The knives are out! Kiwi’s win bronze at the World Butchers’ Challenge in Sacramento

by | Sep 6, 2022 | News

The Hellers Sharp Blacks have won third place at the World Butchers’ Challenge in Sacramento held over the weekend.

The team, made up of six Kiwi butchers, travelled to the U.S.A. last week to compete against 12 other countries in a three-and-a-half-hour showdown at the Golden 1 Centre in Sacramento. The Hellers Sharp Blacks have had multiple successes in the competition since their forts win in 2011.

Team captain of the Hellers Sharp Blacks, Riki Kerekere says that after two years of covid cancellations it was amazing for the team to finally be sharpening their knives and competing on the world stage. “To come third is a massive achievement and I am really proud of how well the team performed on the day,” says Kerekere.

The competition was held on Saturday, September 3, Californian time, and saw the Golden 1 Centre in Sacramento transformed into the world’s largest butchery.  Local and international visitors were treated to a spectacular three and a half hour cutting competition where each team had to turn a side of beef, a side of pork, a whole lamb and five chickens into a themed display of value-added cuts.  Teams had to demonstrate their carving, boning and finishing skills underpinned by their own creative and cultural flair.

Reuben Sharples / Supplied


The Hellers Sharp Blacks squad is made up of the following members;

  • Riki Kerekere (Team Captain, Product Developer) – Hellers, Auckland
  • Reuben Sharples (Boning and Trimming) – Aussie Butcher New Lynn, Auckland
  • Dan Klink (Boning and Trimming) – Mangawhai Meat Shop, Northland
  • Corey White (Product Developer) – A Lady Butcher, Auckland
  • Luka Young (Product Developer) – PAK’nSAVE Kaitaia, Northland
  • Cherise Redden (Garnish and Display) – PAK’nSAVE Glen Innes, Auckland
  • James Smith (Garnish and Display/Non-Travelling Team Member) – Franklin Country Meats/The Tattooed Butcher, Auckland

The winners were announced at a black-tie gala dinner held at the Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento on Sunday evening local time.  Team Germany won the competition taking out the coveted Friedr. Dick Golden Knife Trophy with the Australian team claiming second place and the New Zealand team placing third.

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