Butchery is one of the world’s oldest and most respected trades. You need supreme skill and technique to deliver high quality products
Jack Khosrawi – Hard graft leads to success
He was a school prefect at Henderson High and a competitive body builder; now Jack Khosrawi is the Competenz Apprentice Butcher for 2013. Jack’s come a long way since he arrived in New Zealand from Kurdistan seven years ago, unable to write and with very little English.
That’s not to say that success has come easily to Jack. To take out the top prize takes determination and a wide range of skills. ‘I had to study hard every night to get my theory together. Without that, I wouldn’t have won,’ says Jack. But while theory is important, apprentices must demonstrate high levels of competency in knife skills, the quality of the cuts they produce, as well as sound knowledge of health and safety, cooking and serving suggestions and overall presentation.
Presentation is important to Jack, who likes nothing more than organising the store’s gourmet bar. It’s clear he enjoys the attention to detail that’s required in producing premium meat cuts. Jack’s attention to detail will be further enhanced after completing a study tour to the UK in 2014.
Jack has only a few weeks remaining before he becomes a fully-qualified butcher at Pak’nSave Lincoln Road, the largest supermarket in the country. There’s no denying that the last three years have tested Jack’s commitment to the trade.
‘You’ve got to be fit and strong. But you also need to be tough with the right attitude. At the beginning you have to do all the jobs that nobody likes.’
Jack’s advice is to: ‘Be patient and calm and listen. Listening is the most important skill, remember what the butchers tell you and watch them when they’re cutting. You’ve only got three years – you’ve got to be focused. Show respect to your boss and he will look after you. Come to work every day. Don’t be late.’