Smoke background

World Butcher Wars

Butcher Wars Logo

Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire, UK

National Craft Butchers logo
iom 24
Dunbia logo

Competing Team Countries

New Zealand flag
New Zealand
Robert Holdaway
original 058AE180 B587 4231 A8A8 5AC2495C06FD

Meet Robert Holdaway, a seasoned butcher with over two decades of experience in the industry. Passionate about showcasing his skills and knowledge, Robert takes pride in his craft and is dedicated to providing top-quality cuts to his customers. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of the art of butchery, Robert is a true expert in his field. Follow along as he shares his journey and insights into the world of butchery, one cut at a time.

Australia flag
Australia
Brett Laws & Gary Thompson
Brett Laws

Brett Laws

Hi I’m Brett Laws (Butcher Lawsy),

I’ve been in the butchery industry my whole life, I was born to be a butcher, my dad’s a butcher my brother a butcher and I’m here now to leave my mark on the industry. I love to encourage young butchers/butchers around the world to follow their dreams and you can do anything if you put your mind to it.

  • I’m currently 1 of 6 butchers in Australia who are in the Makani Australian butchery team our team came seconded in the world at the last World Butchery Competition in 2022 (Olympics of Butchery)
  • I’m the first butcher in Australia to win all 3 butcher Wars in the same year at Meatstock in 2023 (Melbourne,Toowoomba,Sydney)
  • I’ve won the Master Butcher competition in New Zealand (3-man team) in 2022
  • I’m looking to take my skills to a new level by competing against the best in the world in the Champions of Champions butcher Wars in England

Bring it on

Gary-Thompson

Gary Thompson

Butcher, trainer and assessor, shop owner.

I own a butcher shop called The Squealing Pig, multiple award winning, that has a full commercial kitchen selling hot foods as well as traditional and value-added products.

I have 40 years’ experience in the meat industry , have been competing in Meatstock since 2018, I am member of the Makani Australian butchery team that will be going to Paris in 2025 to compete in the WBC and was part of the silver medal winning team in 2022.

For me the best part of competitions is the comradery of the contestants, the knowledge you gain and friendships you make along the way, they will last a lifetime!

England flag
England
Simon Taylor & Ben Tindale
channels4 profile 3

Simon Taylor, AKA Simon the Butcher, owner of Surrey Hills Butchers.   Simon developed a passion for butchery at 13 while working in a traditional high street butcher’s shop. Over 26 years, he evolved from a young enthusiast to the successful owner of Surrey Hills Butchers. His career has been enriched by collaborations with remarkable industry figures through social media, TV appearances, and participation in top UK festivals.

With a lifelong commitment to butchery, Simon is dedicated to preserving traditional skills, training upcoming butchers, and promoting industry excellence. He leads Team GB in the World’s Butchers Challenge, showcasing his skill in creating innovative dishes for global competition.

As an ardent advocate for the industry, Simon believes in highlighting Britain’s strengths through its food culture. He champions the “field to fork” ethos, celebrating Britain’s culinary offerings and resilience.

BenTindaleBBQMagazineButchers1

Ben Tindale

Hailing from the South of Lincolnshire where he manages G. Shearer & Son Butchers, Ben has dedicated over half of his life to the butchery industry. With a background in award winning cuisine, education and traditional butchery techniques,

Ben now specialises in product innovation and butchery development. He is dedicated to helping promote and educate butchery within the industry and to the wider public. In addition to championing innovative butchery with his partnership with Raps UK, Ben is also an avid live-fire cook and brand ambassador of Monolith Grills. This shared passion has led him to engage with the wider BBQ community and work at some of the UKs top food festivals. With his wealth of experience in competitive butchery, Ben has honed his skill set both individually and in team events. As well as competing across the country and online, Ben has also represented Great Britain internationally as Vice Captain of Team GB at the World’s Butchers Challenge. Ben is relishing the opportunity to compete once again alongside butchers from around the world on home soil. It will be his honour to stand alongside friends old and new within the industry as they battle it out to be the champion of the first ever World Butcher Wars.

