Seven to vie for Premier Young Butcher title

Seven of the UK’s top young butchers will be taking to the stage to compete for the title of Premier Young Butcher 2015, up from the previous year’s six.

Organised by the National Federation of Meat and Food Traders (NFMFT), the competition saw record numbers of entries, but the field has now been whittled down to just seven young candidates who will compete at Stoneleigh on 30 June.

The seven candidates are: Lucy Crawshaw of Taylors Farm Shop in Lancashire; George Clapham of Far Barsey Farm Shop near Halifax in Yorkshire; Tara Davies of Gog Magog Farm Shop near Cambridge; Ryan Douglas of Carnivore Foods in Sidcup, Kent; Matthew Lewis of Blacker Hall Farm Shop in Wakefield, Yorkshire; Lewis Perry of Packington Moor Farm Shop near Lichfield; and Joe Smith, working for Lishman’s of Ilkley in North Yorkshire.

The competition is open to 18- to 23-year-old butchers who are judged for products across six categories as well as for good working practices, innovation and skill. The competition is carried out under time pressure, with competitors given around five hours to prepare their products.

Last year’s competition saw Chris Riley, 22, of Walter Smith, walk away with the trophy after winning four out of six categories, which included: Display, Ready to Eat, Stuffed Roast, Seam Butchery, Barbecue and Kitchen-Ready Products.

Roger Kelsey, chief executive of the NFMFT, said: “We’re delighted to have so many young talented butchers taking part in our Premier Young Butcher Competition. It’s also great to see some young women in the mix, showing that butchery is a career for all, and no longer the preserve of men.

“We’re looking forward to an exciting competition and I’d like to wish all our young butchers the very best of luck on the day.”

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