b'Brent Comes Through When the opsost any professional athlete will tell youonce Ch victory has ultimately been achievedthat there M was value in previously coming up short.are Down I[we,supposingthesubjectsateamsport]had to lose in order to learn what it takes to win, the post-championship clich often reads.As trite and threadbare as that statement may be, it does hold a grain of truth.Self-examination promotes self-improvement, chasing perfection develops champi-ons.Failure also sweetens the taste of success when it does come.PortPerrysBrentHerringtonunderstandsthose sentiments only too well.For three consecutive years he placed as a runner-up; in his fourth attempt, he won the title as Ontarios Finest Butcher.De nitely,IfeltreliefwhenIwon,aftercomingBrent during thenal round on his way to becoming Ontarios soclosethoseothertimes,herecallsoftherecentFinest Butcher.competition. Ironically, 2019s champion chose his vocation almostFirst, you have to qualify, he explains.They judge by default. your knife skills, pro t margin [the revenue which would Our family relocated to Port Perry while I was in highhave been generated in butchering the raw cuts], and cha-school.I requested a co-op course, which would allowrisma in explaining to the judges what youve created.me to work outside, because Id spent my earlier life onThe top three quali ers face an even tougher test in a dairy farm in Campbellford.But those spaces were al- pursuing the provincial award.ready gone, and butchery was the only one left. Three butcher blocks are set on stage, and the con-Brent paid his dues at a series of abattoirs, and in 1999,testants have the same black box challenge.Using the purchased Reg Cook Quality Butchers in downtown Porttheme of outdoor grilling, we had 30 minutes to butcher Perry. a full prime rib, two roasting chickens, and a leg of lamb. I enjoy taking meats in their rawest form and trans- Just like the qualifying round, your creativity was criti-forming them into something youd be proud to serve atcal.We had a pantry of spices and other accessories avail-your table. able to use.Again, we were marked on the pro tability But as well as creating quality products, this businessof our output, and presentation of thenished products.is about relationship-building, and o ering a level of per- Brents strategy was diversity.sonal service you wontnd in bigger-box stores. I cut some steaks from the rib, created a frenched roast. Just as athletics o er showcases for pro ciency, butch- Then I de-boned andone chicken, divided theattened ery holds competitions among its most talented expo- other.The lamb yielded a satay, roast, and chops.Then I nents.Brent set his sights on earning the title of OntariosPlease turn to page 7Finest Butcher.4 FOCUS - DECEMBER 2019'