Introducing Bryce Lawson

With 2018 on our doorstep, the World Butchers’ Challenge will be heading to Northern Ireland in just over three months. 

Ahead of the biggest competition yet, which will see teams from 12 countries compete, Meat Trades Journal, caught up with Team GB. 

New to the British Beefeaters for next year’s challenge is Bryce Lawson (pictured, centre), of McMurchie Meats in Sunderland. 

Coming from a family of butchers, he’s hoping this in-depth knowledge will assist in his home nation raising the trophy for the first time.

What inspired you to become a butcher?

My father was a butcher and I used to help him every Saturday. This is where I found my passion for being a butcher.

How long have you been butchering for?

I started when I was 12, so 18 years.

Where was your first butchery job?

In my father’s butcher’s shop in Chilton, Country Durham.

Who is your butchery idol?

Tom Kerridge: I love the enthusiasm the guy has towards the whole food trade and he has a lot of time for supporting local butchers, fishmongers and traders alike.

Have you got a butchery protégé?

I did have a younger protégé whom I trained from leaving school and he was really good. However, he was more interested in the cooking side of things and he now works in our bakery cook house and loves every minute of it.

Beef, lamb, pork or chicken?

Simple, lamb! Just because I love working with it. It’s the most delicate of all the meats and looks great when finished right.

What is your dream goal to achieve in the butchery industry?

Winning the World Butchers’ Challenge in Belfast 2018 with Team GB!

What unique quality are you going to bring to the World Butchers’ Challenge?

I’m hoping to bring great butchery skills that will show in every single product I make.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

The International Young Butchers’ Challenge was the best part of my career up to now. However, I think the World Butchers’ Challenge will top it.

What is your favourite added-value product to make?

It has to be the stuffed sirloin bomb. I cut a thin slice of sirloin and I stuff it with homemade pâté wrapped around a pan-fried mushroom, then wrap it in cured lard.

If you weren’t a butcher, what would you be?

I would be a chef, as I have an interest in cooking.

What’s the most unusual meat you’ve eaten?

Ostrich.

What advice would you give to young people wanting to get into the industry?

Make sure you love cooking, because the trade is changing all the time and it’s not just about cutting meat any more; customers are looking for cooking tips and what to eat with what in this day and age.

Who is going to be your biggest competition in the World Butchers’ Challenge?

France, as they currently hold the trophy.

What is the best thing about being a butcher?

For me, it’s the early starts, setting all the window displays. I never get bored of it. 

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