Sharp skilled challenge for best of British butchers

SIX HOMEGROWN masters of the blade are getting ready to put their butchery skills to the test on the other side of the world.

Team GB members (L-R) Chris Gleysher, Andrew Ayris, team captain David Lishman, Tom Wood, Maurice Stephenson and Gary Raeburn.

Tomorrow sees Team GB put through their paces for the final time, at The Food Academy at Leeds City College, before they fly out to New Zealand for the Tri-Nations Butchers Challenge.

The ultimate butchery competition between Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain takes place on September 5-10 in Auckland.

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With a combined total of over 120 years’ experience in the butchery industry, Team GB is hoping to land the top honour.

Ilkley butcher David Lishman is team captain and is joined by Gary Raeburn of Aberdeenshire, Tom Wood of Preston, Chris Glaysher of Basingstoke, Maurice Stephenson of London and Andrew Ayris of Marlborough, Wilthsire.

Mr Lishman said: “Our team this year is enthusiastic and skilled, and we are looking forward to showcasing our skills in Auckland. We are working with some of the best produce and people in the industry, and are quietly confident that we will lift the trophy this year.”

The three competing teams of butchers will be challenged to turn a side of beef and whole lamb carcase into an original and creative display within two hours.

Laura Ryan, head of marketing strategy at team sponsor AHDB Beef & Lamb, said: “This year’s team are working tremendously hard to ensure they are crowned the 2015 victors. Hosting regular practice sessions, under timed conditions, has given the team an insight into what to expect next month, and I feel it puts us in the best possible position to be successful.

“Each team member has bought a different skill set to the group, ensuring we have a real breadth of skills. Not only does this maximise our chances of winning, but it also highlights how important the competition is in sharing good practice and showcasing the profession to the next generation of butchers.”