ham in the Champions League final, in Paris-; actors and directors – De Niro, Kevin Bacon, Steven Spielberg, etc.-; or musicians.

It was precisely after working for Raimundo Amador that the doors of entertainment were opened to him, first here through word of mouth and after the 2019 Oscars gala, in which he served thousands of his mini-tapas, in the US. “I never imagined that I would have Spielberg recording shots with his phone while cutting ham,” he highlights. The Iberian equals humans: well cut almost always produces a guttural smile.