Ngāpuhi mother carves up again at national butchery awards

By Jessica Tyson

For her second year in a row, mother Cherise Reddin of Ngāpuhi has had a major win at the National Butchery Awards.

In 2019, she won the ANZCO Foods Butcher Apprentice title but stepped it up this week, winning the Pact Packaging Young Butcher of the Year title during the competition at Auckland’s Vodafone Events Centre.

“This means a huge amount to me. I have been committed to working hard and always putting in one hundred percent and, today, this is proof that I am as good as everyone says I am,” she said.

Redden works at Pakn’Save Glen Innes and is a mother to her eight-year-old son Taiamai.

“I want to tell other young women to go for their dreams – you never know what you can achieve. If you want to do well, and if you’re passionate, you’ll succeed.”

Cherise Redden presents her cuts at the 2021 National Butchery Awards. Source: Retail Meat New Zealand

Finalists for the National Butchery Awards were chosen throughout June and July following regional competitions in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, involving more than 40 competitors. There were six finalists in each category at the grand final. The categories included the Pact Packaging Young Butcher of the Year, the ANZCO Foods Butcher Apprentice and the Pure South Master Butcher Teams Challenge.

“It was awesome winning. I was really nervous because the competition was really strong this year. I’ve come up through the ranks watching all the guys I competed against with doing these competitions and thinking ‘wow they’re so good’. So to compete up against them was nerve-racking." says Redden.

As part of the competition, Redden took part in a two-hour cutting test to showcase her skills in boning, trimming, slicing and dicing a range of meats into a display of products.

“I like to use fresh products because it’s easier to work with but we had a whole T-Bone, a whole pork leg and a whole chicken. We had to create as many cuts as we could.”

Cherise Redden during her two-hour cutting test. Source: Retail Meat New Zealand

As part of the prize of winning the Young Butcher of the Year title this week, Redden had the choice of two prizes; either to travel to Sacramento to compete in the world championships or a cash prize.

Since she won the ANZCO Foods Butcher Apprentice title in 2019, she was already on the list to go to Sacramento, so this week she opted for the cash prize of $4,000 as well as $1,000 to go towards her workplace.

The winner of the ANZCO Foods Butcher Apprentice of the Year was  Isaac Webster from New World Gardens, Dunedin. No Egos Amigos took out the first teams’ challenge for the Pure South Master Butcher Teams Challenge.  

Cherise Reddin wins national apprentice butcher award - August 2019

Full list of 2021 winners:

Pact Packaging Young Butcher winner - Cherise Redden, PAK’n SAVE, Glen Innes, Auckland

Pact Packaging Young Butcher runner up - Luka Young, PAK’nSAVE, Kaitaia

ANZCO Foods Butcher Apprentice winner - Isaac Webster, New World Gardens, Dunedin

ANZCO Foods Butcher Apprentice runner up - Nick Johnston, PAK’nSAVE, Pukekohe

Pure South Master Butcher Teams Challenge winner - No Egos Amigos, Auckland (Marty Hiki, Skills4Work; David Anthony Parsons, Service Foods; Haane Rudolph, Tikipunga Fresh)

Pure South Master Butcher Teams runner up -  Nga Kaitoki, Auckland (Riki Kerekere, Hilton Foods NZ; Steve Clark, Brinks Chicken; Doug Kahi, Countdown Meat & Seafood, Riki Kerekere Jr)