Austinite Wins Beef Loving Texans’ Best Butcher in Texas
And the winner is…. Bryan Butler! This Austinite wins Beef Loving Texans’ state title in inaugural competition. Bryan is co-owner of Salt & Time Butcher Shop in Austin, Texas.
After nearly four months of intense competition, culminating in a final battle at the Austin Food + Wine Festival, Texas Beef Council is proud to announce Austinite Bryan Butler as Beef Loving Texans’ Best Butcher in Texas. During the finals, competitors went knife-to-knife to merchandise and fabricate various cuts of beef for consumer-ready purchase, and were judged on their technique, creativity, presentation and ability to interact with the consumers and answer questions.
Two other competitors from across to the state fought valiantly for the title, including Michael Majkszak, owner of Majkszak’s Meat Market in Conroe, and Shawn Knowles, owner of Old Town Market in Lewisville; ultimately, it was Salt & Time Butcher Shop co-owner Bryan Butler who took home the title. Butler has a lifetime of experience as a butcher, and in 2010 he partnered with Ben Runkle to make Salt & Time Austin’s first whole carcass Butcher Shop, Salumeria and Restaurant.
Of Saturday’s win, Butler noted, “It’s surreal – I’ve been doing this job for 22 years now, and competition isn’t something that we usually do.” He continued, “it takes another level of character to compete, not only with efficiency and skill like we do every day in our shops, but combined with heat and crowds, it makes it that much more challenging. I won’t lie, I was anxious during the finals, but it felt really good to hear them announce my name after all that hard work.”
After being crowned the “rarest of them all,” Butler received a $5,000 grand prize, a knife set courtesy of Victorinox Swiss Army from their Fibrox Pro Cutlery line, a custom golden cleaver trophy, as well as inclusion in a one full-page co-branded ad in Texas Monthly.
“All three of the competitors gave it their all this past weekend, and we were proud to watch the events of the final competition unfold,” said Linda Bebee, vice president, domestic marketing for Texas Beef Council. “We’re thrilled to award Bryan with this well-deserved recognition. He truly embodies what it means to be an artist in his craft, and we look forward to seeing how he uses his passion and expertise to serve Texans this year. Additionally, we truly appreciate all of the talented contestants who have showcased their skills during this competition. They work hard every day to invest their time and skills into their communities across the state.“
Each butcher that competed in Saturday’s competition will join Butler by representing Beef Loving Texans as the Best Butcher Council. These butchers will work together across the state to educate consumers on what to look for in the market for their beef needs.
Throughout the competition process that started in January, semifinal competitions were held in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, each yielding over 190 pounds of beef. All the beef from each event was donated to charitable organizations, resulting in a total of over 2,400 meals being served to those in need across Texas. In each regional semifinal city, the Texas Beef Council partnered with culinary schools to host the events, including The Art Institute of Houston, El Centro College in Dallas and St. Philip’s College in San Antonio, providing an educational opportunity for interested students.
Beef from this event was donated to Caritas, an organization that helps fight poverty and homelessness in Central Texas.
“High quality meat donations are a great need for us as we work to serve nutritious, balanced lunches to over 300 people in our Community Kitchen daily. We are grateful for community partners like the Texas Beef Council who leverage their work to support local organizations like Caritas of Austin.” – Tanya Greenough, Caritas of Austin Food Services Program Manager
For more information, visit BeefLovingTexans.com/best-butcher-in-texas/.
About Beef Loving Texans
Beef Loving Texans is Texas Beef Council’s consumer brand created to share unique recipes, stories, cooking and shopping tips and expert nutrition information. The Beef Loving Texans brand celebrates the pride and values deeply rooted in Texans through family, community and tradition. More information on the mission of Beef Loving Texans can be found at BeefLovingTexans.com.
About Texas Beef Council
The Texas Beef Council (TBC) conducts the $1 per head national checkoff program for Texas beef producers and is also the contractor for the Beef Promotion Research Council of Texas (BPRCT), which administers the $1 per head Texas state checkoff program. TBC’s mission is to increase beef demand in the state through programs of beef promotion, research and education. TBC also helps fund national and international beef checkoff programs to increase marketing opportunities around the globe. The BPRCT’s mission is to improve Texas producer profitability by strengthening and expanding beef demand. The TBC and the BPRCT are directed by a 20-member board of cattlemen and women representing the state’s beef producers.