Stevens a cut above other apprentices
She’s only been doing it for six months, but Horowhenua’s Makalah Stevens is already bringing home butchery accolades.
Stevens, 20, took the Competenz butcher apprentice of the year award at the lower North Island competition in Wellington over the weekend.
The New World Foxton employee only became a butcher six months ago.
She learned her trade from her father, also a butcher, growing up on a farm in Foxton.
It was her first appearance at the regional finals.
Stevens said she was surprised to receive the award.
‘‘I was so nervous. I didn’t expect it.
‘‘I was in the mindset of ‘it’s my first year. I need to practice’.’’
Stevens’ dream is to own a butcher’s shop of her own one day.
Her journey began at a young age, watching her father, Malcolm Pryce, cut up the meet he secured from his hunts.
‘‘Mum helped him quite a bit as well. It was a whole family thing,’’ she said.
Stevens began her apprenticeship at the start of the year, but had been working for the supermarket for about 18 months before that.
She said she enjoyed working with a great team, and for a boss who went the extra mile for the staff.
‘‘My boss is awesome and I couldn’t have done it without him.’’
The butchers were asked to break down a size 20 chicken, a beef sirloin and a pork shoulder in two hours.
The event was held at the WelTec School of Hospitality in Wellington.
Stevens now advances to the grand final later in the year, competing against nine other apprentices from around the country.
In preparation, she was trying new cuts every day, and increasing her speed. ‘‘I’m being positive. I’m doing a lot of training.’’
it is the second consecutive year a Horowhenua entrant has won the award - Mathew Wilson from Levin was last year’s winner.
Kieran Horsefield, from New World Greenmeadows, took out this year’s Alto butcher of the year award.
The grand final is in Auckland on August 31. This competition is an opportunity for apprentice butchers to test themselves against others in the industry.
Makalah Stevens, from New World Foxton, is the region’s butcher apprentice of the year.