Butcher Tom carves his way to world championships

Tom WoodTom Wood
Tom Wood
A Lancashire butcher put his carving skills to the test as he came second in a world-wide competition.


Tom Wood, head butcher of Samlesbury-based Huntley’s Country Stores, was part of the British team in the World Butchers’ Challenge 2016, taking on the role as vice-captain.

The 37-year-old landed his spot in the competition following the trials in London last year.

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As part of the competition, he flew to Australia and was given an educational tour on Australia’s butcher industry.

Following a series of challenges, the British butchers team came second, losing narrowly to France.

During the competition a team of six had to prepare a whole slab of beef and half a pig.

Tom, of Chipping, said: “I can prepare a whole slab of beef in about three hours by myself. But they have to be garnished and prepared to a gourmet standard. And in just three hours that can be very hard.

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“Some of the categories judged on were display, innovation, clean cuts and the amount of waste with teams being rewarded for having less waste.

“During the final, I performed a tomahawk cut, so named because it resembles a tomahawk. It is where you cut a T-steak right to the bone.”

This was not Tom’s first time in the worldwide competition, as he had been to New Zealand last year.

He also won gold awards for three meat products and overall champion in the ADHB Pork Product Excellence Awards in Newcastle last month.

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In addition, Huntley’s has been nominated for Butcher’s Shop of the Year with the Meat Traders Journal.

Being a butcher is a life-long passion for Tom, following in his dad’s footsteps.

James ‘Jimmy’ Wood founded and has run Bowland Foods since 1979. He raised his son on the family farm teaching his son the slaughterhouse trade.

Tom became a Saturday boy then worked for Jimmy in the wholesale trade for 13 years.

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He added: “I’ve done it all my life, as my father distributed meat from Scotland to Lancashire and even to the midlands.

“I live and breathe the industry. My favourite part of the job is the agricultural fairs but retail is my passion.”

For a previous story on readers' top butchers click here http://www.lep.co.uk/news/lancashire-recommends-great-butchers-1-8160076