Canada Joins the Competition

I think you’ll agree with me when I say the greatest butchery event in the world is happening in Sacramento, California, in 2020.

Here’s how the World Butchers Challenge began:

It started in 2011 when New Zealand took on Australia. From there, the event grew, with England joining the butcher battle in 2013.

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 the World Butchers Challenge look like?

The competition happens over a three hour and fifteen minute period. Competing teams are given a side of beef, a 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

In September 2019, 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 the skills of their homeland.

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.

team canada group oimp

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!

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