An Oklahoma City butcher is carving his way through a one-of-a-kind competition as he inches one slice closer to the final round of the National Meat Cutting Challenge presented by Texas Roadhouse.
Silvano Vicente earned a qualifying top spot here in Oklahoma in October and will now move on to the regional competition at Children’s Health Star Center in Farmers Branch, Texas, at 11 a.m. Jan. 18.
Twenty-five competitors will vie for the top five spots to move on to the final competition and a chance at winning the $25,000 grand prize.
Vicente and his fellow competitors are the meat-cutters responsible for every steak served at their local Texas Roadhouse locations. In an average year, they cut about $1 million worth of meat and spend seven to eight hours a day cutting meat in the 35F walk-in cooler.
For the competition, each participant receives 30-40 pounds of beef consisting of one sirloin, ribeye and filet. The contestants are judged on quality, yield, and speed and the cutter who yields the most steaks, with the highest quality cut in the least amount of time, taking top prize. To assure the best, freshest quality meat, all cutting is done at a chilly 38 F.
“Meat-cutting is truly a lost art,” said Jesse Selland, Texas Roadhouse Product Coach. “Our annual competition celebrates the success of our professional meat cutters. Our meat-cutting challenges are one way we show appreciation and reward their hard work and dedication to cutting perfect steaks for our guests.”
In addition to the $25,00 grand prize, the winner of the final round of the 2024 national competition in March will be crowned Meat Cutter of the Year.
The National Meat Cutting Challenge is part of the Meat Hero program, created in 2001, to recognize daily efforts of Texas Roadhouse meat cutters, who hand-cut each steak served at restaurant locations across the Kentucky-based chains more than 600 locations. Their work is displayed in the lobby where guests are invited to choose their favorite steak.