Irish butchers are a cut above in World Challenge

The victorious Team Ireland pictured at the 2018 World Butchers’ Challenge

A TEAM of butchers from across the island of Ireland have been named as the best in the world.

Following an outstanding display of butchery skills and creativity, Team Ireland came out on top in the 2018 World Butchers’ Challenge, held at Titanic Belfast last week.

The team, which featured butchers from the north and the Republic competed against 11 other nations for the top prize and came out on top ahead of: Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, France, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa and USA.

Narrowly defeated were runners-up Pure South Sharp Blacks from New Zealand followed by the Australian Steelers from Australia.

Eamon Etherson from Portrush was also named as one of six butchers named as part of the World Team, chosen from all the entrants.

Each team of six had just three hours and fifteen minutes to turn a side of beef, a side of pork, a whole lamb and five chickens into a themed display of value-added cuts, similar of what you would expect in a traditional butcher shop or supermarket but with plenty of innovation and skill at the heart of the displays.

Team Ireland captain, Garret Landers from Garrett’s Butchers in Limerick said the win will add to Ireland's reputation for the quality of its meat and craftsmanship.

“We have been training for the World Butchers’ Challenge for almost 18 months, and to win on our first attempt is just incredible. The standard from the other countries was first-class, and we’re are beyond delighted to have won the award, here in Belfast – the first time that the World Butchers’ Challenge has ever been held here," he said.

Vice-captain, Ian McKernaghan from Lisdergan Meats in Fintona added: “We’re hoping that this accolade will help to spread the word of the world-class quality of Irish and Northern Irish produce across the globe.”

The World Butchers’ Challenge took place at Meat@IFEX, the sister show to IFEX – Northern Ireland’s premier event for the food, drink, retail and hospitality industries. IFEX, which ran last week at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, was attended by thousands of visitors, with the event returning to Belfast in 2020.


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