World Butchers’ Challenge targets young talent

By Aaron McDonald

- Last updated on GMT

New Zealand's Hohepa Smith said World Butchers' Challenge helped him travel the world
New Zealand's Hohepa Smith said World Butchers' Challenge helped him travel the world

Related tags: World butchers, Butcher

Countries competing in next year’s World Butchers’ Challenge are now being given another chance to battle it out on the global stage.

Each country has the opportunity to enter representatives into one of two categories in the 2018 World Butchers’ Young Butcher and Apprentice Challenge. The additional competitions are designed for upcoming talent to showcase their skills, with the potential to open doors to represent their country on the World Butchers’ Challenge stage later on in their career.

To represent their country in the Young Butcher category, the butchers must be under the age of 31 as of 1 January 2018. While there is no age limit on the Apprentice Challenge, the potential entrants must be enrolled with a registered training provider as of 30 September 2017.

The World Butchers’ Young Butcher and Apprentice Challenge were introduced in last year’s World Butchers’ Challenge​, which saw Hohepa Smith of New Zealand win the latter. He commented that his success helped boost his career and opened several doors for him.

Competition helped winner travel the world

After winning the competition I was approached by a company on the Gold Coast and I relocated to Australia as a butchery manager, a move that has provided me with new challenges and the opportunity to absorb as much skill as I can from the trade here,​” he said.

Once I’d moved to the Gold Coast, I received a call from the Pure South Sharp Black selectors, asking me to be a part of the team heading to Ireland. So really, I have the best of both worlds; I’m able to learn in a new country, but still come home to join fellow Kiwis and represent my country in something I’m hugely passionate about.​”

The butchers competing in the challenges will follow a similar structure to the World Butchers’ Challenge​ main event, where they will have two hours to create a world-class display from three cuts of meat. However, unlike the World Butchers’ Challenge, this is an individual competition and not a team event.

They will be judged on personal presentation, technical skills, cookability of products, display presentations and overall innovation with their display.

Heats will be run to determine which butchers will compete in the Grand Final​ at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast, Ireland, on 20 March 2018.

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