This month, we meet Daniel. Keen rugby player and soon-to-be new dad, Daniel is one of our team of family butchers.
At just 20 he’s the youngest of the team, and after a summer job here at Douglas Willis 3 years ago, he set aside his plan for a career in fitness in favour of learning the art of butchery and hasn’t looked back.
We asked him all about what life is like as a butcher here at Douglas Willis:
What do you think it takes to be a good butcher?
Well aside from a cracking sense of humour and being able to work well as part of a team, the most important thing is that you care. Both about the meat you’re preparing and about the needs of the customer. Attention to detail is so important.
Working at Douglas Willis made me realise that butchery is a dying art and that I want to help keep it alive. A good butcher takes great care to make sure that every piece they prepare is the best it can be for the customer to enjoy. You don’t get that from a factory.
What does a typical day look like for you and what do you love doing most?
My days are varied but involve everything from breaking down large pieces of meat, preparing and trimming specific cuts for our customers; to helping to make sausages in our Sausage Room, or packaging up meat for sale. Days can be long, with lots of standing, but as a fitness enthusiast my favourite part of the job is handling the heavy pieces of meat and carcasses. I’m proud to say I hold the record here for lifting the biggest hind quarter at 166kg!
What do you think sets Douglas Willis apart as a butcher?
From the day I started working here I could see the care that goes into everything. From raising the animals on our farms, through to preparing and selling meat online or in our shops. The team are all so friendly and they genuinely care about putting quality ahead of quantity.
What have you learnt about butchery that has surprised you?
There has been a huge amount to learn. But what has surprised me the most is that despite lamb, pork and beef all having the same basic bone structure, there are such a variety of cuts you can get from each piece.
What is your favourite cut of meat and why?
The centre cut of topside is the absolute best for a roast dinner, it looks great on the plate and my nan cooks it to perfection for Sunday lunch!