Local Butchers Part of ‘Team USA’ in International Competition

SACRAMENTO -- Six of the country's best butchers are in Sacramento this week to prepare to compete in the World Butcher's Challenge next year in Ireland.

Two members of Team USA work at Taylor's Market in Sacramento's Land Park neighborhood, including owner Danny Johnson.

"Yesterday afternoon we cut up a half beef, got to see everybody's knife skills, what the strengths are,"Johnson said. "We've already assigned everybody on the team what they will be doing."

Johnson is bringing along long-time apprentice Paul Carras.

"Paul's been with us since he was 15 years old and started in the meat department as a clean-up kid, and now he's our meat manager and we don't have a chance to win without him," Johnson said.

To win the competition, butchers will have to cut up half a cow, half a hog and a whole lamb in just a little over three hours. They will be judged on knife skills and how much of the animal is used.

Johnson has been a butcher for 34 years and says he has learned everything he knows from the man who opened Taylor's 50 years ago -- Ed Schell

Schell has become a mentor to Team USA and thinks they have a good chance to win.

"Very satisfied. I'm proud of all of them. They are awesome. They are a bunch of good meat cutters," Schell told FOX40. "I'm impressed."

Team USA is raising money for their trip to Ireland in March.