News Release:

Raise the steaks: Best butchers and fishmongers qualify for face-off at FEAST Portland on September 21

Top Whole Foods Market® butchers and fishmongers to go head-to-tail in live, ultimate “Surf and Turf” showdown

AUSTIN, Texas (Sept. 5, 2013)Twenty-two of the most skilled butchers and fishmongers in the nation will duke it out on Saturday, Sept. 21 in the “Best Butcher Competition and Fishmonger Face-Off”– an epic, live battle of sharp minds and sharp knives – for the glory of being crowned best in their craft.

The event, hosted by Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) at Bon Appétit Presents Feast Portland: A Celebration of Oregon Bounty, is the final showdown between the company’s best and brightest cutting connoisseurs. After slicing their way through regional competitions, 11 butchers and 11 fishmongers will take the national stage in Portland for one final battle – a series of quick-fire challenges in front of a live audience and panel of expert and celebrity judges.

“Whole Foods Market’s skilled fishmongers are the stars of our seafood departments,” said David Pilat, global seafood coordinator for Whole Foods Market. “They help shoppers take the guesswork out of selecting and cooking the best fish for their budgets, offer cut-to-order fillets for all occasions and help point out the most sustainable seafood choices available. This event gives people a chance to see their skills in action and learn how fun and versatile seafood can be.” 

Emcees for the event include Portland natives, Top Chef Masters contestant and Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chef 2012, Jenn Louis, of Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern; and master butcher, chef and restaurateur, Adam Sappington at The Country Cat. Celebrity judges include Aaron Franklin, pitmaster and owner of Franklin BBQ, named the best in America by Bon Appétit; and Paul Qui, Top Chef champion, James Beard award winner, and owner of Qui and East Side King in Austin, Texas.

“Professional butchers are a rare find and a secret ‘ingredient’ when it comes to buying and preparing delicious meat,” said Theo Weening, Whole Foods Market’s global meat coordinator. “At Whole Foods Market, we have expert butchers at every one of our stores who are ready to help shoppers find and customize cuts to meet their needs. We’re excited to spotlight our top talent on this world-class culinary stage.”

The free, public event will kick off at 11 a.m. at Director Park in downtown Portland. Fishmongers will face off first, followed by the butchers. Both showdowns will include two timed rounds in which contenders will cut and display several types of fish or meat, revealed just moments before each round begins. The competitor who delivers the best execution in their category with the highest yield will take the coveted title of “Finest Fishmonger” or “Best Butcher.”

For a full list of fishmongers and butchers competing, please visit: media.wholefoodsmarket.com/press/best-butcher-fishmonger-face-off.

In addition to the competitions, FEAST festivalgoers can enjoy live music from Redwood Son and sample premium dishes from eight of the company’s top seafood and meat suppliers. Attendees can also learn about Whole Foods Market’s high quality standards and commitment to transparency in the seafood and meat departments – from its seafood sustainability rating system to its commitment to animal welfare.


Related Images




Experts

David Pilat

Global Seafood Buyer

David Pilat has accumulated a wealth of seafood knowledge and experience having worked in several stores, four regions, and Whole Foods Market’s own seafood processing facility in Pigeon Cove based in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Theo Weening

Global Meat Buyer

Theo’s passion for quality meats; intricate knowledge of raising practices, cuts and preparation techniques; and his dedication to the art of a centuries-old craft has made him a highly-sought national expert.

Whole Foods Market’s Best Butcher Competition & Fishmonger Face-off Regional Finalists: Best Butcher and Fishmongers Regional Finalists: Best Butcher and Fishmongers