Portadown butcher hits gold at international butchery competition

CHAMPION BUTCHER RI Farm
SUCCESS: Pictured from left: Vincent Garreffa, founding member of Lifeline Perth International Young Butcher of the Year competition, Conor Reynolds, M&W Farm Meats and Robert Retallick, Head Judge and Co-ordinator.

A YOUNG butcher from Portadown has proved he’s a ‘cut about the rest’ at an international competition in which he won gold.

Taking place in Perth, Australia, Conor Reynolds, 19, who is a butcher with M&W Farm Meats in Portadown, has dedicated his award to his grandfather, Gerry Reynolds, who passed away recently and was Conor’s biggest supporter.

Organised by Lifeline Perth, the International Young Butcher competition attracts talented young butchers from across the globe, and following Team Ireland’s World Butcher Team of the Year win in 2018, Irish butchers are now regarded as amongst the most talented on the world stage.

Conor has also recently been named as the Young Butcher within Team Ireland who will be defending the World Butchers of the Year crown in Sacramento, California, in 2020. His participation in the Lifeline event was sponsored by Butchery Excellence International, with support from Dawn Meats and Conor’s employer, M&W Farm Meats.

Following his win, Conor said: “Four years ago, I started to learn the craft of butchery and recently, I’ve become more confident in my skills and have started to take part in competitions.

“Just last year I took part in the Premier Young Butcher Competition in Birmingham, winning five out of the six categories and I was named as the overall winner, but even back then I didn’t for one second think that I would be competing in Australia, never mind winning an international award.

“Huge thanks must go to my employers at M&W Farm Meats, Rhonda Montgomery, CEO of Butchery Excellence International, who has been a great supporter, and to my family. This one is for my grandfather Gerry, who passed away recently.”

Coordinator of Team Ireland, Rhonda Montgomery, CEO of Butchery Excellence International, accompanied Conor on his journey and helped to fund Conor’s participation in the international event.

Commenting on Conor’s win, Rhonda adds: “We’re so proud of Conor and his talents. I was confident that he’s world class which is why we travelled almost 10,000 miles to compete on an international stage.

“To win gold Conor had just three hours to make as many meat products from the cuts of meat provided, and he managed to achieve his goal, reaching an incredible 50 products. In the second part of the competition, Conor created the ‘Reynold’s ultimate steak sandwich’ under the clock. In 30 minutes, he cooked the sandwich from scratch and presented it to three national judges.”

Conor is representing Ireland next year as a member of the Team Ireland butchery squad. He’s been selected as the team’s representative for ‘Young Butcher’ in the World Butchers’ Challenge which will see Team Ireland defend its title on a world stage.

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