A Columbus butcher hopes to slice his way through a field of more than 100 competitors vying to become Texas Roadhouse’s meat cutter of the year.
Jose Luis Alamo, who works at Columbus’ Texas Roadhouse, will join 112 meat cutters from around the country during the National Meat-Cutting Challenge at the Ice Factory skating rink in Kissimmee, Florida. The competition, which begins Tuesday with three regional competitions, will test the skills of meat cutters such as Alamo.
The field will be narrowed to 30 individuals during the semi-final round Wednesday, with the top 10 competing in the final event that day, according to a news release.
The top winner will receive $20,000 and bragging rights as Texas Roadhouse Meat Cutter of the Year. The winner will be announced in April at the Texas Roadhouse annual conference in Orlando.
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Each participant receives 25 to 30 pounds of beef consisting of one sirloin, one tenderloin and one ribeye steak to cut. Meat cutters are judged on quality, yield and speed.
The winner is determined by who yields the most steaks with the highest quality cut in the least amount of time. All cuts will be done in a 38-degree environment.
Alamo, who started working for Texas Roadhouse nine years ago, is making his third trip to the meat-cutting challenge. He has been a meat cutter at the restaurant for the past six years and said he feels confident going into this year’s event.
Alamo said his past participation in the meat-cutting challenge has allowed him to hone his skills and gain a better sense of what the judges expect.
Alamo placed third in the first-round of competition two years ago in Indianapolis that qualified him for the 2016 national event. If he’s able to walk away with the title as meat cutter of the year and the $20,000 grand prize, Alamo said he plans to use the money as a down payment on a home.
Jarrod Hoye, managing partner of the Columbus restaurant, said Alamo is prepared for the competition and praised his work as an employee in providing customers with top-quality steaks.
“We’re very proud of him whether he wins or doesn’t win,” Hoye said. “And he always does his absolute best.”
Participants in the National Meat-Cutting Challenge in Kissimmee, Florida, will each receive 25 to 30 pounds of beef, consisting of one sirloin, one tenderloin and one ribeye steak to cut.
Meat cutters are judged on quality, yield and speed with the winner being determined by who yields the most steaks with the highest quality cut in the least amount of time.
The challenge is part of the Meat Hero program created in 2001 to recognize the daily efforts of Texas Roadhouse meat cutters.