Southern Butchers Among the Best in the Country
Southern Butchers Among the Best in the Country
Cherise Redden from PAKn’SAVE Glen Innes has won the prestigious Pact Packaging Young Butcher of the Year title. Isaac Webster from New World Gardens, Dunedin was crowned ANZCO Foods Butcher Apprentice of the Year at the National Butchery Awards which took place today at the Vodafone Events Centre, in Auckland. No Egos Amigos took out the first ever teams’ challenge at the Pure South Master Butcher Teams Challenge.
Finalists were chosen throughout June and July following five tightly fought regional competitions in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, involving over 40 competitors. The six young butchers and six apprentices in the two categories went head-to-head today in a spectacular battle of the butchers that saw knives flashing, bandsaws humming and mincers grinding.
The two-hour cutting test required competitors to keep their nerve and showcase their expertise in front of a team of eight judges. Both the Pact Packaging Young Butcher of the Year competitors and the ANZCO Foods Butcher Apprentices put their boning, trimming, slicing and dicing skills to the test as they broke down a size 20 chicken, a whole pork leg, and a beef short loin into a display of value-added products as well as a mystery cut of a lamb forequarter.
In addition to this, the apprentices were also expected to complete a 30 question, multiple choice exam and an interview with the judges as part of their route to glory.
With a record number of apprentices taking up the trade this year, the ANZCO Foods Butcher Apprentice category provides an invaluable opportunity for those just starting out in the industry.
Isaac Webster, from New World Gardens, was crowned the ANZCO Foods Butcher Apprentice of the Year. He said determination, focus and support were the keys to his success.
“It has been a two-year journey to get here and compete today. I won my competition in Dunedin last year but due to an injury I was unable to compete, so that makes today even
more amazing. I feel lucky and thankful for everyone who has helped and supported me along the way.”
Head Judge Peter Martin who is the Butchery Training Advisor at Skills4Work in Auckland, says this year’s competition was a real showstopper.
“I’ve been to all the regionals and have seen the passion for the industry and hunger from competitors to make it to the National Butchery Awards. Once again, I saw that passion – and the skills they possess – shine through tonight. It showed in their displays and made it difficult to decide on a winner. It was a very close competition.”
At the other end of the spectrum was the Pure South Master Butcher Teams Challenge which saw five teams of three qualified master butchers showcase their finely tuned craft with a one and a half hour ‘sprint’ breaking down a whole lamb and a beef hindquarter. This first ever teams challenge was the chance for the masters of the industry to throw around a bit of butcher banter and put their teamwork to the test, as they worked together to create the most elaborate display.
The winning team, Marty Hiki, David Anthony Parsons and Haane Rudolph, took out the Pure South Master Butcher Teams Challenge and owed their success to pulling together, and working as a team.
Team Captain, Marty Hiki said “We work in a job where we train apprentices, and to see us achieve this, and to pass that on to our apprentices means a lot. I am very proud of our team and want to congratulate all the other competitors today. This is a celebration of the talent within our industry and is something we can all be proud of”.
Alongside industry and peer recognition, the winning Pact Packaging Young Butcher receives a coveted trophy plus the choice of either an all-expenses paid butchery study tour or a $4,000 cash prize. The ANZCO Foods Butcher Apprentice of the Year also receives a trophy plus the choice of either an all-expenses paid butchery study tour or a $3,000 cash prize. The butchery store they work for also receives a $1,000 cash prize.
The winning Pure South Master Butcher team will receive the inaugural competition trophy plus $1200 for the team and a knife set each.
The competition is proudly sponsored by Pact Packaging, ANZCO Foods, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Competenz, Dunninghams, Hellers, Tegel, Wilson Hellaby, Victorinox, Cabernet Foods, NZ Pork and Pure South.
Pact Packaging Young Butcher of the Year finalists:
· Brad Gillespie – New World Rototuna, Hamilton
· Justin Hinchco – Foodstuff North Island, Hastings
· Cherise Redden - PAK'nSAVE Glen Innes, Auckland
· Corey White – Neat Meat, Auckland
· Luka Young - PAK'nSAVE Kaitaia, Northland
· Samantha Weller – PAK'nSAVE Rangiora, Christchurch
ANZCO Foods Butcher Apprentice of the Year finalists:
· James Beattie – PAK'nSAVE Te Awamutu
· Nick Johnston – PAK'nSAVE Pukekohe, Auckland
· Janine Crothers – PAK'nSAVE Hawera
· Maria Pio – PAK'nSAVE Rangiora, Canterbury
· Isaac Webster – New World Gardens, Dunedin
· Anton Rameka – New World Regent, Whangarei
Pure South Master Butcher Teams Challenge:
· Housewives Heartbreakers, Auckland Reuben Sharples, Aussie Butcher New Lynn Dan Klink, Mangawhai Meats Ben Nelson, Aussie Butcher New Lynn
· Regents Clever Cleavers, Whangarei Jared Mcleod, New World Regent Storm Apiata, New World Regent Dion Puncheon, New World Regent
· Nga Kaitoki, Auckland Riki Kerekere, Hilton Foods NZ Steve Clark, Brinks Chicken Doug Kahi, Countdown Meat & Seafood
· Doubros, Southland Daniel Butler, Riversdale Meats Jayson Cavenagh, Riversdale Meats Jason McDowell, New World Gore
· No Egos Amigos, Auckland Marty Hiki, Skills4Work
David Anthony Parsons, Service Foods Haane Rudolph, Tikipunga Fresh
The Pact Packaging Young Butcher and ANZCO Foods Butcher Apprentice of the Year is a prestigious event well regarded by the retail meat trade with the titles highly sought after. The competition has been running for over two decades and begins with five regional competitions where entrants showcase their knife skills during a practical cutting test. The PACT Packaging Young Butcher category of the competition is open to fully qualified butchers aged 35 years and under, those who are currently completing an apprenticeship fall under the ANZCO Foods Butcher Apprentice category.
There are six finalists in each category at the grand final. The first five will be the winners from each of the regionals. The remaining finalists will be taken from the overall top marks across the nation.
The Pure South Master Butcher Teams Challenge is a brand-new event and the first-ever teams event at the National Butchery Awards. Contestants will be required to not only put their knife skills to the test but also their team skills. This competition is reserved for those who have great skill and proficiency in the craft of butchery, giving our masters a really challenging playing field in the search to find the country’s top team of master butchers. There are five teams of three qualified butchers, doing a one and a half hour ‘sprint’ breaking down a whole lamb and beef hindquarter which will be hanging from meat stands. There are little rules with this competition and teams are encouraged to be creative and elaborate with their displays.
This competition does not have a regional component and is run in conjunction with the Pact Packaging Young Butcher and ANZCO Foods Butcher Apprentice of the Year Grand Final.