In the last of four regional finals held recently, our own ‘maestro of meat’ Dan Klink was announced as the Alto Young Butcher winner.
Judges said the level of creativity, skill and precision was at an all-time high for the competition.
Given two hours to complete a practical cutting test, each entrant was required to showcase their knife skills transforming a No. 20 chicken, beef sirloin and pork shoulder into value-added products.
Dan will go on to compete in the grand final held in Auckland, and go knife to knife against the other finalists from three other New Zealand regions.
The butchers who have made it to the grand final will be tested on their knowledge of the trade and communication abilities against the other regional winners in hopes of winning an international study tour.
This was Dan Klink’s third time entering the competition and the first time he has placed, but credits his overseas experience working in both London and Melbourne for his win.
“I think what set me apart today was my overseas experience and everything I picked up working abroad,” says Dan, who owns the Mangawhai Meat Shop with partner Ange. “It would mean everything to me to win this competition, it’s a great marketing tool for my shop, and it would really cement my place in the industry.”
Ben Nelson from The Aussie Butcher New Lynn won the title of Competenz Butcher Apprentice in the Upper North Island Regional.
The grand final will be held at Shed 10, Queens Wharf, Auckland on August 25, followed by a black tie dinner where the winners of the competition will be announced.
The competition is supported by Alto Packaging, Competenz, Alliance Group, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Dunninghams, Hellers, Kerry Ingredients, New Zealand Pork, Wilson Hellaby and Tegel.
EXPERIENCE: Mangawhai Meat Shop’s Dan Klink says overseas experience helped him become the Upper North Island regional winner of the 2016 Alto Young Butcher competition. Above, Dan completes the practical cutting test.