THE Australian Steelers have beaten the Kiwi Sharp Blacks at the inaugural Trans-Tasman Express Series butchers competition in Wellington.
The competition is a faster, slicker express version of the World Butchers Challenge and pitted the two teams of six against each other in a two-hour test of skill, innovation and presentation.
Team captain Adam Stratton, Tender Gourmet Butchery, said the victory was sweet – particularly as they beat the current champions and hometown heroes, the Kiwis.
“This Australian Steelers team has come together this year with a focus on value-added product that helped us secure a win today,” Stratton said.
“While the Kiwis are always strong, I was confident coming into this competition that we were going to do Australia and butchery proud.
“These guys worked hard to create value-added products that would be best-sellers in any butchers shop and showcased the meat beautifully.”
Head judge Todd Heller said both teams had been extremely professional and innovative, but it was the Steelers’ “absolutely inspiring” final display that gave them the cutting edge.
“We are just so thrilled to be able to take out this competition, particularly as we prepare for next year’s World Butchers Challenge in Ireland,” Stratton said.
“I congratulate my fellow team members and urge them to enjoy the victory.
“To the Kiwis, you’re always tough competition and we have such a friendly but feisty rivalry and we hope that continues into the future. Thank you for hosting this competition.”
Team sponsors, Australian Pork Limited, congratulated the Steelers on its win.
“Our world-class butchers showcased their broad range of skills and impressed the judges,” said general manager of marketing, Peter Haydon.
“Congratulations Adam, Colin, Tom, Nick, Gareth and Luke on this great achievement.”