International butchers gather Down Under for World Butchers’ Challenge

By Aaron McDonald

- Last updated on GMT

Butchery teams from Great Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand will battle it out
Butchery teams from Great Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand will battle it out

Related tags World butchers Butcher New south wales France

Butchery teams from New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain and France are congregating to compete in the first World Butchers’ Challenge to see who is a cut above the rest. 

Taking place on Saturday, 10 September in Australia’s Gold Coast, the competition has been run under the Tri-Nations banner since 2011. However, with increasing international interest and France taking part for the first time, the event has been renamed The World Butchers’ Challenge.

The challenge:

The four teams consist of six butchers from their home nations, each playing a significant role in the competition and bringing their own particular skill sets.

They will be given three hours to produce the best display with the theme of their choice using a beef side and a full lamb carcase as the base ingredients. The complete productions will then be judged by independent judges from each country based on butchery skill, workmanship, product innovation, overall finish and presentation.

New Zealand

The Pure South Sharp Blacks are bound to provide some of the toughest competition for the other three teams, having won the competition for the past three years.

Representing the country are:
Jon Cox
Nolton Laing
Rowan Lee
Hannah Miller
Greg Egerton
Corey Winder

Team captain Winder said that he hopes a mix of experienced competitors and new blood will help the team bring home the trophy for the fourth consecutive year. “Having these young, talented butchers join the Pure South Sharp Blacks is hugely exciting and I believe we have selected butchers with a great mix of experience, determination and personality who have what it takes to help us win the title for the fourth time in a row.”


Team France Boucherie may be new to the competition this year, but that isn’t to say that they’re inexperienced butchers. Among the team is ‘one of the best apprentices in France’ and ‘one of the best workers in France’. Years of knowledge and experience from the team are sure to threaten the competition veterans.

Battling it out in Australia are:
Didier Massot
Yoann Mounier-Vehier
Aurélien Brise
Joseph Fagnani
Lucas Bayle
Joël Lucas

Being first-time entrants means the team will be approaching the competition from a fresh perspective, but another advantage will be the seam techniques practiced in France, which will surely help the team leave an impression on the judges.

Great Britain

The British Beefeaters are made up from award-winning butchers across Great Britain, including the owner of the best butcher’s shop in the whole of the nation. The team has been taking part in the challenge since the very beginning, and hope this experience will bring them out on top.

Flying the Union Jack Down Under are:
Maurice Stephenson
Tom Wood
Gary Raeburn
Michael Dufton
Damon Buckingham
Gary Simpson

Although there has been a new addition to the competition this year in the form of France, the British Beefeaters manager Danny Upson is confident that his team will deliver. “It’s raised the bar,”​ he said. “It’s showed us that it’s more challenging now. We’re aware of the modern seam butchery they have over there so we’ll be quite interested to see what they come up with.”


With the competition happening on home turf this year, the Australian Steelers are hoping this will give them a boost over tough competition.

Marking their territory are:
Tom Bouchier
Paul Brady
Nick Dagg
Colin Garrett
Adam Stratton
Michael James

Stratton, who works at Tender Gourmet Butchery Hornsby, New South Wales, said that the team will find success by being flexible and versatile. “This will be my fifth time competing and I believe what sets us apart from the rest of the teams is our ability to bring consumer expectations to our display. Customers are often time poor so they want meal options that are easy to cook but still visually appealing and delicious.”

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