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James Taylor scoops two prestigious national awards

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James Taylor, a Q Guild Butcher and apprentice of Simpsons Butchers, was named Young Butcher of the Year in the National Butcher’s Shop of the Year Awards 2017 at a ceremony at London’s County Hall on November 06. Capping off an unbelievable two weeks he then went onto to win the UK WorldSkills final 2017 at the NEC in Birmingham on November 16 - 18.

The awards recognise excellence and innovation in butchery and were organised by industry title, Meat Trades Journal. James was awarded the Marco Peerdeman Award for Young Butcher of the Year for his whole supply chain knowledge and creative product development.

Commenting on James’ Young Butcher of the Year Award, judges recognised his successes to date: “Twice runner up for Young Butcher of the Year in the past two years, 21-year-old James was also a member of the 2017 International Young Butcher team.

“He won the Leeds heat of the Butchery World Skills contest this year and is now moving to take up more management responsibility within the Simpsons Butchers business.”

It has been a very busy and successful year for James; in June he was crowned World Skills Butchery heat winner at Leeds City College, which was followed by a final at Birmingham NEC, November 16 – 18, where six finalists from across the UK were presented with a series of challenges including producing ready-to-eat meals, a sausage-making and barbecue section, a kitchen-ready round, boning and seaming and creating an aesthetically appealing display. After two days of intense competition James was crowned overall winner to cap off quite a remarkable year with two prestigious awards.

James Taylor, started working life as an apprentice at Simpsons Butchers and at 21 years of age, has a bright future in the industry. His first introduction to competition came at the National Federation of Meat and Food Traders Premier Young Butcher Competition in February 2016 where he was placed third, he then entered and won the Dalziel Young Butchers Creative Meat Display Competition in May 2016.

Proprietor of Simpsons’ Butchers and James’ mentor, Gary Simpson commented. “James has been working for us for five years now, to win the two top national awards in the space of two weeks is an absolutely fantastic achievement. It’s a great accolade for him and testament for all the hard work he has put into getting this far”. As well as James’ hard work it also underlines Simpsons’ commitment to young people in the industry by giving them the skills to succeed. We are all very proud of his achievements.”

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