Young butchers enter final training

A crack team of young butchers are training hard in a bid to beat off stiff competition from around the world next month.

The UK team is carrying out final training ahead of the International Young Butchers Competition which takes place at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, on 21 June.

Its third and final training exercise takes place next week (17-18 May) at Leeds City College (Thomas Danby Campus) under the watchful eye of NFMFT chief executive Roger Kelsey, and trainer Viv Harvey, before the competition finals in June.

Michael Whitfield who was part of the UK entry at IFFA in 2010 will also be on hand, along with the tutors and staff at the college to give assistance to the UK hopefuls in the final stages.

Over the two days, the three team members, Matthew Hill (20), Bryce Lawson (23), and Matthew Gothard (20) will cover the six disciplines required in the competition which will include boning, ‘rough cutting and fine trimming’ a hip of beef, the preparation of a stuffed bacon joint and being required to prepare and display grill and BBQ items with beef, pork and chicken. The preparation of pork and beef roasts and then finally being required to make a pie, is also part of a demanding schedule.

Other teams in the competition include entrants from France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

Each contestant will be competing both as a team member and as an individual for the title of International Young Butcher 2011. And they will not only need to prove their capability, but prove that their butchery is the best in Europe. Tom Taylor the chief executive of AHDB, will present the prizes at a special BBQ which follows the event.

Kelsey said: “The three young men involved will be carrying the hopes of the UK retail butchers’ trade in this prestigious competition and we have very high hopes that they will do well. I very much hope that as many people as possible will attend the competition arena to give them solid support.”