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Meat cutting competition comes to WF

Contestants vie for $20,000
Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 7:18 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Meat cutting. It’s a tradition as old as time, and now the prehistoric skill has been refined into competition thanks to the Texas Roadhouse Qualifier Meat Cutting Challenge.

“The overall competition is to come in and cut the highest yield,” Texas Roadhouse Product Coach, Lyle Gay said.

The competition featured six meat cutters, including Wichita Falls native Richard Rodriguez, all cutting for pride and the lofty prize of $20,000.

“It’s life-changing for some of these guys,” Gay said.

So, what determines a good cut?

For judges, it’s based on certain width and a specific length of the meat, a clean-cut with no fat, the right weight, and of course, getting it all done in an hour or less.

“It’s not hard but you get nervous and you know if you miss it you miss it,” Rodriguez said.

And the margin of error is slim.

“We kicked one of our steaks because it was an eighth of an inch too much fat, that’s like a fingernail,” Gay said. “That’s just what it comes down to and that’s how meticulous we are about this stuff.”

Being meticulous in a below-freezing setting, proving it takes a certain breed to take home the big prize.

“You know that saying like you put your head down and you get to work? That’s exactly what they do,” Gay said. “They focus in and they get tunnel vision and they get after it because there are so many things that if they forget to do this or forget to do this it’s a kick.”

For Rodriguez, the dream of being called champion would have to wait another year, but the passion for the craft continues.

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