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Local butchers slice and dice in meat cutting contest

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WEST JORDAN, Utah – Cutting meat takes a great deal of skill, and on Monday 10 local butchers gathered for the 2013 National Meat Cutting Competition.

The “meat cutters” at Texas Roadhouse competed in the event presented by A1, and each cutter got between 30 and 40 pounds of beef.

Jason Anderson, product coach at Texas Roadhouse, said the competitors sliced up a variety of different cuts of beef.

"We take all of our meat cutters from all of our restaurants in this market, we have 10 of them, and they cut sirloin, ribeye and filet,” he said.

Anderson said they heated things up for the contest.

"Sirloin is really hard to cut,” he said. “These guys are in a warm room. They cut every day in a 32 degree room to keep the meat cold. We do it here to give them a little bit of a challenge."

Anderson said the competitors were judged on quality, yield and speed.

"The steaks themselves, it's very exacting,” he said. “We have some exacting specifications, and if the steak doesn't meet it, it doesn't count, so it's pretty difficult and they are always good at it."

The competition is part of the “Meat Hero” program, which was created in 2001 to recognize the daily efforts of meat cutters at Texas Roadhouse. Anderson said their restaurant also gives back to the community.

"We've had each restaurant pick a policeman, or fireman, or local hero and invite them to lunch the day after the cut off,” he said.

Anderson said the meat from Monday’s event didn't go to waste.

"One of the things we like to do at roadhouse is give back to our community,” he said. “Sysco has been an awesome partner for us and has let us have the cut off here, so we're giving back to them by doing lunch for all the Sysco employees."

The winner of the contest gets a trophy and $500. The contest selects a Cutter of the Year, who will go on to a national competition.