UK young butchers build international kudos

Despite suffering set-backs early in the competition, the UK team gave its best-ever performance in the International Young Butcher Competition, held in Bazenheid, Switzerland.

Ryan Healy from Riley’s Butchers near Burnley and Matthew Edwards of Vaughan Family Butchers in Penyffordd near Chester came back strongly after a terrine was scorched and a pasty stuck to its dish in the first round.

Despite the difficult start, National Federation of Meat and Food Traders (NFMFT) CEO Roger Kelsey said: “The two turned in an incredible overall performance, particularly in the seam butchery, which was always going to be our weakest category.”

The competition followed months of hard work, with Healy and Edwards training hard under the guidance of RAPS (UK) representative Viv Harvey at Leeds City College, and support from the NFMFT and sponsors Bpex, Dalziel, Eblex, the Institute of Meat, the Meat Training Council, Weddel Swift and the Worshipful Company of Butchers.

NFMFT national president John Mettrick said: “We are obviously still improving and, had they not had a few setbacks, they would have done even better. We are making progress, it’s difficult to compete with a Continental style of butchery that they aren’t used to, so congratulations to the young lads for doing so well.”

Mettrick also said a number of people deserved credit for the time and effort they put into the project, including Roger Kelsey, whom he said drove 1,600 miles around Europe for the event.

The NFMFT said this year’s contest was one of the most fiercely contested for years. It was won by Nathan Burggraaf from the Netherlands, while the team prize was won by the Netherlands for a fourth year in a row, with host nation Switzerland coming in second, and Germany third.

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