NI butchers face off for skills competition

Some of the best butchers in Northern Ireland will be facing-off this September in the final of the Meat Skills Northern Ireland competition.

An original entry of 25 talented craft butchers have been whittled down to just eight, four in the under-22 category, and four in the over-22 class. The ultimate winner in each class will be decided at the Castle Upton Suite at the Hilton Hotel, Templepartrick on 6 September.

The finalists are:

Over-22 category
Declan Robinson, O’Kane Meats, Claudy
Clinton Anthony, Mr Eatwell’s, Omagh
Gregory McGlinchey, Gregory Meats, Ballykelly
Aidan Tierney, Swifts Supervalu, Lisnaskea

Under-22 category
Aaron Rutledge, Mr Eatwell’s, Omagh
Michael Corbett, McAufield Butchers, Belfast
Rudi Skester, Stewarts Family Butchers, Enniskillen
Frazer Orr, Noel Angus, Greyabbey

Finalists will each be provided with a two-metre stainless steel work table, cutting board, and a 1.33m refrigerated display cabinet. A mincer and electrically powered slicer will also be available for communal use. Meat for the finalists is being provided by sponsor the Northern Ireland Meat Exporters Association and the event is also being supported by The Meat Training Council Fund.

In addition to the Skills Finals there will also be a Speciality Sausage Competition for craft butchers and up to 15 trade stands located around the set up in the Castle Upton Suite.

Meat Skills Northern Ireland is being organised by Scottish Meat Training (SMT), and is the first such event in the province for around 10 years.