A TALENTED butcher from Wrexham has won a bronze medal in the World Champion Butcher Apprentice competition.
The 30-year-old had to wait for an awards ceremony in the early hours of the morning (Monday September 5, UK time) – to find out the result.
And Ben was delighted to find out he had finished in the top three.
Ten apprentice butchers from around the world competed, with Craft Butchery Team Wales making their debut.
After receiving his bronze trophy, Ben said: “Wow, third in the world. I just want to thank everyone who has supported and supported me through this incredible journey. A huge thank you for the mega support from all the team guys, our sponsors and my family.
“It was an incredibly tough competition and the level of skill, as you would expect for the ‘Meat Olympics’, was very high. It was tough with the variation in meat between the US and UK, but I’m proud I gave it my all and hope I made Wales proud.
In the team competition, which took place on Saturday, Craft Butchery Team Wales did not finish in the top three on their debut, but team co-ordinator Chris Jones was proud of the Welsh Butchers. Thirteen national teams competed.
“I’m super proud of all the guys,” he said. “They all worked hard and made Wales proud to compete against the best butchers around the world.”
Craft Butchery Team Wales flying the Welsh flag in California.
In his contest, Ben had just two and a half hours to break down a range of primal cuts into a display of pre-determined products and their own creations.
The team competition lasted three hours and 15 minutes, with competing teams receiving a prime rib, a pork chop, a whole lamb and five chickens which they must then process into a themed presentation of value-added products.
Independent judges score each team based on technique and skill, craftsmanship, product innovation, overall finish and presentation.
The competition was held at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, and the awards ceremony was held at the city’s Memorial Auditorium.
The Wales artisan butchery team includes Ben Roberts, Peter Rushforth of Innovative Food Ingredients, Lytham St Annes who is captain, Craig Holly of Chris Hayman Butchers, Maesycymer, Hengoed, Tom Jones of Jones Brothers, Wrexham, Matthew Edwards, a lecturer at Coleg Cambria, Connah’s Quay, Dan Raftery of Meat Masters Butchers, Newtown and Liam Lewis of Hawarden Farm Shop.