Austinite Wins State Title in Inaugural Competition
AUSTIN, TX – After nearly four months of intense competition, culminating in a final battle at the Austin Food + Wine Festival, the Texas Beef Council (TBC) is proud to announce Austinite Bryan Butler as Beef Loving Texans’ Best Butcher in Texas. During the finals, competitors went knife-to-knife to merchandise and fabricate various cuts of beef for consumer-ready purchase, and were judged on their technique, creativity, presentation and ability to interact with the consumers and answer questions.
Two other competitors from across to the state fought valiantly for the title, including Michael Majkszak, owner of Majkszak’s Meat Market in Conroe, and Shawn Knowles, owner of Old Town Market in Lewisville; ultimately, it was Salt & Time Butcher Shop co-owner Bryan Butler who took home the title. Butler has a lifetime of experience as a butcher, and in 2010 he partnered with Ben Runkle to make Salt & Time Austin’s first whole carcass Butcher Shop, Salumeria and Restaurant.
After being crowned the “rarest of them all,” Butler received a $5,000 grand prize, a knife set courtesy of Victorinox Swiss Army from their Fibrox Pro Cutlery line, a custom golden cleaver trophy, as well as inclusion in a one full-page co-branded ad in Texas Monthly.
“Hosting the competition has allowed us to not only showcase beef and celebrate a Texas tradition; it further enhances the checkoff-funded Beef Loving Texans brand,” said Steven Lastovica, TBC board member and cattleman from Salado. “So far we’ve garnered 36 million media impressions from the competition and we expect that number to continue to grow. This is been a great opportunity to reach and engage with Texas consumers.”
Each butcher that participated in the final competition will join Butler by representing Beef Loving Texans as the Best Butcher Council. These butchers will work together across the state to educate consumers on what to look for in the market for their beef needs.
Throughout the competition process that started in January, semifinal competitions were held in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, each yielding over 190 pounds of beef. All the beef from each event was donated to charitable organizations, resulting in a total of over 2,400 meals being served to those in need across Texas. In each regional semifinal city, TBC partnered with culinary schools to host the events, including The Art Institute of Houston, El Centro College in Dallas and St. Philip’s College in San Antonio, providing an educational opportunity for interested students.
Beef Loving Texans is TBC’s consumer brand created to share unique recipes, stories, cooking and shopping tips and expert nutrition information. The Beef Loving Texans brand celebrates the pride and values deeply rooted in Texans through family, community and tradition. More information on the mission of Beef Loving Texans can be found at BeefLovingTexans.com.
The Texas Beef Council (TBC) conducts the $1 per head national checkoff program for Texas beef producers and is also the contractor for the Beef Promotion Research Council of Texas (BPRCT), which administers the $1 per head Texas state checkoff program. TBC’s mission is to increase beef demand in the state through programs of beef promotion, research and education. TBC also helps fund national and international beef checkoff programs to increase marketing opportunities around the globe. The BPRCT’s mission is to improve Texas producer profitability by strengthening and expanding beef demand. The TBC and the BPRCT are directed by a 20-member board of cattlemen and women representing the state’s beef producers. For more information on this and other checkoff-funded programs, please visit TexasBeefCheckoff.com or call 800- 846-4113.