Stillwater News Press

February 18, 2014

Texas Roadhouse employee slices his way into meat cutting competition finals

By Justin Tate
Stillwater News Press

STILLWATER, Okla. — Matt Farney is headed to Florida to compete in the A1 National Meat Cutting Challenge on Feb. 25.

The annual competition is held by Texas Roadhouse. After a few initial rounds of meat cutting, the competition takes the 24 best butchers of the companies three regions. Those 87 butchers are invited to Florida to participate in the final competition.

“This is my first time to go,” Farney said. “We have over 500 cutters in the company and I’m one of the top 87, so that’s pretty good.”

Farney is from Blackwell and has worked for Texas Roadhouse in Stillwater for almost four years. Farney said he hopes to win the competition but won’t be disappointed if he doesn’t.

“I’m just glad to have made it that far,” Farney said. “From our region I’m the first one in — from the three stores we have in Oklahoma.”

The grand prize is $20,000 and the title, “Meat Cutter of the Year.” Farney started his days as a butcher processing beef, deer and other meats in a shop in Blackwell. Farney soon started working for a grocery store but didn’t like dealing with customers. Farney left the grocery store, applied at Texas Roadhouse and got the job.

“I’ve been cutting here for almost four years,” Farney said. “It’s a good trade. It’s definitely a skill worth having.”

Farney said most people don’t realize how complicated meat cutting is.

“A lot of people don’t realize it’s a long process,” Farney said. “They think it’s just a package that comes in, you open it, and you put it on the grill and cook it. It’s not as easy as people make it out to be,” Farney said.

Farney said he doesn’t know if he will win the competition, but he is happy to have the chance to get away from work.

“I’m excited about it. It’s a good chance to get away from here for a week and enjoy the Florida weather,” Farney said.