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West Michigan butchers heading to Florida for national meat-cutting competition | Community Spirit

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West Michigan butchers heading to Florida for national meat-cutting competition
West Michigan butchers heading to Florida for national meat-cutting competition

KENTWOOD, Mich.— Two West Michigan butchers will put their skills to the test against nearly 90 other professionals from across the nation for a chance to be named Meat Cutter of the Year.

Shawn Foster of Kentwood and Marco Ruiz of Portage will travel to The Ice Factory in Kissimmee, Florida in late February for the competition.  The frigid conditions and large venue make it the perfect place to test the skills of master meat cutters.  Each competitor will be given 30-40 pounds of beef and a set amount of time to butcher it.  Cuts will be judged on quality, yield and speed.

The top eight meat cutters from the Feb. 25-26 matchups will move onto the final round, held on April 27 at Amelia Island, Florida.  The winner will get a grand prize of $20,000 and bragging rights.

The National Meat Cutting Challenge is part of the Meat Hero program, created in 2001 to recognize the daily efforts of Texas Roadhouse butchers, who hand-cut each steak served at the restaurant.