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Butcher makes cut in competition

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A Columbus butcher is slicing through the competition and later this month will compete in a regional round of the National Meat Cutting Challenge.

Jose Luis Alamo, who is responsible for hand-cutting every steak that is served at Columbus’ Texas Roadhouse, will compete Feb. 25 at The Ice Factory in Kissimmee, Fla., according to a Texas Roadhouse media release. He advanced to the regional round by outperforming other butchers in an area competition last year.

Alamo will join 87 professional meat cutters from around the nation, all vying for the title Meat Cutter of the Year and a grand prize of $20,000.

The competition in Florida begins with three regional challenges to narrow the field. On Feb. 26, the top 24 meat cutters will face off in the semifinal round. The top eight move on to the final April 27 at Amelia Island, Fla.

Each participant will receives 30 to 40 pounds of beef, consisting of two sirloins, one filet and one ribeye to cut. Meat cutters are judged on quality, yield and speed. The winner is the cutter who yields the most steaks, with the highest-quality cut in the least amount of time. All cutting is done at a 38 degrees, according to the media release.

In an average year, each butcher will cut about $1 million worth of meat and spend seven to eight hours a day in the 35-degree walk-in cooler, where they work making sure the meat stays fresh, according to the media release.

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