Meet New Zealand’s best young butchers

The top five young butchers and five butcher apprentices from around the country have been found in the hunt for New Zealand’s best young butcher for 2010.

After competing in regional finals around the country, the finalists will compete at the Grand Final in Auckland on 24 August. With a past winner and a past runner up in the mix, the competition will be fierce for the prestigious title of Alto Young Butcher of the Year.

The inaugural RMITO Butcher Apprentice of the Year category is also proving a tight competition, with the regional winners fighting off more than 30 entrants across the nation.

The finalists are:

Alto Young Butcher of the Year

  • Alesha Ross, New World Victoria Park, Auckland (past runner up)
  • Calum Sutherland, New World Westend, Rotorua (past winner)
  • Kym Whale, Preston’s Master Butchers, Wellington
  • James Brears, Fendalton New World, Christchurch
  • Robert Holdaway, New World Centre City, Dunedin

RMITO Butcher Apprentice of the Year

  • Alana Empson, New World Waiuku, Auckland
  • Damien Hanley, New World Hillcrest, Hamilton
  • Shea Demanser, Bay Cuisine, Napier
  • Steven Watts, Ellesmere Butchery, Leeston
  • Rueben O’Connell, New World Alexandra, Alexandra

It’s interesting to note that several of the finalists are women, and that seven of the ten finalists come from New World supermarkets.

The grand final competition involves the following:

  • A question paper – 80 marks
  • An Interview – 40 marks.
  • A practical – 400 marks.
  • An on-stage quiz  – 40 marks  (for the Alto Young Butcher of the Year contestants only.)

Image: Courtesy of Dominion Post, by Andrew Gorrie

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