Trainee chefs receive hands-on learning from top butchers

WH Frost Butchers of Manchester and meat wholesaler Hartshead Meats of Lancashire, both Q Guild members, teamed up to deliver an educational programme to catering students. 

The pupils, who came from Trafford College in Altrincham, were provided with a fact-finding visit to Hartshead abattoir and meat facility in Mossley, Ashton-under-Lyne.

Hartshead Meats is Frost’s main suppliers of beef and lamb and has been supplying Trafford College for the past two years.

A group of 10 students from the college visited Hartshead Meats for a full day, where they viewed live cattle in the lairage, before they moved into the abattoir to see how they were humanely dispatched.

“They were in awe and absolutely loved the information we provided,” commented Lee Frost of WH Frost. “We also explained about the different grades of meat and the qualities they should be looking for in beef, such as texture and marbling.

“In addition, we showed them some really nice Continental-cross lambs, and again explained the production process and what they should be looking for in terms of quality, finishing off the day with a Q&A session.

“Forward-looking business education initiatives such as these are imperative. These students are the chefs of our future and it is vital that they understand as much as possible about our industry sector from a young age.”

He said the students were also able to gain an understanding into where meat is sourced. “It was a masterclass in farm-to-fork butchery and they absolutely loved it.”

Richard Mullaney of Hartshead Meats said he couldn’t agree more. “This forward-looking hands-on exercise provided an excellent opportunity for real-life learning for the Trafford College catering students.

“It is so important that our children and young people understand where their food is sourced and how it is processed and prepared before purchase. We want them to be fully aware of the very real significance of responsible and sustainable farming, coupled with the importance of local sourcing and provenance – issues that remain key in our own business.”

The next learning experience for the students will be a visit to the Frost family’s fourth-generation butcher’s shop, followed by a butchery demonstration at the college, with the hopes of following this with a visit to a local auction mart.

“It is always gratifying to see butcher and corporate members combine with each other,” said Q Guild manager Gordon Newlands. “On this occasion, it is to teach the younger generation about the skills and craftsmanship of the meat industry. We in the Q Guild applaud both members and hope this link goes from strength to strength. Well done both.”

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