Canada Joins the Competition
I think you’ll agree with me when I say the greatest butchery event in the world is happening next year in Sacramento, California. Here’s how this industry event began, in 2011 New Zealand took on Australia. From there, the event grew, with England joining the butcher battle in 2013. Next year, 2020 marks a big step forward with the addition of Canada, Mexico, Iceland and Wales, bringing the tally up to 16 teams. The competition proudly fosters a network for learning, sharing and believing in the greater good for the meat industry.
What will it look like? Comprising of a three hour and fifteen-minute trial where competing teams are given a side of beef, side of pork, a whole lamb and five chickens which they must then “transform into a themed display of value-added products.” Independent judges score each team based on technique and skill, workmanship, product innovation, overall finish, and presentation. It is intense!
Ontario’s Finest Butcher Joins the Team
Back in September, the final round of Ontario’s Finest Butcher competition took place. The prize was the honour of the last spot on Team Canada’s World Butcher Team. With ten competitors from across the province given 30 minutes to transform a fresh pork bone-in leg, bone-in butt, and bone-in loin, into display ready cuts.
The competitors were judged on the degree of difficulty, their skill/efficiency level in boning, trimming and cutting, primal cut utilization and financial performance.
With some fierce competition facing off in the final round of three butchers were selected, Brent Herrington of Herrington’s, Doug Easterbrook of Townsend Butchers and Steve Toms of Fortinos. This past October, all finalists were given 30 minutes to prepare 2 chickens, a leg of lamb and a beef rib to prepare beautiful merchandisable items that would be judged. The judges scores combined with attendee’s votes determined that Brent was the winner!!
Halenda’s and The Meat Depot, a Proud Sponsor of the Team
At the gala that evening, Richard Halenda committed to sponsoring Team Canada with a generous combined donation from The Meat Depot and Halenda’s The Meat People of $32,000! Richard has always felt that supporting the industry and shining a light on fellow butchers who share his passion for the art is so important. Events like the World Butchers Challenge allow butchers from all around the world to meet and share in the skills of their homeland.
Next year, Team Canada will head to Sacramento to compete in September 2020 and they will share with the world their skills, techniques and appreciation for the art of butchery.
Let’s Meat the Team!
Peter Baarda (Burlington, ON) – J&G Quality Meats
Aaron McLaughlin (Didsbury, AB) – Olds College
Brent Herrington (Port Perry, ON) – Herrington’s Quality Butchers
Corey Meyer (Edmonton, AB) – ACME Meat Market
Damian Goriup (Oakville, ON) – Florence Meats
Dave Vander Velde – (Stoney Creek, ON) – VG Meats
Elyse Chatterton (Edmonton, AB)
Taryn Lee Barker (Port Moody, BC) – The Little Butcher
More news and updates to follow as the team gets ready to compete in the new year! Congrats to everyone participating!