Chris McNutt of Halenda’s crowned Ontario’s Finest Butcher
By Food in Canada StaffFood In Canada Meat &Poultry Editor pick Meat and Poultry Ontario
Ontario’s Finest Butcher Competition, a celebration of the craft of butchery and the outstanding skills of Ontario’s artisans, has reached a remarkable milestone as it marks its 10th anniversary. This year’s competition featured top butchers from across Ontario. Among the competitors, Chris McNutt of Halenda’s Fine Foods emerged victorious, earning the title of Ontario’s Finest Butcher.
McNutt, hailing from Oshawa, Ont., is a seasoned meat manager at Halenda’s, with 15 years of butchery experience. He kick-started his career by completing a Retail Meat Cutting apprenticeship program.
Richard Halenda, CEO of Halenda’s Fine Foods, shares his thoughts on Chris’s victory, “We at Halenda’s Fine Foods are all extremely proud of Chris on his recent win of becoming Ontario’s Finest Butcher. He is a mentor for the company in the hard work and determination he puts into our trade every day.”
The competition was fierce, where three talented finalists, which included Dave Vandervelde of VG Meats and Dylan Meidema of Townsend Butchers, were challenged to transform three proteins—boneless chuck roll, leg of lamb, and a whole rabbit—into a Harvest Season display within 45 minutes. It was Chris McNutt’s seasoned skills, combined with his unwavering dedication, and creative expertise that set him apart, securing his position as this year’s champion.
Franco Naccarato, executive director for Meat & Poultry Ontario (MPO), expressed his enthusiasm for the competition’s 10th anniversary, stating, “Over the past decade, Ontario’s Finest Butcher Competition has become a symbol of excellence in the industry. It has been a privilege to witness the dedication and talent of our local butchers over the years. Congratulations to Chris for taking home the win.”
In addition to donning the official champion’s jacket, McNutt took home a prize package valued at over $3000 including a Minimax Big Green Egg Ultimate Kit, eno La Plancha Grill, a Chilly Moose Chilly Ice Box cooler and a $250 cash prize from YesGroup.
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