As part of his Level 3 Retail Butcher training program, our apprentice Ollie embarked on an educational trip to Roskilde, Denmark. He attended a comprehensive two-week course at the renowned Danish Meat Trade College. The intensive schedule provided upcoming butchers like Ollie with advanced knowledge on working optimally in retail butcher shops - from understanding raw materials and tools to mastering specialized equipment and techniques.

Alongside the hands-on practical butchery methods, the course also featured in-depth classes covering crucial aspects like food hygiene, safety protocols, efficient work processes, and the cultural nuances of the retail meat industry. This well-rounded approach ensured apprentices gained both technical expertise and an appreciation for the professional standards.

A significant portion of the two-week program focused on working with pigs. The apprentices received specialized training on utilizing every part of the pig's body to create a diverse array of pork products. They honed their skills in preparing sausages, pulled pork, pork belly, and pork shoulder cuts. Moreover, they learned the intricate processes involved in transforming leftover pork into delicatessen staples like frankfurters and pâtés, maximizing the full potential of the raw material.

This hands-on educational experience in Denmark equipped Ollie and his fellow apprentices with the specialized knowledge, techniques, and industry insights necessary to excel as future retail butchers.


Exploring Copenhagen 

During their time in the Danish city of Roskilde, Ollie and his companions embarked on several excursions to Copenhagen, the capital. Their explorations took them through a diverse array of butchery establishments, ranging from traditional shops steeped in heritage to those occupying historic sites that once served as bustling slaughterhouses and meat markets. This immersive experience afforded them a unique opportunity to observe the meticulous methods employed by Danish butchers in preparing their counters and displays.

Ollie's keen eye and attention to detail enabled him to discern the nuances of various butchery techniques simply by scrutinizing the counters and the assortment of products on offer, each meticulously cut and presented. This first hand exposure allowed him to appreciate the intricate art of meat preparation and the craftsmanship that goes into every slice.

On weekends, they were granted free time to pursue their individual interests and explore Copenhagen at their leisure. Ollie enthusiastically shared that the city boasts a thriving ramen culture, and for those seeking an unforgettable culinary experience, a visit to the renowned ramen bar "Slurp Bros" is an absolute must. This establishment, known for its delectable and authentic ramen offerings, promises to delight even the most discerning palates.

Greek Cuisine

One of the highlights for Ollie during the course was the day when two Greek chefs flew in specifically to teach the apprentice butchers about Greek cuisine and butchery techniques unique to the Greek culinary world. Ollie found this experience particularly fascinating because Greek food culture differs vastly from the typical day-to-day operations in a traditional butcher shop.

In the afternoon, the students were divided into groups and tasked with creating and presenting a complete Greek menu. With an array of ingredients at their disposal, Ollie's group decided to prepare beef moussaka with tzatziki, zucchini fritters, homemade flatbread served with bechamel sauce, and orange pie for dessert. Remarkably, they even made the flatbread from scratch, allowing them to not only enhance their butchery skills but also develop culinary expertise.

This unique opportunity to explore a foreign cuisine provided Ollie with an additional dimension of education, keeping the course exciting and diverse. By stepping outside their regular butchery training, the apprentices gained invaluable exposure to different flavours, techniques, and culinary traditions, broadening their horizons and enriching their overall experience. He said it was a day he will never forget!