The knives are out: Young Butcher excels in the Waikato

Competition proved fierce as Waikato butchers entered in the Alto Young Butcher and Competenz Butcher Apprentice of the Year went head to head to take out a regional title yesterday.

Proving to the judges they were a cut above the rest, Amy Jones from New World Taumarunui won the Alto Young Butcher category and the Competenz Butcher Apprentice winner was Simon Rush from New World Glenview.

Given two hours to complete a practical cutting test, each entrant was required to showcase their knife skills transforming a No. 20 chicken, beef sirloin and pork shoulder into value-added products.

Simon and Amy will now go on to compete in the Grand Final held in Auckland where their skills will be tested against the other regional winners, with an international study tour up for grabs.

Simon in action
The Waikato’s new Competenz Butcher of the Year, Simon Rush, in action.

This is Simon’s second time competing and he is leaving no stone unturned ahead of the Grand Final.

“I’ve just finished my apprenticeship last week, so my focus will now be on practicing for August – there’s lots of hard work ahead but I’ll be getting stuck into it,” says Simon.

For Amy, after numerous practices, this was the first time she finished her display in the allocated time so she’s naturally nervous for the next stage of the competition.

“I have plenty of work to do to ensure I’m fully on my game but in saying that, I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved today,” says Amy.

The Alto Young Butcher and Competenz Butcher Apprentice of the Year Grand Final will be held at Shed 10 on August 25, followed by a black tie dinner where the winners of the competition will be announced.

The competition is supported by Alto Packaging, Competenz, Alliance Group, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Dunninghams, Hellers, Kerry Ingredients, New Zealand Pork, Wilson Hellaby and Tegel.

The dates for the remaining regional are as follows:

  • Upper North Island – Saturday 2 & Sunday 3 July

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