A Portrush butcher is celebrating after being named one of the top six butchers in the world.
Eamon Etherson, of Etherson’s Butchers and a member of the triumphant Team Ireland, picked up the accolade at the 2018 World Butchers’ Challenge.
Following an outstanding display of butchery skills and creativity, the home nation was announced winners at a gala event in Titanic Belfast last night.
Team Ireland competed in a visually impressive cutting showdown against rivals from 11 other nations: Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, France, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa and USA.
Each team of six had just three hours and 15 minutes to turn a side of beef, a side of pork, a whole lamb and five chickens into a themed display of value-added cuts, similar of what you would expect in a traditional butcher shop or supermarket but with plenty of innovation and skill at the heart of the displays.
“We have been training for the World Butchers’ Challenge for almost 18 months, and to win on our first attempt is just incredible. The standard from the other countries was first-class, and we’re are beyond delighted to have won the award, here in Belfast – the first time that the World Butchers’ Challenge has ever been held here,” comments Garrett Landers, captain, Team Ireland.
Head judge, Todd Heller from New Zealand, explained: “The results from the top five ranked teams were extremely close and the standard overall was exceptional. We are thrilled to have grown the World Butchers’ Challenge to 12 teams this year from four in 2016 and are focused on building an even greater World Butchers’ Challenge in 2020.”
Six butchers from all of the teams were named as the World Team. These are Eamon Etherson from Ireland, Angel Naidener from Bulgaria, Adam Stratton from Australia, Corey Winder from New Zealand, Francesca Camassa, Italy and Phillipe Lalanda from France.
There was further success for Team Ireland in the Best Pork Product and Best Beef Sausage categories.
The World Butchers’ Challenge took place at Meat@IFEX, the sister show to IFEX – Northern Ireland’s premier event for the food, drink, retail and hospitality industries. Taking place March 20 - 22 at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, IFEX has been attended by thousands of visitors.
This is the first year that the World Butchers’ Challenge has taken place in Belfast, attracting hundreds of international visitors.