World Butchers’ Challenge Team GB announced

The six butchers representing Great Britain in the World Butchers’ Challenge have been unveiled. 

The competition, formerly known as the Tri-Nations challenge, will see some of the finest butchers from Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and, for the first time, France compete to be crowned the overall champions.

Returning representatives from Great Britain have been named as Tom Wood from Huntley’s Country Stores in Preston, Gary Raeburn of Forbes Raeburn in Aberdeenshire and Maurice Stephenson from Nigel Fredericks in London, who all competed in 2015 in New Zealand, with Danny Upson managing the team.  

“It was hard work last year," Wood, who is also the team's vice-captain, told Meat Trades Journal. "Obviously we raised the bar tenfold as a whole team, so to try and better ourselves is going to be even harder."

Although there will be an added country fighting for the title, Wood isn’t fazed. “France is in it this year, so the more competition the better. All you can do is push yourself and better yourself and your skills.

“After last year’s success we know what needs tweaking and where the minor faults were. We need to make sure we’re 110% switched on.”

Joining the team this year are: Michael Dufton from Knitsley Farm Shop in Durham, Damon Buckingham from Black Barn Butchers in Surrey and Gary Simpson from G Simpson Butchers in Lincolnshire.

The four participating teams will have three hours to showcase their butchery skills, innovation and presentation.

This year’s competition will take place in Queensland, Australia, in September. 

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