ANZCO Foods Young Butchers of NZ squad finalised for Sacramento

Simon Dixon, ANZCO Foods Young Butchers of NZ
Wellington's Island Bay Butchery Simon Dixon, is one of those weilding the knife in the World Champion Young Butcher curtain-raiser.

New Zealand has finalised the ANZCO Foods Young Butchers of NZ Squad that will compete at the World Champion Butcher Apprentice and Young Butcher competitions – the curtain-raiser to the World Butchers’ Challenge in Sacramento next September.

The squad members have been selected based on their performance in the Alto Butcher & ANZCO Foods Butcher Apprentice of the Year competitions – New Zealand’s domestic competition to crown its top butchers.

In the World Champion Butcher Apprentice category (for butchers still enrolled in training with a registered training provider as of 1 March 2020) New Zealand will be represented by Corey White and Cherise Redden who both work at Countdown Meat & Seafood in Otahuhu, Auckland.

For the World Champion Young Butcher competition (butchers aged 30 or under as of 1 March 2020) Simon Dixon (Island Bay Butchery, Wellington) and Brad Gillespie (New World Rototuna, Hamilton) will fly the flag for the Kiwis.

Corey Winder captains the Hellers Sharp Blacks – New Zealand’s butchery team and the pinnacle for any young, aspiring butcher in New Zealand – and was closely involved in the selection of the ANZCO Foods Young Butchers of New Zealand Squad having overseen the judging at this year’s national competition:

“The level of quality at this year’s Alto Butcher & ANZCO Foods Butcher Apprentice of the Year competition was actually breathtaking. The competitors’ skill levels, creativity and overall execution holds not only the Hellers Sharp Blacks, but the whole industry in good stead for the future.”

Once there, young butchers and butcher apprentices from up to sixteen countries will be tasked with slicing up a beef rump on the bone, a side of lamb, a loin of pork and two whole chickens to produce a themed display of value-added products in the pressure-inducing time of just two and a half hours.

A global panel of judges – which will include Alana Empson from Foodstuffs North Island and winner of the 2015 Alto Young Butcher Competition – will then score each display based on strict criteria that includes; knife skills, hygiene, safety, consistency, time management, cookability & saleability as well as style, visual impact and innovation of the display.

Corey Winder added: “The level of competition at Sacramento will be extremely high but I know we have some of the finest young butchers and butcher apprentices in the world who will do us proud.”

The ANZCO Foods Young Butchers of New Zealand Squad is sponsored by ANZCO Foods and Victory Knives. For more information regarding the ANZCO Foods Young Butchers of New Zealand Squad, the Hellers Sharp Blacks or the World Butchers’ Challenge, please head to the Retail Meat New Zealand website.

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