Ontario’s Finest Butcher 2023
Congratulations to Chris McNutt of Halenda’s for taking home the title of 2023 Ontario’s Finest Butcher
After battling it out against Ontario’s best butchers, Chris McNutt of Halenda’s Fine Foods came out on top. Congratulations Chris, you have claimed the title of Ontario’s Finest Butcher!!
McNutt, hailing from Oshawa Ontario, is a seasoned Meat Manager at Halenda’s, boasting 15 years of butchery experience. He kick-started his career by completing a Retail Meat Cutting apprenticeship program and has since become a distinguished veteran of the Ontario’s Finest Butcher Competition.
In addition to donning the official champion’s jacket, McNutt took home a prize package valued at over $3000 including a Minimax Big Green Egg™ Ultimate Kit, eno La Plancha Grill, a Chilly Moose Chilly Ice Box cooler and a $250 cash prize from YesGroup.
Congratulations to all of this years competitors. You did an amazing job representing the trade. Notable mention to our other 2 finalists:
- Dylan Meidema of Townsend Butchers
- Dave Vandervelde of VG Meats
Thank you to our esteemed judges for your contribution to making this year’s competition a success:
- John Baker of Ontario Beef
- Troy Spicer of Fanshawe College
- Stefan Seher of Handtmann Canada
- Brent Herrington of Herrington’s Quality Butchers
- Peter Baarda of J & G Meats.
We would also like to thank the following businesses who graciously donated the proteins for our finale:
- Abate Packers
- Newmarket Meat Packers
- Ontario Beef
Couldn’t attend the finale in person?
Watch the recording courtesy of Metro.
Meet The Judges
Troy Spicer, Fanshawe College
Troy grew up in the retail bakery industry, starting work at 3 AM every Saturday at the age of just 15. After high school, he worked in the bakery industry for ten years. After leaving the bakery, Troy gained considerable experience in institutional cooking and catering; went to culinary school, which tweaked a keen interest in butchery. Through these diverse experiences, he earned his Certificate of Qualifications as a Cook 415A and Retail Meat Cutter 245R and credential as a Nutrition Manager with the Canadian Society of Nutrition Managers. Now an expert butcher, baker, and cook, Troy shares his diverse skills in teaching culinary studies, nutrition, and butchery at Fanshawe College.
Peter Baarda, J&G Quality Meats
As the Captain of Team Canada, Peter brings to the table 30+ years of experience in the industry. Peter is a butcher to the true sense of the word. He learned to slaughter, break down, cut,
cure, and make sausage from 2nd and 3rd generation butchers who immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands. After 10 years of honing his skills at an abattoir, he moved on to working in and managing several high-end retail butcher shops around Ontario.
Peter has won Ontario’s Finest Butcher Competition 3 consecutive years and has gone on to judge the event. He’s been involved in several meat cutting demonstrations at various trade shows, including the Canadian Restaurant and Bar Show, the Toronto Sportsmen’s Show, and Skills Ontario. He has appeared on CH Morning Live, Good Morning Sacramento, and has been featured in many local publications.
Peter is currently the Owner/Operator of J&G Quality Meats in Burlington, Ontario. He is only the 3rd owner of this local landmark that traces its roots back to 1962, carrying on a strong tradition of quality and innovation.
Peter started Butchery Team Canada in October 2018 to showcase Canada’s butchery skills on the world stage. He competed at World Butchers’ Challenge in Sacramento, California in 2022 and is looking forward to competing in Paris, France in 2025. He feels that Canada’s food scene, with its eclectic nature, has much to offer the world and much to be proud of.
Stefan Seher, Handtmann Canada
I started to learn the trade of a Butcher at the early age of 16 when I completed my 2-week Co-Op at a local 3rd Generation Family-owned Butcher shop in Bietigheim-Bissingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
After the successful completion of the 3-year butcher apprenticeship program, an opportunity opened to fine tune and to gain further experience in the Meat Industry by moving to Canada.
For the Last 20+ years I have gained valuable meat processing experience while working for Ashburn Foods/Siena Foods and Schneider Foods/Maple Leaf Foods. I then transitioned into the Spice Industry at Malabar Super Spice and since 2018 I’m working as the Manager of Application Technology for Handtmann Canada, a subsidiary of Handtmann Maschienen Fabrik located in Biberach, Germany. My responsibilities at Handtmann include assist the Sales & Technical Managers across Canada in selecting the correct application for processes at their customer, testing new processes and application at our State of the Art Forum in Waterloo where Handtmann can showcase many different machine and commissioning complete lines at customers across Canada. Handtmann equipment is used in Bakery, Meats, Alternate Protein, Dairy and Pet Food Sectors.
John Baker, Baker Marketing Services
John is the President of Baker Marketing Services International. BMSI provides strategic business development and planning, marketing and project implementation services to organizations and companies serving the global meat industry including the Ontario Beef Market Development program, Beef Farmers of Ontario, the Ontario Cattle Feeders Association and the Ontario Corn Fed Beef program.
John brings 40 years experience in the meat industry in domestic and international markets, his experiences include, farm to fork supply chain development, on farm Quality Assurance program development, branded beef program development in the retail and foodservice sectors, strategic planning, marketing and merchandising strategy development and results-focused program execution.
John was a meat cutter/meat dept manager for 20 years working at some of Ontario’s largest retail chains.
2022 OFBC Competition
ABOUT ONTARIO’S FINEST BUTCHER COMPETITION
Ontario’s Finest Butcher competitors begin by showcasing their technical knowledge and knife skills in an Elimination Round and the top four will proceed to the finals round in October. Our finalists will participate in a 30 minute competition to show-off their charming and creative selves, thinking quick on their feet, and adding value to an undisclosed protein. The winner will be announced LIVE following the competition.