Ontario’s Finest Butcher
Nicholas Matusiak, head butcher at Halenda’s King Street, Oshawa, location finally took home top prize in the Ontario’s Finest Butcher 2018 competition. After making it to the finals in 2016, 2017, and 2018, Nicholas outperformed his two competitors in a head-to-head battle for meat cutting supremacy hosted by Ontario Independent Meat Processors (OIMP).
The theme for this year’s final ‘black box’ round was ‘Hunting Season’ and Matusiak along with fellow finalists Brent Herrington of Herrington’s Quality Butchers in Port Perry, and Paul Kennedy of Nesbitt’s Meat Market in Lindsay, had 30 minutes to transform a whole duck, a wild boar rack, and a leg of venison into merchandisable cuts ready for a display case.
“It’s an amazing feeling to hold this prestigious award,” says Matusiak. “I’d like to thank everyone from OIMP and the entire Halenda’s company. I’d also like to congratulate the other finalists, Brent and Paul, and thank my family for their love and encouragement. Hard work and determination pay off!”
“Halenda’s is very proud of Nicholas,” says David Hobson, owner, Halenda’s King Street, Oshawa. “The hard work and perseverance he puts forth day in and day out has led him to the pinnacle of his trade.”
In the elimination round held in September, twelve competitors from around the province had 30 minutes to transform a fresh pork bone-in leg, bone-in butt, and bone-in loin, into merchandisable cuts of their choice, and were judged on the degree of difficulty/efficiency and skill level in boning, trimming and cutting, primal cut utilization and financial performance. In the final round, it was still about skill, but creativity and consumer-appeal were added to the judging criteria.
ontario’s finest butcher 2018 winner is…
Ontario’s Finest Butcher 2017
Damian Goriup, Florence Meats, Oakville
Ontario’s Finest Butcher 2016
Peter Baarda, J & G Quality Meats, Burlington
Ontario’s Finest Butcher 2015
Peter Baarda, Lococo’s, Stoney Creek
Ontario’s Finest Butcher 2014
Peter Baarda, Lococo’s Stoney Creek