Scottish flag
Scotland
Richard Megahy & Ben Megahy
Richard Megahy

Richard Megahy

Hi I’m Richard. I have worked at Simon Howie Butchers in Pert for 27 years. In that time I have won Scottish Butcher of the Year 5 times as well as winning the pair’s competition at Scotland Butcher Wars in 2023. I won this with my son Ben who is also competing as an individual at this event.

I enjoy seeing other butchers developing ideas and new products and can’t wait to meet everyone at Ascot. Hoping to make sure that my son is still learning and that he does not beat me, this could make things a little awkward at home.

Ben Megahy

Ben Megahy

Hi, I’m Ben, I work with my dad at Simon Howie Butchers in Perth, Scotland. I have always had an interest in the meat industry and started working with my dad at the shop during the Covid pandemic. I developed a real passion for the industry and I want to take my development to the next level by competing in the Butcher Wars event. I was delighted to win the pairs competition at Butcher Wars Scotland. This time I am testing my skills as an individual and in competition with my dad.

Italian flag
Italy
Gianni Giardina & Andrea Laganga
Gianni Giardina

Gianni Giardina

Gianni Giardina, born in 1978, butcher for three generations.

Sicilian DOC, since he was a child he learned the art in the family butcher shop. He studied and worked in New York to explore new processing techniques and then returned to Sicily and laid the foundations of what is now the great Giardina Butcher’s shop, known throughout the world

Founder of the Italian National Butchers Team, he is the team’s top deboner.

Belfast in 2018, European Championships in France in 2020 and finally, the World Championships in Sacramento in 2022 where he was named one of the 6 best Butchers in the World.

In 2019 recognized as the best butcher in Sicily. Since 2021 he has been Ambassador of Taste for Meat in the world

thumbnail 9673c835 ebbf 417b 9162 fd96517027eb

Andrea Laganga

Butcher and Maremma DOC, Andrea turns his profession into an art.

“Being the custodian of those flavors and aromas of the past, within the reach of those who only know how to still trust their own “butcher”, the only friend and family advisor. Because then the butcher is not just the one who cuts your ‘slice’ but one of the few who know how to listen to you with the ready word you want to hear, with the right advice for your important evening with the right recipe depending on your skills, depending on who you can entrust with the growth of the little ones (“make sure that it is for the child”) or the dinner of your life (“make me look good because tonight is important…”). Being happy to return to the shop and rejoice with a “thank you, I can always count on you”.”

Andrea, founder of the Italian National Butchers Team, and team owner for Belfast 2018, European Championships France 2020 and the World Championships in Sacramento 2022.

Meat-blogger and expert in the barbecue world. Ambassador of Taste for Meat in the World from 2021

Brazillian flag
Brazil
Elder Reis & Wellington Rodrigo
Elder Reis

Elder Reis

Instagram: @magroone

Meet José Elder Reis Dias, the maestro of meat mastery!

As a highly acclaimed professional in the world of butchery, Elder, affectionately known as Magrone, has carved his name into the annals of culinary excellence. Working his magic at Açougue Santo Antônio, Magrone has become synonymous with top-tier quality meats and impeccable service.

His artistry in the realm of pork butchery has earned him a stellar reputation, making Açougue Santo Antônio a go-to destination for meat connoisseurs. But that’s not all – Magrone is not just a local legend, but a national champion!

As the crowned Champion of Butchers War Brazil in São Paulo 2019, he has proven himself as the crème de la crème in the competitive world of butchery. Currently, he proudly wears the captain’s armband for the Brazilian Butchers Team, showcasing his leadership and expertise on the international stage.

Having participated in two World Butchers’ Championships, Magrone is not just a champion in Brazil but a global contender.

His skills know no bounds, as he represented Brazil at the prestigious Meat Stock Sydney, Australia, in 2019, leaving an indelible mark on the international Butchery scene.

Wellington Rodrigo

Wellington Rodrigo

Instagram: @parana_realbutcherteam

Introducing the prodigious Wellington Rodrigo Cesar Camargo, the rising star of the Brazilian Butcher Team!

Hailing from the heart of Paraná, Wellington stands as the youngest luminary in the Brazilian squad.

His journey in the meat industry commenced at the tender age of 12, working alongside his family in a small business. Yet, what started as a family affair blossomed into a passion for the artistry of butchery.

