Welsh youngsters face Winter Fair challenge

Four young stars will be going head to head at the Welsh Young Butcher Competition 2012, which takes place today at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair in Builth Wells.

Taking part will be last year’s runner-up Llyr James, 18, from Morgans of Aberystwyth, who will be up against last year’s finalists Jason Watson, 21, of J Williams and Son, Llandrindod Wells, and Tomi Jones, 22, of Jones’ Butchers, Llangollen.

The fourth contestant will be Mathew Edwards, 20, who works for Jones and will be competing against his boss in the national competition.
The four butchers will be given two hours to produce cuts of their choice from a brisket of Celtic Pride Welsh Beef on the bone, a saddle of Welsh Lamb, a whole chicken and a shoulder of Celtic Pride Welsh Pork. The cuts must maximise the saleability and value of the meat.
A panel of experienced judges will be looking for creative ideas, cutting and display techniques, added value, food safety and hygiene, maximum carcase yield and skills content.
The judges are Tomos Hopkins, from Gwyrhyd Mountain Meat, Rhiwfawr, near Swansea, who won the contest for the third year in a row in 2011 and Steve Williams and Colin Harries from Castell Howell.
Apart from the prestige of becoming national champion, the winner will collect £200 in prize money and a trophy. The three runners-up will receive £100, £50 and £25 respectively.
The competition is organised by Welshpool-based Cambrian Training Company, recently named Apprenticeship Training Provider of the Year in Wales, and sponsors are Castell Howell, Hybu Cig Cymru and Pearson.
Cambrian Training Company’s managing director Arwyn Watkins said: “We are delighted with the quality of entries again this year, which augurs well for a keenly contested final.
“Ultimately, our aim is to develop world-class skills in Wales, so that our talented young butchers can compete with the best at an international level.”

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