World Butchers Competition
The World Butchers Competition (previously known as the Tri-Nations Butchers Competition) will be held on the 10th September, teams from England, France, New Zealand and of course, the Aussies, will take part in a tour beginning in Sydney before moving to the Gold Coast for the competition day. Our Tom Bouchier has been on the Australian team since 2014 and we caught up with him to discuss this year’s event.
Tom, for those who are unfamiliar with the World Butchers Competition, can you tell us a brief overview of what it entails?
The world butchers competition comprises of four teams for around the world; each team is made up of six of their country’s best butchers going head to head in a competition that tests your speed, precision, efficiently, imagination, artistic flair, knowledge of meat and creativity.
Each team gets a side of beef, pork, a whole lamb and 3 hours to break down, cut, slice, roll, marinade and garnish into a three meter long display. A group of judges compiling of one judge from each country goes over how each country works as a team, displays their skills, presents their products, and how they utilise the whole carcass.
This being your third year on the Australian team, how has the competition evolved and what can we expect to see from the Aussies this year?
In the three years I have been involved I have seen it change quite dramatically with the inclusion of pork and a fourth country. Every year the standards get higher and higher the stuff the teams are coming out with is seriously incredible. It really makes me wonder what teams will be doing 5 years down the track and how many more countries will be competing.
Each member of the team plays an important role, what is your position in the team and how have you prepared for it?
This year my role in the team is the Finisher/Garnisher which makes me in charge of setting up the display and garnishing all the products that go onto our final presentation. My job makes me the last person to see it before the judges and the rest of the competition so I have to be pretty meticulous at checking our final products – ensuring that all the trimming is flawless, the strings are straight, the cuts are neat and of course that the garnish is perfect. In preparation for my role, I have been checking up on what some of the industry’s best are doing in the way of garnishing, what is trending at the moment and just trialling a few different techniques leading into the competition.
This year we see the addition of a French team. Has this effected the Aussie team’s strategy going into the competition?
Not particularly. Just like all of our competitors, I’m sure they will bring of new dimension to the competition Although, after spending sometime in France and seeing a lot of butcher shops throughout their country, I’m anticipating some real game changes in their display.
We will all be watching on this year as we are lucky enough to have the competition on home soil. We wish the Aussies all the best and will do our best to be exceptional hosts to the visiting nations.