The idea came from Arwyn Watkins, president of the Culinary Association of Wales, to set up Craft Butchery team Wales.
After looking into the competition he felt it was the perfect platform for some of Wales’ top butchers to showcase their skills on the World stage.
“The World Butchers’ Challenge has quickly become touted as the one to win. Like any professional, you want to be pushing yourself to get better and this competition offers butchers the chance to pit their skills against the best of the best. We’re a young team entering the competition for the first time however, we’ve been selected based on our performances across competitions here in Wales so there is plenty of experience amongst us. Make no mistake, we’re going there to win, just look at the Irish team last year who were first time entrants and ended up winning the title.” – Peter Rushforth, Team Captain
The concept of the World Butchers’ Challenge is to develop an environment where butchers strive to exceed current industry practice in the areas of general workmanship, meat cutting, displaying and the creative usage of beef, lamb, pork and chicken product. Through this competition, a global community has been cemented with life-long friendships formed, business opportunities unlocked and the overall trade benefiting from an injection of creativity and innovation.
The competition itself is conducted over a three hour and fifteen minute period with competing teams given a side of beef, a side of pork, a whole lamb and five chickens which they must then transform into a themed display of value-added products. Teams are allowed to provide their own seasonings, spices, marinades and garnish to finish products that are designed to inspire and push the boundaries, yet which are also cookable and would sell in a retail setting. Independent judges score each team based on technique & skill, workmanship, product innovation, overall finish and presentation.
After what can only be described as the most extreme and challenging moments most of us will have seen in our lifetimes, and following a number of discussions with competitors around the world, the World Butchers’ Challenge Council met via an international call and the unanimous decision was made to postpone the 2020 World Butchers’ Challenge to August 13-14, 2021.