At this year’s Fire & Feast Butcher’s Festival, presented by Crown National, the carving knives will be drawn as leading butchers go head-to-head in the country’s inaugural National Butcher’s Challenge, also brought to you by Crown National. Taking place from 26 to 28 May at the Ticketpro Dome, 12 groups of six butchers will show off their Grade A skills in butchery, as each team competes to secure the title of South Africa’s National Butcher’s Challenge Champion. What’s more, the best butchers from each team will be selected to represent South Africa at the World Butcher’s Challenge 2018, held in Belfast, Ireland.
Visitors to the Fire & Feast Butcher’s Festival can expect to gain a first-hand view of the competitors as they take on three different tasks as part of the challenge. This includes deboning, the initial breaking down of the carcass into primal cuts of meat, as well as applying the finishing touches and finally preparing the meat for resale purposes.
“The participating butchers will be judged on three very distinct categories. Hygiene and safety come in at the top of the judges’ accumulative scorecards, followed by the marketability of the cuts of meat presented. In other words, points will be given to cuts judges believe would be best-sellers out in the marketplace. Lastly, the presentation and uniqueness of product formulation will set the winning team apart from their competitors,” explains owner and custodian of the National Butcher’s Challenge, Caroline McCann.
The Butcher’s Challenge was first created as a competition between Australia and New Zealand’s top butchers, but it wasn’t long before other meat-loving countries like England and France sharpened their knives and entered their leading contenders. “Now known as the World Butcher’s Challenge, it makes sense that we as South Africans, with our passion for meat, take our rightful place in the competition,” adds McCann.
“As part of the World’s Butcher’s Challenge, entrants are taken on a four-day tour by the hosting country to gain an understanding of the local meat-to-market value chain. Visits to farms and meat chains are staged and there is much learning that takes place among the participating butchers. What a wonderful opportunity it would be to showcase South Africa and our world-class meat products,” concludes McCann.
“Being the headline sponsor at the Fire and Feast Butcher’s Festival was an organic if not obvious decision – the meat industry is at the heart of Crown National,” says Dawid Muller, Commercial Executive, Crown National.
“In line with our “We’re Here To Help” philosophy, the festival presents the perfect platform to educate all meat lovers; providing a better understanding of the meat industry, highlighting the effort and technology that goes into quality meat products and how our expertise touches consumers’ lives on a daily basis,” says Muller.
Meat, in all its delicious goodness, will receive the spotlight it deserves at the Fire & Feast Butcher’s Festival. From Lamb & Mutton SA, Pork and Beef Kitchens to the SA Free Flame Championship, a Castle Tank Beer Garden, Wine Pairing Zone, and of course the National Butcher’s Challenge, the festival menu offers something for every meat-loving taste-bud. “We are pleased to have these amazing brands be part of the Butcher’s Challenge and the event at-large.” concludes Paul Edmunds, Sales & Sponsorship Manager at Reed Exhibitions.
Be sure to watch our country’s leading butchers in action by booking your tickets through TicketPro. Prices are as follows: • Adults: R100 • Pensioners and students: R80 • Ages 0 – 12: Free.