Raeward Fresh Richmond butchery manager Josh Flavell, along with his fellow South Island blade masters, will look to turn the butcher's table on their North Island competition during this year's North versus South, Battle of the Butchers.
Mr Flavell has been selected along with four other butchers, two from Christchurch and two from Dunedin, to show off their skills, blade in hand in Queenstown on March 7.
In the intense two-hour competition organised by Retail Meat New Zealand each team will have turn a hindquarter of beef, a side of lamb, a side of pork and three chickens into a top quality display of innovative products.
"It's going to be tough but hopefully a lot of fun," Mr Flavell said.
Retail Meat New Zealand manager Kim Doran said that the championship, now in its second year, was gaining traction. "The inaugural year was more successful than we had ever expected, the butchers are really excited to showcase their skills yet again, and a bit of healthy competition is always good for the industry."
After completing his butchery apprenticeship in Hokitika, Mr Flavell, 23, moved to Nelson a year ago with his partner, and was promptly identified by Raeward Fresh owner Justin Blackler as "highly skilled with natural leadership qualities".
He is responsible for "discovering and developing new products and managing our growing team", Mr Blackler said.
In 2012 Mr Flavell won Apprentice Butcher of the Year. He was also the overall regional winner and runner-up in the national butchery competition.
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