Having the chance to compete in the World Champion Young Butcher event was a surreal experience, says Te Awamutu butcher Brad Gillespie.
“It was pretty amazing, who would have thought that butchers would be competing in such a massive stadium, they sort of made us feel like superstars,” he said.
“One of the guys in our team said that it was 46 degrees in Sacramento, but the competition was a lot hotter.”
Gillespie represented New Zealand at the Golden One Centre in Sacramento, California, for the World Champion Young Butcher event at the start of the month.
He was given the opportunity after winning runner up in the New Zealand 2019 and 2020 Pact Packaging Young Butcher of the Year Awards.
“I had a bit of a rough start and things weren’t going to plan, but I managed to calm my nerves and get into a bit of a rhythm,” he said.
“I managed to complete my display in the last minute, that was a pretty surreal feeling.”
Gillespie, who works for New World in Rototuna, didn’t manage to place in the international event but is not deterred from competing again.
“I am going to do the New Zealand competitions again and hopefully qualify to be in the team,” he said.
He will be competing in the upcoming Pact Packaging Young Butcher Regionals on September 22.
The international young butchers event occurs every two years, and to compete the butchers cannot be older than 35.
Gillespie, 30, said “if they keep it at 35, then I have still got two more cracks at it.”