NZ’s best young butchers battle for 2016 retail meat crowns

Justin Hinchco in action at the 2015 Alto Young Butcher of the Year competition.

Ten of the best young butchers from around the country have made their way to Auckland to compete in the one of the biggest events on the New Zealand retail meat industry calendar this evening.

Tonight’s Alto Young Butcher and Competenz Butcher Apprentice of the Year Grand Final will see five of the nations’ top butcher apprentices and five fully qualified young butchers, aged under 30, battling it out for the winning retail meat title.

After four highly competitive regionals, the 10 finalists have their sights set on the grand prize of an international study tour; the winner of which will be determined by a series of tasks this evening.

During the main event, the butchers will have to transform a No.20 chicken, a beef sirloin and a pork shoulder into a display of value-added products. The finalists must also complete a written exam, interview and those in the Alto Young Butcher category are required to perform an on-stage challenge.

Head judge, Matt Grimes says the competition provides a huge opportunity for the young butchers and has the potential to open doors if they are successful.

“Tonight Shed 10 will be full of the top guys in the industry who are seriously looking at what these butchers bring to the table and it’s not just limited to those who win the overall prize,” says Grimes.

“At the end of the day, our 10 finalists are the best in the country and I can guarantee managers and owners will be looking at how they conduct themselves and what they present. Past finalists of this competition have gone on to do great things.”

The Grand Final will be held at Shed 10 and will be followed by a black tie dinner where the winners of the competition will be announced.

Competenz Butcher Apprentice of the Year contender, Ben Henry competing at the 2015 competition.
Competenz Butcher Apprentice of the Year contender, Ben Henry, competing at the 2015 competition.

The 2016 Alto Young Butcher finalists are:

  • Josh Flavell from New World Greymouth
  • Justin Hinchco from New World Havelock North
  • Amy Jones from New World Taumarunui
  • Dan Klink from Mangawhai Meat Shop
  • Anthony Ross from from PAK’nSAVE Rangiora

The Competenz Butcher Apprentices are:

  • Ben Henry from New World City Centre, Dunedin
  • Ben Nelson from Aussie Butcher New Lynn
  • Dylan Ohlson from New World Rangiora
  • Simon Rush from New World Glenview
  • Mathew Wilson from Write Price Food Barn, Levin

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

Good luck to all the competitors.

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