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Pure South Sharp Blacks three time champions

Pure South Butcher Hohepa in action

New Zealand’s national butchery team, The Pure South Sharp Blacks, have won the Tri-Nations Butchers’ challenge; their third consecutive win.

The competition was held at Shed 10 in Auckland, and once again proved our butchers to be the best in the world, bringing the trophy home for the third time in a row.
Following many months of refining their skills, the intense competition was three hours long and saw the butchers turn a side of beef, pork and a whole lamb into value added cuts to produce a world-class display based around a Kiwiana theme.
Team Captain, Corey Winder says he is absolutely ecstatic with the win. “We have put in a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears. The team is so pumped, words can’t describe the feeling of accomplishment,” he said.
Held on the same day, Alana Empson from New World in Hillcrest was announced winner of the Alto Young Butcher category, while Hohepa Smith from Countdown Meat and Livestock topped the Competenz Butcher Apprentice of the Year category. Alana says it is her dedication to pursuing her passion in butchery that helped her win. “I think if you really want something you’ll do whatever you can to get there, and for me it was practice. I did eight rehearsals and practiced at work,” she said.
Hohepa is excited to see what future career prospects winning the competition will grant him. “I have always been hard working, motivated and dedicated and that’s what I credit my success to,” he said.
Head Judge of the Alto Young Butcher and Competenz Butcher Apprentice competition, Matt Grimes, says the quality of the butchers improves every year. “We found it hard to take points away from the contestants. The standard is impeccable, and I am blown away by the skill of our young butchers,” he said.
New categories to the competition this year, Best International Practical – Young Butcher went to Alana Empson and Best International Practical – Butcher Apprentice went to Hohepa Smith.
The Pure South Sharp Blacks, a team of six of the nation’s best butchers, were selected after a nomination and trial process which attracted more than 50 butchers from around the country. The team is managed by Heller’s founder, Todd Heller.
This year’s team members include Greg Egerton of New World Mosgiel, Abigail Lane of Neat Meat Queenstown, Phill Pirie of Clark’s Organic Meat Specialists in Auckland, Matthew Spires of PAK’nSAVE Te Awamutu, Bruce van der Net of PAK’nSAVE Taupo and Corey Winder (captain) of Elite Meats in Christchurch.

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