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Winner: Greg Egerton – Countdown Dunedin Central
Runner-Up: Brad Gillespie – New World Rototuna

The 2019 Alto Butcher of the year Grand Final was hotly contested, with a number of pre-competition favourites scoring well,  Greg Egerton from Countdown Dunedin Central has won the prestigious Alto Butcher of the Year title at the Grand Final which took place at Shed 10 in Auckland.

Greg Egerton is no stranger to the world of competitive butchery having previously been a member of New Zealand’s butchery team – the Hellers Sharp Blacks – competing most recently in Belfast last year.

Egerton said of his win: “Out of everything I’ve done in my career this feels the best. I did my apprenticeship 26 years ago, back then value added was crumbed schnitzel and meatballs. So, I’ve been there through the whole evolution. Winning this is brilliant.

Brad Gillespie from New World Rototuna was named the Alto Butcher of the Year runner up.

The competitors were required to show their cutting skills in a two-hour test of skills, nerve and expertise. The Alto Butcher competitors were given all mystery cuts five minutes before the competition which included; an eleven-rib forequarter of lamb, a pork shoulder, a duck and a wild rabbit allowing them to create their ultimate wish-list of value-added cuts.

event: ALTO BUTCHER OF THE YEAR

The search for New Zealand’s best butcher.

The Alto Butcher of the Year has been running in various forms for three decades and has always been a prestigious event well regarded by the retail meat trade. Formally the ‘Young Butcher’ competition, in 2017 we dropped the 'young' part and since then the competition has been open to any butcher, of any age. In doing this we are paving the way for more butchers to show us their talents and the title is highly sought after by the competitors. If you are aiming to be a Sharp Black, this is the competition to enter to get recognised by industry. Competing alone is a huge achievement, not to mention an incredible opportunity to open the door for future opportunities.

The competition runs alongside the ANZCO Foods Butcher Apprentice of the Year and both begin with regional competitions which consist of a practical cutting test. From here, winners are selected to progress through to the Grand Final in Auckland, which also includes a formal awards dinner - a highlight on the industry calendar attracting over 250 guests. The Grand Prize for the winner of the Alto Butcher of the Year is not only this great feat, but also an international study tour to expand your horizons.

Entries open on Wednesday 3rd April and close on Friday 24th May. See the competition programme below for further details and if you have any further questions, please contact Michelle on 09 489 0879 or michelle@rmnz.co.nz

 
 
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COMPETITION PROCESS

REGIONAL

Four regional competitions are held in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. The winner of each Regional Competition will progress through to the Grand Final in Auckland on Thursday 8th August where they will compete against the winners from the other regionals, plus the next two highest scoring Alto Butchers from across the nation – making six finalists in the Alto Butcher of the Year Grand Final, to battle it out in Auckland.

Format:
Two hour practical cutting test & prize giving.

Regional Cutting Test:
The practical cutting test will take two hours. This time includes bench set up, preparation of ingredients and garnishes and displaying. You will be marked for: Safety, hygiene, speed & efficiency, yield & knife skills, display, product produced and cooking instructions of product. The Regional test involves chicken, beef and pork (all meat provided), cuts involve some compulsory and creative elements:

No 16 Chicken
a) Minimum of 4 creative options

Boneless Beef Rump (D-Cut)
a) Rump Steak b) Stir Fry c) Minimum of 2 creative options

Full Pork Loin (Belly On)
a) Medallion Steak b) Pork Roast c) Minimum of 2 creative options

Prizes:
Regional prize for the winner is $300 and a trophy. The regional winner also receives an all expenses paid trip to Auckland to compete in the Grand Final.

GRAND FINAL

The Grand Final takes place in Auckland as part of a formal dinner which is a highlight on the industry calendar and where one Alto Butcher will be crowned the winner. Transport and accommodation will be provided for those in the Grand Final.

Format:
Two hour practical cutting test. This is followed by an Awards Dinner.

Grand Final Cutting Test:
The practical cutting test in the Grand Final for the Alto Butcher of the Year will consist of only mystery cuts. There will be no compulsory cuts and the finalists will have two hours to complete the practical. Competitors will find out what the mystery cuts are five minutes before the cutting test commences.

Prizes:
The Grand Final prize for the winner of the Alto Butcher of the Year is an all expenses paid international butchery study tour, a trophy and a knife set. At the Grand Final, we also award the Runner-Up of the Alto Butcher category with a cash prize of $1,500 and knife set. 

Consent:
As an employed butcher you will need approval from your employer to take part in the competition. Please download the consent form, complete this and upload it with your online entry form.


2019 GRAND FINALISTS

BEST OF THE BUTCHERS

Butchers from across the country have proved their skills with a sharp start to this year’s Alto Butcher of the Year competition. After four regional rounds, we now have our top 6 contestants who stood out.

All finalists will now continue on to the Grand Final, being held on Thursday 8 August at Shed 10 in Auckland, where they will showcase their cutting skills, creativity and knowledge of the trade against the best in the country.

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Simon Dixon

Island Bay Butcher - Wellington

LOWER NORTH ISLAND REGIONAL WINNER

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Riki Kerekere

Countdown Meat & Seafood - Auckland

UPPER NORTH ISLAND REGIONAL

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Greg Egerton

Countdown Dunedin Central

LOWER SOUTH ISLAND REGIONAL WINNER

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Dan Klink

Mangawhai Meats

UPPER NORTH ISLAND REGIONAL WINNER

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Brad Gillispie

New World Rototuna - Hamilton

UPPER NORTH ISLAND REGIONAL

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Samantha Weller

New World Rangiora

UPPER SOUTH ISLAND REGIONAL WINNER


 
 

past winners: Alto Butcher of the year

2019: Greg Egerton - Countdown Dunedin Central

2018: Riki Kerekere – Countdown Meat & Seafood, Auckland
2017: Reuben Sharples – Aussie Butcher New Lynn, Auckland

past winners: Alto Young Butcher of the year

2016: Amy Jones – New World Taumarunui
2015: Alana Empson – New World Hillcrest, Hamilton
2014: Timmy Watson – Allenton Meat Centre, Ashburton
2013: Abigail Lane – PAK'nSAVE Kaitaia
2012: Peter Taupawa – New World Victoria Park, Auckland
2011: Alesha Ross – Nosh Matakana
2010: Calum Sutherland – New World West End, Rotorua

2009: Wade Flavell – The Mad Butcher, Auckland
2008: Cameron Webb – Progressive Foodmore, Auckland
2007: Scott Reid – New World Gate Pa, Tauranga
2006: Michelle Tauta – Countdown Eastgate, Christchurch
2005: Calum Sutherland – The Mad Butcher, Rotorua
2004: Paul Archbold – Halswell Butchery, Christchurch
2003: Richard Sanders – Huapai Country Butchers, Auckland
2002: Nick Thompson – Woolworths Bush Inn, Christchurch
2001: Jeffrey Wright – Big Fresh, Christchurch
2000: Craig Hatton – New World Temuka
1999: Blake Cole – New World West End, Rotorua
1998: Jeremy Joyce – Price Chopper, Whakatane
1997: Davud Smith – Countdown Tokoroa
1996: Karl Pamplin – New World Remuera, Auckland
1995: Marcus Verkerk – Verkerks Ltd, Christchurch
1994: Christopher Mackie – Richmonds Ltd, Hastings
1993: John Tautau – Cracroft Butchery, Christchurch


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