With a wealth of experience in butchery, boning, and exceptional customer service, Wellington is a force to be reckoned with.

His early start in the profession has shaped him into a skilled artisan, combining precision and flair in every cut.

Wellington’s accolades speak volumes about his prowess. As the Vice Champion of Butchers War Brazil 2019 and a two-time contender on the world stage, he has showcased his talents globally.

But don’t let his youth fool you – Wellington is not just skilled; he’s lightning-fast and innovative.

Known for his speed and agility, Wellington captivates audiences with creative and unexpected performances.

Get ready to witness the dynamic artistry of this young maestro at the upcoming competition. Wellington Rodrigo Cesar Camargo – a force to be reckoned with, and the future of butchery!

German flag
Germany
Carina Schüßler & Sven Schumacher
original BDDD3C1D 55B7 46D7 8DAC 9B8016EFAA85

I am Carina Schüßler, 20 years old and I work at Schüßler’s butcher’s shop. People used to say to me: “Butcher?, you can’t do that, it’s a man’s job” – but I showed them all. Success at work has nothing to do with how difficult or easy it is. Success at work has to do with passion, talent, willpower and perseverance. It was the best decision I could have made to learn this profession and I would make it again and again.

original DE1BBE3A C3E5 4C48 80FB F92B467FF1DC

I, Sven Schumacher, was born of flesh and blood 37 years ago and now I live and breathe the butcher’s trade. My long-standing affinity for the butcher’s trade culminated in 2019, when I started learning my dream job at the age of 33. After just 18 months, I was able to call myself a butcher with distinction.

In 2021, the meat world took notice of me as I won the prestigious Fleischstar-Talent young talent award from Lebensmittelpraxis Zeitung. This recognition was a great milestone in my career and once again underlined my passion for the trade.

In order to consolidate and expand the skills I had learned, I successfully completed my master’s degree in 2022.

Since 2023, I have been responsible for promoting young talent and I am training manager for the butcher’s trade at Kalieber in Lastrup, among other things.

Because I have been following the Butcher Wolfpack on various social media channels for several years, I have long nurtured the desire to become a wolf myself. In the second half of 2023, the call came that the pack was looking for a new wolf. After a successful competition in September, I was accepted into the pack – “Aaaaarrrrrruuuuuhhhhhh”.

I was able to fulfill another dream this year in January 2024, I successfully completed further training to become a butcher sommelier.

I’m looking forward to entering the world of butchery and passing on my specialist knowledge and passion for the profession.

USA flag
USA
TC Turner & Marena Gray
TC Turner

Thomas (T.C.) Turner

Expert Butcher

T.C. is a butcher and food industry leader with over 25 years of professional experience in a variety of retail, processing and custom butcher settings and roles. His passion is to deliver high quality product to his customers, mentor other butchers and industry members, and educate the community to the specialty craft of meat cutting. His current focus is expanding the craft of butchery through education and awareness not only for other butchers but for the community at large. He is also passionate about cooking, grilling, and smoking the delicious meats he cuts and sometimes even throws in a veggie or two.

 

IMG 2715 2

Marena Gray

My name is Marena Gray, and I manage the custom processing shop at The Meating Place Butcher Shop in Hillsboro, Oregon. 12 years ago, I set my sights on mobile slaughter. After a few great years there and several more on the custom cut floor, I stepped up to become manager of our Custom Shop.

Butchery is a trade and a skill that allows for, and insists upon the constant development of new systems and techniques. It never ceases to challenge and excite me.

It’s an honour to be a part of the Butcher Wars as a representative of my country. I can’t wait to get to the block and give it all I’ve got!

Polish flag
Poland
Daniel Dzwonkowski and Marek Markuszewski
WhatsApp Image 2024 03 18 at 08.07.03 8726e538

Marek Markuszewski has over 30 years experience  as a butcher Having progressed through every stage of production in his career, he has gained an in-depth understanding of the profession from the inside out.

