Benoît Réant, butcher in Aime-la-Plagne, has been selected for the French butchery team to participate in the World Cup for his specialty from September 2 in the United States. A first selection for the Savoyard who hopes to promote his profession in lack of manpower.
Behind their counter, they are six French butchers to cherish in a corner of their head a dream of America. That of winning, in September, the world cup of their specialty in the United States: the World butchers’ challenge. Four members of the French team exercise their profession in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. A first record before the time of the official competition which will begin on September 2 and 3.
« On August 28, my shop will close at the end of the afternoon. Immediate departure for Sacramento! » From his butcher’s shop in Aime-la-Plagne (Savoie), of which he has been the boss for almost 2 and a half years, Benoît Réant can already see the doors of the gigantic arena of the Golden 1 Center, the NBA stadium, opening in front of him. Sacramento basketball players, the Kings. Kings and their crown on which Benoît, selected for the first time in the French team, does not make a « fixette ».
« Having been selected by Joël Lucas, the Lyon captain of the France team, alongside four MOFs (best workers in France, editor’s note) , it is true that it is not nothing. It’s already a great personal challenge. But I participate first to promote the profession. Because good butchers are rare. And it’s a profession where there is also a lack of manpower »notes Benoît Réant.
Modest, the Savoyard butcher. Even when a question is addressed to him by a customer on the other side of his stall about his upcoming trip to the land of the « T-bone » piece of beef, Benoît does not get fired up. « It is first of all the love of the profession that has pushed me, over the past three years, to go up to Paris every fortnight to train with the rest of the team. These are neither dreams of glory nor the hope of commercial benefits. For two and a half years since I opened my gourmet butchery here, people do not need a title of world champion to come to see me »he believes.
Still, hanging a world champion jersey with two stars would still have the most beautiful effect in his shop in Tarentaise. As in those of the three other butchers from the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region also selected for the French team.
In addition to his Lyonnais captain already mentioned, Benoît will team up with Mickaël Chabanon, butcher at Puy-en-Velay (Haute-Loire) and Gaëtan Genestoux who officiates at Le Cendre (Puy-de-Dôme).
For all, the American challenge is in three figures, no more. In the Butchery World Cup, there are no 4-4-2 or 4-2-4 tactics like in football, but rather a good old 1-3-4. A single test in 3h15 time. And with four knives in hand: two boners, a peeler and a slicer.
Armed with these tools and their skills, the teams must build an XXL meat table over 7 meters long from the carcasses of half a cow, half a pig, a lamb and five poultry. « A physical and technical exercise that requires perfect coordination between each member of the team as well as great creativity in the presentation »recalls the French Confederation of butchers and delicatessen caterers (CFBCT) which supports the France team.
All under the watchful eye of judges, obviously butchery professionals, sent by the 14 participating nations. And among the Australian, New Zealander referees – it is through a competition between the butchers of these two countries that the World butchers’ challenge was born -, Brazilian or Canadian, yet another regional from Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes in this concerning the tricolor judge. This is Fabien Michel, based in Eybens, in Isère. A regular on juries, Anglo-Saxon in particular, because the Isère butcher spent part of his career in Australia.
Nothing but beautiful people to compete with our Blues. Crowned world champions during their very first participation in 2016, on the Gold Coast in Australia, they are also the title holders of the European Cup. So why not dream of a second star?
The opponents of the Blues in Sacramento on September 2 and 3
Ireland (2018 World Butchers’ Challenge reigning champions), New Zealand (2018 silver medalist), Australia (2018 bronze medalist), Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Germany , Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, South Africa, the United States, Wales and Portugal.