The two-hour butchery competition took place in Wellington, which saw the Australian Steelers take on the New Zealand Pure South Sharp Blacks, after losing to the Kiwi team in the last three competitions.
Adam Stratton, team captain for the Steelers, said the key to their success was working as a team. “At the end of the day, our win came down to our preparation and the way in which our guys worked as a team,” he told GlobalMeatNews.
“We’ve got so much talent on board but the focus was still ensuring we worked together to achieve the best result and I think that showed on the day. This win has set us up for the big competition in March [World Butchers’ Challenge] and I’m excited for what lies ahead.”
The teams were tasked with turning a selection of beef, pork and lamb cuts into value-added products within the two-hour period.
Head judge and founder of Hellers Butchers, Todd Heller, praised the teams for their high level of skill.
“These talented butchers are using innovation and creating products that we’ve never seen before; the fact the competition is so fierce forces these guys to push the boundaries and test their creativity,” he said.
The Trans-Tasman competition was the first time the current line-up of the Pure South Sharp Blacks competed. “The Australian side featured some hugely talented butchers and I give them total credit for what they achieved,” said team captain Corey Winder. “The bar has been set extremely high as we look towards our next event, but as Kiwis, I know we’ll rise to the challenge.”
The competition comes ahead of the World Butchers’ Challenge, taking place in Belfast in March 2018. The competition is set to be the biggest yet, with teams from Bulgaria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain, South Africa and the USA all hoping to take on the teams from Down Under. France won the title in 2016 in its inaugural competition.