‘Irish beef is far superior in quality to anything I saw in Australia,’ says Keith Walsh

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An Irish butcher finished runner-up at an international competition in Australia at the weekend, having also been a member of the Irish team that triumphed in the World Butchers’ Challenge last month.

Keith Walsh, from Donegal, was awarded a gold medal and finished second overall at the Lifeline Young Butchers International Cutting and Cooking Competition in Perth, Australia on Sunday.

 

Walsh, who works in the family business, Eddie Walsh & Sons craft butchers in Donegal town, was a member of the Irish team that triumphed in the World Butchers’ Challenge when it was staged in Belfast last month.

There were 12 nations in contention at the Belfast event, and following his strong showing in the young butcher division there, Walsh received a last-minute invitation to compete in Perth.

At the competition in Australia, he had three hours to prepare a display of pork, beef and lamb, as well as cook a beef dish and present it for judging.

Walsh’s display included pork roulade, lamb and pea meatballs, pork and apple burgers, slow roast stuffed belly of lamb, pork and mushroom en croute, picanha steak, sirloin steak burgers and a variety of lamb, pork and steak stir-fries.

“It was an amazing experience going up against the best in the world and to leave with a gold medal and overall runner-up is amazing,” Walsh said. “It has been a whirlwind week and a half since I got the call to go to Perth, but it is an experience that I will remember forever. To get the opportunity to represent my country twice in the space of a month is a fantastic honour.”

While acknowledging the “good standard” of Australian lamb, Walsh said “Irish beef is far superior in quality to anything I saw in Australia”.

Eddie Walsh & Sons was established in 1962 in Ballintra, Co Donegal, and there are now eight family members working at the shop in Donegal town.

Keith Walsh’s trip was co-sponsored by Butchery Excellence International, and Lifeline Perth.

The Irish team at the World Butchers’ Challenge in Belfast was captained by Garrett Landers of Garrett’s butcher shop in Limerick. Teams from New Zealand and Australia filled second and third places. The competition also attracted entries from Brazil, Bulgaria, France, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Italy, South Africa and the US.