Everyone at Great Garnetts would like to wish one of our amazingly talented butchers, Elsie Yardley, the best of luck in the forthcoming World Butchers Challenge competition in Sacremento, USA in September.

The World Butchers’ Challenge is a butchery competition of epic proportions. With butchers from across the globe battling it out for the title of the world’s best, it’s often referred to as the ‘Olympics of Meat’. The competition itself is conducted over a three hour and fifteen minute period with competing teams given a side of beef, a side of pork,  a whole lamb and five chickens which they must then transform into a themed display of value-added products.  Teams are allowed to provide their own seasonings, spices, marinades and garnish to finish products that are designed to inspire and push the boundaries, yet which are also cookable and would sell in a retail setting. Independent judges score each team based on technique & skill, workmanship, product innovation, overall finish and presentation.

Elsie joined Great Garnetts team in 2021 having completed a Butchery apprenticeship through Meat Ipswich. During her time as an apprentice, in 2017 was a finalist in the “Young Butcher of the Year” and in 2018 was crowned “Retail Student of the year” whilst Working at Hards of Halstead.

A keen cook as youngster, Elsie’s love of all thing food, lead to a Saturday job in a butcher’s in Braintree, and from there her talent and creativity has grown.

“Coming to Great Garnetts has allowed me to experiment more with my “finishing” which is my role within Team GB. It’s been really exciting being in a new shop from the outset as James and I have had a blank canvas. A new shop with new beginnings. Although the core of the business is a traditional butcher’s shop, we are a young team and trying to create new and interesting ways attract customers with ready to cook meals and ideas is what I love”.

Julie believes that “The success of our shop is in no small part due to having an enthusiastic team around us, Elsie has been great, with her creativity and alongside James’ local knowledge having been at Sweetlands Butchers in Dunmow for 16 years”. From Robert and Lynne who look after the pigs, Sarah in the office, Trevor in our new kitchen and Joann our very own Queen of curing and Sausages!”.

Jonathan continued, “My main input in the shop is procurement, first and foremost my passion is about selling locally reared animals. As well as all the pork and turkey which is bred and reared here on the farm I buy as much direct from farmers as possible. So far, we have had lambs from Notley, Dunmow and Abridge and I buy as much grass-fed Red Poll cattle from Gt Canfield as I can, which has been very popular”.

Gt Garnetts farm is situated on the High Easter Road at Bishops Green, between Garnetts Wood and the Spotted Dog. As well as a full range of meat, eggs, vegetables, and sauces you can also find an ever-increasing range of ready to eat items such as sausage rolls and Quiches.