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Sharper than the All Blacks

New Zealand’s national butchery team, the Pure South Sharp Blacks, are preparing for a trifecta win at the 2015 Tri-Nations Butchers’ Challenge, with their last practice this weekend.

Sharp Blacks Team

Promising to be the biggest butchery event in Kiwi history, the competition will be held on September 10 at Shed 10 in Auckland, the same day as the Alto Young Butcher and Competenz Butcher Apprentice of the Year Grand Final.

Reigning champions for the last two years, The Pure South Sharp Blacks, will be defending their title against Australia and England. Each team will have just three hours to turn a side of beef, side of pork and a whole lamb into a display based around a theme of their choice.

Contestants will be marked on their preparation, presentation, finishing and display with each team judged by a panel of industry experts.

Made up of the nation’s best butchers, the team of six were selected after a nomination and trial application process which attracted more than 50 butchers from around the country.

The team is managed by Heller’s founder, Todd Heller. The current team members are 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’n SAVE Te Awamutu, Bruce van der Net of PAK n’SAVE Taupo and Corey Winder (captain) of Elite Meats in Christchurch.

For a week prior to the grand final, international delegates will take part in a study tour, visiting butcheries and top eateries around Auckland.

The Tri-Nations competition will begin at 4.20pm and continue until 7.20pm.

The Alto Young Butcher and Competenz Butcher Apprentice of the Year Grand Final will begin at 12pm.

The competition will conclude with a black tie dinner with a prize giving and awards ceremony, in which the winning team will be announced.