A black tie dinner with an unusual twist was held last Friday at the Auckland Viaduct Events Centre, as the most talented up and coming young butchers fought it out to be crowned Alto Young Butcher of the Year.
Timmy Watson of Allenton Meat Centre in Ashburton came out top, winning a study tour around Europe next year. The champion was elated: "Being part of such a prestigious industry event, and even better winning, has just confirmed I am on the right path to one day having my own store".
Joining Timmy on the tour is Competenz Butcher Apprentice of the Year winner Luka Young, from PAK'nSAVE Lincoln Road in Auckland.
The prestigious competition has been running for over twenty years, and begins with regional competitions (held in June) that put young butchers through their paces in the form of practical exams, a written test and an interview.
The winning young butchers and apprentices from each region then go into the grand final, where they have to undergo the same tests that got them here, plus perform tasks on stage. This year the live element involved breaking down and displaying a size No.20 chicken, beef rump, pork loin and a mystery cut, which was duck, within a 90 minute period.