Stevens a cut above other ap­pren­tices

The Horowhenua Mail - - FRONT PAGE - ADAM POULOPOULOS

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.

SUP­PLIED

Makalah Stevens, from New World Fox­ton, is the re­gion’s butcher ap­pren­tice of the year.

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