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Lennon Callister fl ew out on May 3rd to challenge other elite European young butchers in the fi nals of the International Young Butcher Competition taking place at the IFFA exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany. Twenty-three-year old

James working for M A Quail in Dromore, Northern Ireland and nineteen-year-old Lennon from Owen Taylor in Alfreton, Derbyshire had undergone months of intensive training at work and at the Portadown

for the exhibition. National Craſt Butchers

(NCB) are members of the International Butchers Confederation (CIBC) and arrange sponsorship and a programme for a UK Team to compete in the annual competition hosted by members of the CIBC. T e UK last hosted the

competition at MEATUP in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire in 2011 with Team UK consistently successful and regularly outranking Austria,

SRC Portadown to run through the categories with Viv Harvey to hone their skills and products for May. T e whole ethos behind

the competition is innovation, precision and repetition. Most butchers worth their

salt can produce a pie, a BBQ skewer and or a Kitchen Ready product like a chicken Kiev. Made singularly, the product is unique. But the trick is to reproduce the product with the same innovation and precision many times over. When Henry Ford built the

‘Model ‘T’ motor car, the fi rst one built was innovative and unique. What made it so special and successful was that the ‘T’ could be built the same many times over with mass produced parts and when employing ‘production line’ methods, the ‘T’ was not only aff ordable but could be repaired and maintained economically. T e same applies to modern

BBQ trays

campus of Southern Regional College (SRC) Northern Ireland, under instruction from UK Team Coach Viv Harvey and international CIBC UK jury member Keith Fisher. Preparing to compete against other 18 to 25-year- old elite butchery apprentices representing Austria, France, Germany, Holland and Switzerland. T e twelve fi nalists during

two days of competition will demonstrate skills for innovation, precision and methodology across six categories with strict time constraints in Seam Butchery, Ready to Eat, Barbecue and Kitchen Ready products. While under pressure in front of six internationally recognised expert judges as well as thousands of visitors from across the Globe on what is likely to be the two busiest days

France, Germany, Greece and Luxembourg. With Luke Haigh (Bolster Moor Farm Shop) in 2012, Andrew Brassington (Ludlow Food Centre) in 2013 and Lucy Crawshaw (Taylors Farm Shop) in 2016 doing particularly well in the Ready to Eat, Stuff ed Roast and ‘Surprise’ categories. Team UK Manager and

NCB Chief Executive Roger Kelsey says, “the competition is an incentive to young people in the trade to increase their performance, their craſt s’ skills and creativity. It also ensures a comparison between training levels at international level and provides great opportunity for the competitors and testament to high standards of training, so vital for the future of UK butchery”! In the lead up to the

competition during April, James and Lennon met twice at

butchery. Any new product must be innovative with a point of diff erence. Measurements, whether in weight, volume or length must be precise for portion control. Making sure that the unit cost, unit price and profi t on each item is the same whether selling singularly or in tens or hundreds of thousands. And like Mr Ford with

his ‘model T’, to benefi t from economies of scale and maximise profi ts multiple products must be produced quickly within defi ned time scales. And that’s where

Ready to eat

methodology and strict time constraints kick in. It’s one thing to have step by step processes of production, but if individual steps are taken in the wrong order the process becomes less effi cient and that aff ects profi ts. In the Ready to Eat ‘Europe’s

Regions’ Lennon and James get an hour to make not just one but two pies. Both must look, weigh, cook and taste the same. Barbecue platters consist of fi ve items of fi ve products with diff erent ingredients. But once again each variety whether made with or with combinations of beef, chicken and pork must show each item in each variety to look, weigh, cook and taste the same. And cook on a Barbecue. And when it comes to the

Kitchen Ready ‘Roast’s’ category the four identical ‘mini’ roasts, like the Ready to Eat and Barbecue selection, all four must be the same. Basic butchery and knife

skills are monitored by judges throughout the competition, but nowhere more so than in the Seam Butchery category. Competitors get 30 minutes to clean bone, ‘rough cut’ and separate the muscles from a Shoulder Block of Beef. Once

Taking out the scapula

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