Former performing arts student wins Welsh Young Butcher
A performing arts student who dropped out of university to launch a career as a butcher found himself in the spotlight at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair in Builth Well on Monday.
Sam Hughes, 22, from Brian Crane Butchers, Caerphilly, won the Welsh Young Butcher competition on his debut.
Runner up was Joseph Gibbs, 21, from Cardiff and third was Dewi Davies, 19, from Narberth.
“It was a bit nerve-wracking and my hands wouldn’t stop shaking for the first hour,” confessed Sam, an apprentice with Cambrian Training Company. “The second hour was much better and I couldn’t stop smiling when my name was announced as the winner of the Welsh Young Butcher competition.
“I was happily surprised to win and it’s a big confidence boost. Even though I have only been a butcher for 18 months, this shows that I am good enough to win competitions and I now have a trophy to show customers.
“I dropped out of university in Cardiff to get a full-time job and I think I have done myself proud.”
Sam followed the morning competition by finishing joint third in the Welsh Pork Butcher contest, which was open to butchers of all ages, in the afternoon.
The winner was Craig Holly, of Neil Powell Butchers, Abergavenny, with Kevin Aldred, Martin Players, Cardiff, runner up and Clive Swan, Swans Farm Shop, Mold, joint third.
“I just entered the competition for the experience, to be honest and I still don’t believe that I won,” said winner, Craig. “I was pretty nervous and had to correct one or two mistakes, but I’m chuffed to have won.
“I’m definitely going to do a few more competitions because it was nice to see things that inspired me.”
The Welsh Young Butcher competition, which is open to butchers under the age of 25, is organised by work-based learning provider Cambrian Training Company, who also collaborated with Keith Brown, the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s meat production competitions chief steward, to jointly run the Welsh Pork Butcher contest.
Both competitions were sponsored by Hybu Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales).