All go for Owen Taylor at Foodex 2018 Competitions arena
Foodex is the UKs premier trade event for food and drink processing and this year’s event proved to be a busy time for Owen Taylor & Sons competing in two of the live events run by the National Federation of Meat and Food Traders (NFMFT).
Leabrook’s apprentice shop butcher Lennon Callister put in a creditable performance in the high standard fiercely fought “Young Premier Butcher 2018” competition.
Lennon’s Journey started when he was put forward for the competition with over 20 other applicants from across the nation. The competition was open to 18-23 year olds and with Lennon turning 18 earlier in the year he was delighted to accept the challenge despite the likelihood he was going to be the least experienced entrant. The applicants were then narrowed down to just over a dozen that were interviewed and block tested at their respective work environments to make the final eight who would go on to compete live at Foodex and with an expected potential passing crowd of 30,000 attendees to the show it was his time to shine. The event was also filmed to be shown on the BBC in August as part of a documentary. Lennon was the only finalist representing Derbyshire.
Lennon had a few weeks to prepare for the final that involved a lot of creativity and butchery techniques that he had never done before. The lengthy competition comprised of 6 categories and ran from 7am to 4pm. Lennon put on a great performance and despite Northern Ireland’s Conor Reynolds picking up the silverware he was proud of his achievement and said he had learned a lot and to “bring on next year’s competition”. The crowds all agreed that the standard was so high you wouldn’t know that they are “young” butchers at all. We are immensely proud of Lennon’s achievement.
The second competition entered by Owen Taylor was the National Meat Products competition where the category winner of Charcuterie was won with its Homecured Ox Tongue plus a further 7 Gold and 7 Silver Awards. These achievements are down to a variety of skilled butchers, bakers and factory operatives based in Leabrooks.