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Eighteen local butchers gathered in a Sugar Land ice rink last week to compete in the National Meat Cutting Challenge.
In the contest, each butcher received 25 to 30 pounds of beef — one sirloin, one tenderloin and one rib eye. They were judged on cut quality, yield and speed. Why the ice rink, many may wonder? Thirty-four to 38 degrees — just above the freezing point of water —is prime meat-cutting temperature.
Alejandro Cristobal of Rosenberg placed first, followed by Eris Guevara of Katy and Davied Garcia of Houston. The trio advance to the national competition in Orlando, Florida, next March, where the winner receives $20,000. Joe Landy, a market supervisor with Texas Roadhouse, the sponsor of the competition, said the butchers cut about 86,000 pounds, or roughly $1 million worth of meat, in an average year.
Proceeds from the contest went to the Tip of the Spear Foundation, a charity that benefits the families of fallen special operations soldiers, the restaurant chain said.