$25K prize heats up meat-cutting challenge on ice; 2 from Port Arthur competing

Published 12:16 am Thursday, October 5, 2023

A couple of Port Arthur meat specialists are competing next week in Houston for a chance to win $25,000.

When area butchers hit the ice rink at Aerodrome Ice Rink, they won’t need skates or hockey sticks to score. To prove they’re a cut above the competition, 39 professional meat-cutters are competing on the ice in the first round of the Qualifier Meat Cutting Challenge.

The event begins at noon Oct. 12 at 8220 Willow Place Drive in Houston.

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Representing Port Arthur are Juan Antonio Lomeli and Orlando Rojas.

Each participant receives 30-40 pounds of beef, consisting of one sirloin, one filet and one ribeye to cut.

Meat cutters are judged on quality, yield and speed. The winner is the cutter who yields the most steaks, with the highest quality cut in the least amount of time.

Top scoring challengers in the region advance to the semi-finals, where they’ll compete for the opportunity to participate in the 2024 national competition.

The semi-finals and final competition will be held in March.

The winner of the national competition receives a grand prize of $25,000 and is crowned Meat Cutter of the Year.

“Meat-cutting is truly a lost art,” says Gio Vega, Texas Roadhouse Product Coach. “Our annual competition celebrates the success of our professional meat cutters. Our meat-cutting challenges are one way we show appreciation and reward their hard work and dedication to cutting perfect steaks for our guests.”

Each Meat Cutter is responsible for hand-cutting every steak served at their local Texas Roadhouse. In an average year, they cut about $1 million worth of meat and spend seven to eight hours a day cutting meat in the 35-degree walk-in cooler.

The National Meat Cutting Challenge is part of the Meat Hero program, created in 2001, to recognize daily efforts of Texas Roadhouse meat cutters.