Two teams of Australian butchers will be heading to Belfast next month, to test their skills in the World Butchers’ Challenge.
Competing against teams from 11 nations, Australia will be represented by its national team The Steeler’s in the main event and the Young Aussie Butchers and Apprentices in the junior competition.
NSW is well represented, with three members from the state in each team.
The competition is conducted over three hours and fifteen minutes with teams given a beef side, a side of pork, a full lamb carcass and five chickens as the base ingredients.
Teams are allowed to provide their own seasonings, spices marinades and garnish to create a finished product designed for a modern retail outlet.
Independent judges, one from each country, will judge and score the teams based on butchery skill, workmanship, product innovation, overall finish, presentation and/or display.
Defending their title will be the French, who won the 2016 tournament on their first appearance, beating out the Australians by a single point.
This year teams from Greece, the USA and Italy will also take a tilt at the title.
Australian team ambassador, co-ordinator and lead international judge for the young butcher and apprentice competition, Bob Retallick, said the Australian teams were in with a real chance at reclaiming the title.
“Australia is definitely one of the favourites. I have seen the work they are doing and they have a very good opportunity.”
“France would possibly be equal favourites, but you can’t discount Italy or Germany this year either.”
Mr Retallick said the amount of talent coming through Australia’s junior ranks was very encouraging.
“There is so much talent it was very difficult to get to a final selection for the butchers and apprentices. There is also a great deal of female talent coming through now, and we will be seeing a far greater proportion of female competitors in the future.”
The Australian teams are as follows:
The Australian Steelers
- Adam Stratton (Captain), NSW
- Paul Brady, NSW
- Colin Garrett, NSW
- Nick Dagg, Qld
- Tom Bouchier, Vic
- Luke Leyson, SA
The Young Aussie Butchers
- Joseph Maberley (NSW)
- Jack Stuart (NSW)
- Mitchell Byrnes (NSW)
- Caleb Sundqvist (SA)
- Jimmy Nevill (Vic)
Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, France, Ireland, Germany, Bulgaria, Greece, South Africa, USA, Italy and Brazil.