Meat cutters beat the cold and compete to be regional champion

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Seven Texas Roadhouse meat cutters had the opportunity to show off their skills in the 2017 North Texas - Oklahoma Qualifying Meat Cutting Competition in Wichita Falls.

"It's just kind of a centralized location for the market and brings everybody together, a little bit of comrade, a little bit of fun, and see who's the best," Managing Partner of the Wichita Falls Texas Roadhouse, Craig Bolles said.

One of the competitors was from Wichita Falls was Ricardo Rodriguez.

"I'm feeling pretty good," Rodriguez said.

Every day he said he puts his headphones in and goes to work.

"He cuts approximately five to 6,000 pounds of meat each week in a 34-degree room that he spends 55 to 60 hours a week in," Bolles said.

Rodriguez said the cold isn't too bad because you can always add a layer of clothes.

"I can go work in there, by myself and enjoy the music," Rodriguez said.

"He's awesome," Bolles said. "A great guy, does a phenomenal job for us as you can tell and ever been in there and had one of our steaks."

Rodriguez said he has worked for Texas Roadhouse for 9 years. He competed several times. One year he came in third place in the nation.

For William Vaughn, at the Lawton Texas Roadhouse, this was only his second time to compete.

"For Texas Roadhouse I've been a meat cutter for about 16 months," Vaughn said. "I cut previously in packing houses and grocery stores but this company is far superior to anything else I have ever cut for."

He said the job isn't easy.

"You have to be able to work alone a lot, and you have to be able to stand the cold, and you can't be squeamish around blood," Vaughn said. "We cut lots of muscles every day and it's not really for those with weak stomachs."

The kitchen manager of the Texas Roadhouse in Lawton praised the work done by Vaughn.

"As a meat cutter as he was saying you're kind of isolated off from the rest of your team," Vaughn said. "You have to push yourself and that's something you either have it or you don't."

Vaughn said he looks forward to coming to work every day.

"It's like being a part of a family it's not necessarily a job, it's not something that you say oh I don't want to go to work today. You jump up and run to work. I mean you get there, we beat down the door trying to get in in the morning," Vaughn said.

"He's coming in and he's like hey man I watched four videos on ribeye this weekend and I think I have a better idea of maybe what we need to do to get a little bit of a better," Bolles said.

The Lawton and Wichita Falls managers are proud of the work the meat cutters do in the restaurant. Neither will be competing at the next level this year. Jose Zapata from Amarillo won the regional competition this morning. He is headed to Orlando to compete for the chance to win $20,000.

Copyright 2017 RNN Texoma All Rights Reserved