Port Moody butcher sharpens knives & skills for meat Olympics

Having already honed her chops at competitions in New Zealand and Brazil, Port Moody butcher Taryn Barker is ready to take her place amongst the world’s best meat cutters.

Barker will be part of Canada’s first team to compete at the World Butcher’s Challenge next September in Sacramento, Calif. She said the event, which is held ever two years, is like the Olympics for butchers. 

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Barker will be one of two female butchers among the eight from across the country who will have to work together to transform sides of beef and pork, a whole lamb and five chickens into a themed display of value-added cuts. Teams use their own seasonings, spices, marinades and garnishes to create products that will be judged on technique and skill, workmanship, innovation, overall finish and presentation.

Carol Goriup, the president of Meat and Poultry Ontario, said in a press release, “Esteemed competitions like this help elevate the profession to where it belongs as a true and respected trade.” 

To help cover expenses like travel, as well as uniforms, props and practice meats, the team has also started a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of raising $45,000.

Barker, who owns The Little Butcher in Port Moody’s Newport Village, got her first taste of competitive butchering earlier this year when she contested Butcher Wars in Auckland, N.Z., part of that city’s Meatstock celebration of all things carnivorous. She followed that up six months later by entering the first Butcher Wars event at the Currascada international barbecue festival in Sao Paolo, Brazil, where she finished fourth.

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