OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Monday morning, inside the 38 degree Tim Moylan Tranquility Iceplex, Angel Rivera was named Texas Roadhouse’s “Best Regional Meat Cutter.” He beat out six other local Texas Roadhouse meat cutters for a chance to go to Florida for the Meat Cutter of the Year competition and a $20,000 prize.
It’s a high stakes competition.
“A lot of stress,” Eric Arriola, Meat Cutter, Papillion Texas Roadhouse said. “A lot of pressure, a lot of people looking at you, cameras.”
“They hand cut our steaks every day inside our restaurants,” Erin Lee, Marketing Coach, Texas Roadhouse said. “They are cutting to win some big money. The top 17 in the 200 locations we have across the Midwest are all going to compete to go to Orlando where they can win $20,000.”
Each meat cutter is given 30 lbs. of beef; the goal is to yield the most steaks with the highest quality cuts, in the least amount of time.
“We have a lot of specs we have to go by,” Arriola said. “Measurements, each muscle has a different measurement whether how tall it is, how thick it is, the length, how much fat can be on it, if there is silver skin on it.”
When the time is up, judges examine each sirloin, filet and ribeye.
“There is always some doubt,” Arriola said. “There is always some question whether the judges will find a little piece of silver skin.”
The cuts in this competition, Arriola said, are nothing; he's used to cutting meat in a cooler for eight hours a day; in an average year, that's about $1-million worth of meat.