Team UK ready to take on Europe in International Young Butcher Competition
Team UK James Gracey and Lennon Callister fly out this Friday to challenge other elite European young butchers in the finals of the International Young Butcher Competition taking place next weekend at the IFFA exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany.
Twenty-three year old James working for M A Quail in Dromore, Northern Ireland and nineteen-year-old Lennon from Owen Taylor in Alfreton, Derbyshire have been undergoing months of intensive training at work and at the Portadown campus of Southern Regional College NI under instruction from UK Team Coach Viv Harvey and international CIBC UK jury member Keith Fisher.
Preparing to compete against other 18 to 25-year-old elite butchery apprentices representing Austria, France, Germany, Holland and Switzerland.
The twelve finalists will come under pressure demonstrating skills for innovation, precision and methodology across six categories with strict time constraints in Seam Butchery, Ready to Eat, Barbecue and Kitchen Ready products in front of internationally recognised expert judges. As well as thousands of visitors from across the Globe on what is likely to be the two busiest days for the exhibition next Saturday and Sunday.
National Craft Butchers (NCB) are members of the International Butchers Confederation (CIBC) and arranges sponsorship and a programme for a UK Team to compete in the annual competition hosted by members of the CIBC.
The UK last hosted the competition at MEATUP in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire in 2011 and Team UK consistently achieves success regularly outranking Austria, France, Germany, Greece and Luxembourg.
With Luke Haigh (Bolster Moor Farm Shop) in 2012, Andrew Brassington (Ludlow Food Centre) in 2013 and Lucy Crawshaw (Taylors Farm Shop) in 2016 doing particularly well in the Ready to Eat, Stuffed Roast and ‘Surprise’ categories.
Team UK Manager and NCB chief executive Roger Kelsey said: “The competition is an incentive to young people in the trade to increase their performance, their crafts’ skills and creativity. It also ensures a comparison between training levels at international level and provides great opportunity for the competitors and testament to high standards of training, so vital for the future of UK butchery!”
Team UK 2019 is sponsored by Dalebrook, Dalziel, Institute of Meat (IoM), RAPS UK, Southern Regional College and the Worshipful Company of Butchers.