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Knives Out

Can New Zealand’s best butchers become our next world champions?

Knives Out follows the Pure South Sharp Blacks, our nationally selected butchery team — the elite butchers of our country. They train, sweat, practise, plan and sacrifice. And in 2018 the team has a collective dream — to take out the 2018 World Butcher’s Cup and become world butchery champions again.

In 2016, the team were poised to take out the World Butcher’s Challenge for the 4th consecutive time, but were cut down by newcomers France. It was a shocking defeat and one the team are yet to move on from. A crushing trans-Tasman loss to the Aussies in early 2017 left the Sharp Blacks rocked by defeat, and wondering if they have what it takes to win the cup back in 2018.

Like any top team, the lead up to a big event is a serious time and the Sharp Blacks are in training 8 months out from the World Butchers Challenge. This involves local and national trainings, team and individual practises, not to mention perfecting the perfect sausage recipe.

The 2018 World Butchers Challenge is the biggest international butchery competition the world has seen, and will be held in Belfast, Ireland. The competition sees teams from all around the world fight for the title of the best butchers on the globe. Each country has a team of six butchers who have three hours and fifteen minutes to turn a side of beef, a side of pork and a whole lamb into an artistic display of meat.  Each person has a special role to play too — from the engine-room of the twin boners, to the high profile garnisher and display expert. The display will be themed around a subject of the team’s choosing.

This year, New Zealand have three new young members making their debut, in contrast with the battle-hardened Aussie team. And while France might be the World Champions it’s the Kiwis that are desperate to win — with the hopes of a nation riding on them, it’s the same kind of unbearable pressure the All Blacks have to face.

Don't miss Knives Out, new episodes every Friday from 8 June, on TVNZ OnDemand.

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