World butchers to battle it out in California

Golden 1 Center World Butchers' Challenge
The Golden 1 Center, venue for the 2020 World Butchers' Challenge.

The World Butchers’ Challenge boldly claims to make rockstars out of butchers and is one step further to doing so after confirming the home for the 2020 competition as Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California – the world’s most technologically advanced and sustainable arena.

Home to the NBA’s Sacramento Kings and host to a who’s who of global superstars including Elton John and Justin Timberlake, this is the first time the arena has set up such a large international food event, let alone one that features 96 competing butchers.

Rod Slater World Butchers Challenge Chairman
Rod Slater.

World Butchers’ Challenge chair, Rod Slater visited the arena late last year and is thrilled with the decision to travel to Sacramento after witnessing what’s in store for the competition come September 2020.

“Not only is this arena visually spectacular, the underpinning principles and programmes it delivers really align with what we’re about – celebrating food and passionate producers. Sacramento is really welcoming us with open arms and I can assure you, the best butchers in the world will put on a show like no other,” said Slater.

“16 teams from across the globe will have three hours to transform a side of beef, a side of pork, a whole lamb and five chickens into a themed display of value-added cuts. Imagine all this taking place in the same amphitheatre as an NBA game or rock concert; this is a world first.”

Likewise, Sacramento Kings chief operating officer Matina Kolokotronis is excited about the prospect of hosting an international food competition of this scale.

“The World Butchers’ Challenge will bring a new, exciting display of creativity, innovation and competition that Sacramento hasn’t seen before,” said Kolokotronis.

“To have such an elite, global competition visit America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital is an honor and we are ready to welcome them here at Golden 1 Center.”

Supporting the event is Visit Sacramento, the city’s tourism board and president and chief executive, Mike Testa is anticipating thousands of visitors to the competition.

“In Sacramento, fresh food is an integral part of our lives, so the opportunity to host an incredible event like the World Butcher Challenge fits with this community and aligns well with our identity as a city,” said Testa.

“Our city is surrounded by more than 1.5 million acres of farm and ranch land and that translates into a passionate community that is truly excited and deliberate about what goes on our plates. We can’t wait for the competitors and fans to experience that enthusiasm for themselves.”

Located in America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, Golden 1 Center puts significant emphasis on catering for the thousands of visitors it welcomes, offering the most innovative food programme – or Farm-to-Court as they call it – in sports entertainment.

Operating a one-of-a-kind, hyper-local food and sustainability programme, they source 90 percent of their ingredients from a 150-mile radius of the arena and this will include the beef, lamb, pork and chicken used during the World Butchers’ Competition.

Building on their sustainable food approach, Golden 1 Center is also the first arena to be awarded LEED Platinum Designation – the highest level of global recognition for environmentally conscious buildings and organisations, including being 100% solar powered.

The World Butchers’ Challenge will be held on 5 September 2020, following the World Champion Butcher Apprentice and Young Butcher competition on the 4th.

Sixteen national teams of six butchers will battle it out in 2020: Canada, Iceland, Mexico and Wales join Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa and US – which all competed in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 2018 – in the playlist. Head judge is Todd Heller from New Zealand, who will be working alongside head technical judge, Trevor Saville of Australia. For the first time this year, the panel of judges will be comprised of one judge per competing country (note: entry numbers are capped at 16). However, judges will not score their own country meaning each team will be judged by a panel of 15, who will be overseen by the Head Judge and Head Technical Judge.

To register your interest in attending please visit

Take a look at the video below to find out more about the Challenge and the Golden 1 Center.


For more information on the competition, including the full history and team bios, visit


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