Daniel and Marek are being sponsored to attend  by Borniak Smokers, a Polish company fuelled by a passion for food smoking, has spent years delving into the traditions of food smoking from different cultures around the world and who are generously donating  one of there top smokers to the winner of the competition

 

 

 

Tonga flag
Tonga
Marty Hiki (Wild card)
Marty Hiki

Marty Hiki

Malo e lelei / Greetings to you all

Working in the kingdom of Tonga a small island country in the South Pacific. Having competed in many butcher wars in New Zealand and Australia I still enjoy butchery, learning new things and seeing how butchery has evolved. @60 years old, surely I have to be the granddaddy of this competition so will require a handicap, a Zimmer frame and a toilet close by ha-ha. Will look forward to meeting all the butchers and am proud to represent my adopted country.

Malo Aupito, Marty

Greek flag
Greece
Michalis Zampetros & Laskarellis Nikos
Screenshot 2024 01 31 at 1.01.25 PM

Michalis Zampetros

My name is Michalis Zampetros, I am 45 years old and I am a 4th generation butcher. I am married and I have three children, their ages are: 18,14 and 9. My family has a butcher shop since 1905.

The story begins in Kea-island in Greece where my great grandfather was the first generation. My love for this job started from when I was little. I started helping my grandfather and my father with their own butcher shops since I was 6 years old. Αs a result of this I eventually opened my own butcher shop at 2012, and I successfully have it till today.

Proud member of the Hellenic Artisan Butcher’s Club and 1 of the 10 brand ambassadors for the French beef brand Bovillage in Greece. I have also participated in Butcher’s competitions in Greece, with the following distinctions:

  • First place fot my alcohol infused dry aged steaks in a dry aged steak competition
  • First place for boning in a butchery competition
  • First place for display showcasing competition held by a butchers magazine
  • First place in the Bovillage Ambassador’s challenge
Gre1

Laskarellis Nikos

Hi I am Laskarellis Nikos, Founding member and secretary of Hellenic Artisan Butcher Club & Member of Butchers Alliance group.

  • 1 of the 10 Ambassadors of the French beef brand Bovillage in Greece
  • Director of Bountzolas Greek Meat company
  • Lecturer at the Sxolikreatos school

I am a graduate of the American Farm School (Animal Production Department) located in the city of Thessaloniki and the State School of Butchers of Thessaloniki.

I am a 3rd generation butcher, with experience in all aspects of the profession, such as pig farming, slaughterhouses, retail and wholesale.

I have participated in seminars and presentations alongside well known butchers such as Romain Leboeuf, Yves-Marie Le Bourdonnec, Luk Perez. Furthermore, my résumé is enriched with participation in meat fares and exhibitions, workshops and collaborations with acclaimed colleagues.

I have competed in national Butchers competitions ranking always in the first places.

Devoted in perpetual learning and improvement, I am ready to face another challenge.

ie
Ireland
Jim Murphy (Wild Card)
ireland

Jim Murphy

Owner of Murphy’s Craft Butchers, Church Street, Tullow, Co.Carlow, Ireland.

Butchering career: As far back as I can remember I loved working with my grandfather and father on the farm, butchers shop and in the abattoir adjoining the butcher shop. I started working in the butchers in 1988 and have been butchering and working in our Abattoir for 36 years. I Studied at the Dublin Institute of Technology in 1992/1993 and received Certificate in Retailing Meat on 7th December 1993.

  • Fetac level 5 General Food Safety in an Abattoir
  • Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Certificate of Competence EU Regulation 1099/2009:
    Food Safety and HACCP Level 1,2,3
  • Emergency First Responder & Cardiac First Response
  • Captain of the Craft Butchers of Ireland team that competed at the World Butchers Challenge in Sacramento California in 2022
es
Spain
TBC

Bios coming soon!

ro
Romania
Ionuț Anghel and Cordea Silviu Paul
unnamed 3

Ionuț Anghel is the most renowned butcher in Romania, winner of the main competition in the field – Top Chef Butcher – two consecutive times.

Ionuț has over 20 years of experience in butchery and successfully manages one of the most well-known butcher shops in the capital of Romania, Bucharest, “Carmangeria Ozana,” since 1993.

