Gary carves his way to world silver

Published 11:00am 16 September 2022

Gary carves his way to world silver
Words by Nick Crockford

Burpengary butcher Gary Thompson has helped Australia to a podium finish at the ‘Olympics of Meat’ in America.

Mr Thompson, who owns The Squealing Pig at Burpengary Plaza, and six colleagues won a silver medal in the World Butchers’ Challenge.

The Makani Australian Butcher Team finished behind Butcher Wolf Pack from Germany, but was ahead of New Zealand, who won bronze, at the biennial competition in California.

Each of the 13 national teams had three hours 15 minutes to turn a side of beef, a side of pork, a whole lamb and five chickens into a themed display of value-added cuts.

Gary carves his way to world silver
The silver-medal winning Aussie team, from left - Brett Laws, Tom Bouchier, Garreth Gorridge, Craig Munro, Gary Thompson from The Squealing Pig, manager Shannon Walker, captain Luke Leyson.

Judges were looking for quality of carving, boning and finishing skills combined with creativity and innovation in the final display.

“Some teams had elaborate backdrops, but we just went with a white tablecloth,” Mr Thompson, 53, said, “it was about the food and letting it shine on the day.

“Some teams had four years to prepare for this. We had five months and there was a lot of training involved.

“On the day we had 96/97 items on the table …. and you could lose points for any waste, not using everything or not cleaning a work area.”

Mr Thompson, who opened The Squealing Pig more than five years ago, has been competing in Meatstock events, across Queensland, NSW, Victoria and in Auckland,

When the opportunity arrived to then go knife-to-knife for Australia in the largest butchery Challenge in the world he jumped at the chance.

Australia also took second in the Young Butcher category thanks to Queensland’s Gareth Hunt and Matt Tyquin, of Victoria, won the Butcher Apprentice.

Gary carves his way to world silver
The Aussie team pictured in their competition clothing. Gary Thompson is front left.

It left Australia as the only nation to place in all three categories of the global competition.

Tom Bouchier, from Victoria, was also named in the six-man All Star Butchery Team at the end of the event.

“To be a part of the most prestigious butchery event in the world is an amazing experience in itself; but to walk away from the event with the success we had is an absolute testament to the standard of butchery in Australia,” captain Luke Leyson said.

Gary carves his way to world silver

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