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Mangawhai meat shop clear cut winner in butchery stakes

Posted at 2:51pm Monday 01 Jul, 2019

Mangawhai Meat Shop butcher Dan Klink stunned crowds in a sizzling regional final, taking out the Alto Butcher of the Year award with his ‘flexitarian burger'.

The flexitarian is a Mexican-inspired beef and bean burger with 70 per cent vegetable protein.

“It appeals to the modern consumer,” Dan says.

“Being in a small rural area, we have to keep pushing the boundaries to keep people interested and coming from beyond the village.

“I am trying to bring back the small-town butcher where people can come and have a laugh, along with getting their groceries,” he says.

For the Upper North Island competition, butchers are presented with a size 16 chicken, boneless beef rump, and a pork loin, which they have to create into an array of products.

Butchers are judged on the ‘cookability' of the product, the weight yield off the bone, their hygiene, and how well they can sell it to a mock shopper questioning them on the cut.

Dan's victory was all the sweeter when his apprentice, Dylan Thompson, was named Apprentice of the Year despite this being only his second attempt at the competition.

“He's a good kid who listens and does what we talk about. He has put in a lot of hours of practice, and it's a great achievement after only a couple of years in the trade,” Dan says.

Dan and Dylan will head to Shed 10 on Auckland's waterfront for the national showdown on August 8.

Dan says he has got so close to the national title of Best Butcher in earlier years that he could taste it.

“I have come runner-up twice in the past, and it has really got me wanting the top spot. Last time the judges said there was a half point between me and the winner.”

The grand prize is a trip to the United States in 2020 to see the World Butchers Challenge, held in Sacramento, California.

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