Triple top of the chops!
3:20pm Thursday 29th December 2011 in Pembrokeshire Farmer
A farmer’s son from the Swansea area has become the first butcher to complete a hat-trick of wins in Wales’s premier butchery competition.
Tomos Hopkin, aged 18, from Gwyrhyd Mountain Meat, Rhiwfawr, retained the Welsh Young Butcher crown by giving three rivals the chop at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair in Builth Wells.
Earlier this month, he was named the Young Apprentice of the Year at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru in Cardiff, having also won the Grand Slam British Young Butcher of the Year title this summer, beating rivals from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
He was also chosen by his training provider, Cambrian Training Company, to demonstrate at an international butchery showcase at the WorldSkills event in London in October.
To test their skills and knowledge, the finalists were challenged to butcher a carcass of Welsh lamb into specified traditional and modern cuts, which were kept secret until the day of the competition.
Tomos, who has recently launched his own business delivering home-reared meat door-to-door, was elated following his hat-trick victory, which came with £200 prizemoney and a trophy.
He said: "It was more difficult this year because I didn’t know what cuts to expect in the final.
"There was a mixture of traditional and modern cuts, including shoulder in a cushion and rack in a crown, which I hadn’t done before but had seen other butchers do them.
"It has been a great year and winning this competition for the third time is going to be good for my business."
He beat runner up Llyr James, 17, of Morgans of Aberystwyth, and fellow finalists Jason Watson, 20, of J. Williams and Son, Llandrindod Wells, and Tomi Jones, 21, of Jones’ Butchers, Llangollen.
Now in its sixth year, the competition is organised by Cambrian Training Company with sponsorship from Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales.
Cambrian Training Company’s director of skills, Anne Williams, said: "The standard achieved by all these talented butchers was exceptionally high and they are all winners from my perspective.
"The competition, which continues to attract entries from across Wales, is designed to promote butchery as an exciting and challenging career, which requires a high level of skill and artistic flair."