The knives were out, aprons on and everyone was focused as twenty finalists vied for the prestigious titles of Alto Butcher and Competenz Butcher Apprentice of the Year for 2017.
Butchers vie for national title
James Smith from Pak’n Save Pukekohe was one of ten 2017 Alto Butcher Finalists at the event on Thursday 31 August.
Held at Shed 10, Auckland, he was competing against Alana Empson, from Pak’n Save Clarence St, Hamilton. Alana had humble beginnings at New World, Waiuku, before becoming an internationally recognised butcher last year in the inaugural International Young Butcher of the Year competition.
While neither James nor Alana placed at this year’s competition, the judges say the attention to detail and focus on creativity and cookability from the butchers in this year’s competition was very impressive.
The finalists faced a practical cutting test in which they had just two hours to break down a size 20 chicken, beef sirloin and pork shoulder into a themed display of value added products. They were also presented a mystery cut, a large turkey, to breakdown within the time limit.
This year’s competition was particularly fierce, being the first year that entrants over 30 years were welcomed to enter the Alto Butcher of the Year category, allowing both butchers who are fairly new to the trade, and those with many years of experience to get involved and see how they stacked up against their peers.Since you’re here… we have a small favour to ask. More and more people want the Post than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Post’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. With investigative reporting, we often don't know at the beginning how a story will unfold and how long it might take to uncover. This can mean it is costly – particularly as we often face legal threats that attempt to stop our reporting. But we remain committed to raising important questions and exposing wrongdoing. And we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too. If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as NZ$5, you can support the Post – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Support The Post