Ionuț’s style is a fusion of Romanian specificity and influences from other culinary cultures in the Balkan region, preparing dishes full of flavor and with enticing aromas.

original D3EC5C1F C369 466C 861C 8FB4922DD49D

My name is Cordea Silviu Paul and I am 25 years old. I come to represent Transylvania and Romania from Cluj Napoca. I graduated in 2022 from the Faculty of Food Science and Technology and since then I have been working at Carmangeria Moldovan with 2 years of experience in this field. I have developed a passion for meat dishes and cooking them. This passion was inherited from my father. I am very creative and I like to combine tastes and flavours to create new products to highlight. Even if I don’t have a lot of experience I love challenges and will give it my all

Meet our Judging Panel

More to be announced soon

Shannon Walker

Shannon Walker

We’re delighted to have Shannon, joining us from Australia to host this years Butcher Wars.

Butcher, teacher, BBQER and publisher of ‘The Butchers Cookbook’. Shannon loves to promote butchers and the whole meat industry. Having involvement in over 15 butcher wars and currently manages the Australian butcher team. The friendships gained has been the best part of these industry events.

Keith Fisher

Keith Fisher

Chief Executive Officer at Institute of Meat
Keith has worked within the meat industry for all of his working life and is a fourth-generation butcher in his family. He began his career working in an abattoir at the tender age of fifteen. Over the last fifty years, he has accrued an incomparable level of expertise in the meat industry. He is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Butchers and works closely with the Company on various projects. We are delighted he will bring this lifetime’s worth of knowledge in Butchery to bear as a judge at this year’s World Butcher Wars.

Alana Empson

Alana Empson

Alana, a dedicated meat enthusiast from New Zealand, is a skilled Butcher and passionate barbecuer. Notably, she triumphed at the 2016 World Butchers’ Challenge (WBC) World Champion Young Butcher competition. After competing in Butcher Wars in NZ and Australia from 2017, Alana shifted to judging, including the World Butchers’ Challenge in Sacramento, USA. Eager to expand her expertise, she learned the art of Dry Aged Beef in London at the prestigious HG Walter. Alana eagerly awaits the Smoke and Fire Festival, praising the impressive lineup of international Butchers at Butcher Wars and encouraging festival goers to witness the captivating competition.

portrait

LUCIANA BERRY

Luciana Berry’s mission as a chef in the UK is to showcase the exotic flavours and ingredients that are integral to Brazilian cuisine. She is an Ambassador of Brazilian cuisine and culture in UK.

Luciana travels to many countries with Brazilian Fruit Association to the biggest Fruit Shows in the world to showcase the best Brazilian tropical fruits. Along promoting Brazilian fruits, ingredients and culture in shows and tv programmes Luciana runs a very successful catering and events company since 2008. She also designs menus for restaurants and help restaurants to promote their venues doing Supper clubs. She also writes recipes for a magazine. Luciana has received the title of Top chef Brazil 2020. She won one of the hardest cooking competition on TV.

processed 041371A3 CBEF 4B2A 8051 C791BDFDCD38 scaled

STUART LOUTTIT

  • Commenced full-time studies in Butchery  in 1977 for 18 months upon successful completion continued my apprenticeship on the South Coast of NSW for 3years more years.
  • Worked in various roles in the meat industry including several years as a slaughterman, rail boner knife at an abattoir on the South Coast.
  • Transitioned to a major retail chain in 1987 as a Butcher and rapidly promoted to Meat Manager
  • In 2011 relocated to Queensland as Production Manager of an abattoirs with combined Retail Ready facility with a staff number more than 500 colleagues.
  • In 2015 was promoted to Site Manager for 3 years after which the site was closed and move to alternate operations.
  • 2018 to current moved to Site Operation Manager supplying 475 stores, producing more that 1.4 million kilos of retail ready meat weekly.
  • State butchery competitions over several years.
  • Judge at Brisbane Royal Show in both lead steer and carcass competitions.
  • Lead judge at over 12 Butcher Wars competition both local and international.
  • Australian nominated judge at World Butchers’ Challenge, Sacramento, 2022

Check out where it all began with our down under cousins at Meatstock -Butcher Wars Perth Australia

Smoke background

The Competition

pork

Pork

lamb

Lamb

Competition time is just 30 mins.

Butchers will be judged on:
Final appearance, creativity, technique and speed

Tiebreaker
In the event of a tie in the overall sum of points, the tiebreaker will be based on the highest score, in the following order:
1. Presentation, display
2. Technique
3. Speed
4. Creativity