Team Canada competes at their first World Butchers’ Challenge
By Meat & Poultry OntarioGeneral
Guelph, September 7, 2022 – The World Butchers’ Challenge, known as the ‘Olympics of Meat’, took place in Sacramento Sept. 2-3, where newcomers Team Canada competed for the first time. Thirteen countries battled for the coveted Friedr. Dick Golden Knife Trophy, and The Butcher Wolfpack of Germany came out on top as the best butchers in the world. While Team Canada did not win, they showed great pride and promise in their debut at the event.
Competing for Team Canada came with some challenges. Team members took time off, leaving their shops closed to meet and train for two to three days at a time. Team Captain Peter Baarda dealt with personal challenges leading up to the competition. Baarda used his challenges as fuel in his drive to succeed.
“I set out on a mission, and I wouldn’t let anything slow down our progress as a team,” said Baarda. “The team supported me wholeheartedly, which made us all closer and stronger.”
The competition celebrates the best of the best from across the globe. Heavyweights such as Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain, Australia, and teams from other countries battled it out over two days for more than 16 awards in a variety of categories. Each team showcased their carving, boning, and finishing skills while turning a side of beef, pork, a whole lamb and five chickens in just over three hours. The World Champion Butcher Apprentice and Young Butcher was won by Australia and France, respectively.
Team Canada was grateful for the support of Carmelo Vadacchino of Friedr Dick Knives, Coach/Advisor to WBC Team Canada. Vadacchino helped the team prepare for competition at the world level for the first time, and his extensive experience in competing and supporting Culinary Team Canada was a huge asset.
“I did what I always do, help individuals and teams excel at what they do best,” said Vadacchino. “From the beginning, the team clicked and worked well together. It made my job easy because there were no egos in the room. All I did was to help them understand what to expect when competing at the world stage.”
Team Canada also had tremendous support from organizations, sponsors, and fans across the country.
“When Peter Baarda asked MPO to be the supporting organization, we accepted because we knew the importance of highlighting the skills of our Canadian butchers and competing at a world level would show others how good we were,” said Franco Naccarato, Executive Director of Meat & Poultry Ontario. “It was amazing to see the support the team had from sponsors, family, and friends. On the day of the competition, Canadians came out to support the team in Sacramento, while many others watched the livestream on YouTube.”
About WBC Team Canada
Formed in 2019 by Captain Peter Baarda and supported by Meat & Poultry Ontario the team Consists of Taryn Barker – Vancouver, British Columbia, Elyse Chatterton - Edmonton, Alberta; Corey Meyer – Edmonton, Alberta; (Captain) Peter Baarda — Burlington, Ontario; Damian Goriup – Oakville, Ontario; Brent Herrington – Port Perry, Ontario, Dave Vander Velde – Stoney Creek, Ontario; and Junior Butchers Ronnie Kealy – Kamloops, British Columbia; and Doug Easterbrook – Simcoe, Ontario.
About World Butcher’s Challenge
What started in 2011 as a “friendly” competition between New Zealand and Australia has grown into the greatest butcher event in the world. In 2022 13 countries from around the world traveled to the Golden1 Center in Sacramento, California to compete for the title of world’s best butcher. The competition itself is conducted over a three hour and thirty-minute period with competing teams given a side of beef, a side of pork, a whole lamb and five chickens which they must then transform into a themed display of value-added products. Teams are allowed to provide their own seasonings, spices, marinades and garnish to finish products that are designed to inspire and push the boundaries, yet which are also cookable and would sell in a retail setting. Independent judges score each team based on technique and skill, workmanship, product innovation, overall finish and presentation.