A plaque for the HERO program
at Texas Roadhouse recognizing employee Josh
Balthazor of West Bend at Texas Roadhouse on
Thursday afternoon in West Bend. Balthazor has been
competing in meat cutting challenges for the past
two years around the country. Balothazor said he
enjoys the freedom of cutting meat.
Photo by John Ehlke
WEST BEND -
Texas Roadhouse meat cutters will sharpen their knives for round
one of the Texas Roadhouse National Meat Cutting Challenge to
benefit the Washington County Youth Hockey Association.
The meat-cutting challenge will be from 9:30-11 a.m. Oct. 9 at
the Kettle Moraine Ice Center, 2330 S. Main St., in West Bend. A
luncheon to benefit the Youth Hockey Association will be from
noon-2 p.m in the upper lobby.
The challenge is part of the Meat Hero Program, created in 2001
to recognize the daily efforts of Texas Roadhouse meat cutters.
Matthew Smith, Texas Roadhouse product coach, said it’s an
annual event and participants from Illinois and Wisconsin
complete in the challenge to test their skills.
Smith said meat cutters at Texas Roadhouse spend 10 hours a day
in a refrigerated room cutting the meat served in the
restaurant. To match those frigid conditions competitors will
compete on the ice.
Josh Balthazor of Kewaskum, a meat cutter at the West Bend Texas
Roadhouse, will compete in the challenge.
Josh Balthazor of West Bend
sits next to a rib-eye steak cut at Texas Roadhouse
on Thursday afternoon in West Bend.
Photo by John Ehlke
receives 30-40 pounds of beef, which consists of two
sirloins, one filet and one rib-eye. Meat cutters are judged
on quality, yield and speed. The winning cutter will yield
the most steaks with the highest quality cut in the least
amount of time.
Balthazor started competing two years ago about three months
after he started working at the restaurant. He made it to
nationals in Philadelphia the first year he competed; last
year he made it to regionals.
According to a Texas Roadhouse news release, two challengers
will advance to the semifinals in February where they’ll
compete for a chance to go to the national competition in
Arizona. The winner is crowned Meat Cutter of the Year and
Balthazor said he doesn’t have any special strategies for
the competition other than doing what he does during a
normal day at work.
“You get a chance to see what’s involved with the whole
process,” Balthazor said. “It sets us apart from other
Smith said West Bend was chosen as round one because it had
a fantastic event at the Kettle Moraine Ice Center two years
“We take all the steaks and offer a fundraiser lunch,” Smith
Craig Petersen, general manager of the Kettle Moraine Ice
Center, said the lunch costs $10, and includes a grilled
steak, potatoes, corn and rolls. He said carryouts are
available, if people would like to take their meal back to
The proceeds will benefit the Washington County Youth Hockey
Association. Petersen said the Kettle Moraine Ice Center is
run by volunteers and families of the Youth Hockey
“One hundred percent of the money goes back to the Youth
Hockey Association,” Petersen said.
Petersen said the money will go into the general fund and
could be used to buy a Zamboni or hockey pucks for the kids.
“I think they rely on donations,” Smith said. “We decided
they should be the recipient.”
Smith encourages residents to come to the challenge, which
promotes Texas Roadhouse’s steaks and celebrates the
company’s meat cutters.
“I understand it’s a Thursday, but it’s a great event,”
Petersen said. “It will support the Youth Hockey
Association. There are more meat cutters this year. We are
expecting more meat. We’re hoping for a great turnout. Any
little bit helps.”
For more information about the event or the Youth Hockey