No unemployment, a salary starting above the minimum wage, and guaranteed outlets. On the occasion of the final francilienne of the best apprentice butchers, which took place on 20 February, the profession recalls its strong points.
The face of Nicolas Ramousse is concentrated and tense. Two hours as his knife dances around the bone, grease and separates the pieces of a huge leg of beef. It is safe, this job, it has it in the skin. Has only 16 years of age, the young man, apprentice to the butcher's shop Bourdin in Paris, is one of two winners of the final French of the best apprentice butchers, which took place Monday.
With his co-winner, Jean-Hugo Moura, 21 years old, from Yvelines, Nicolas will soon be in the running for the national final, to Auxerre. "I love the animals, my parents are herders of cows limousines in Basse-Normandie. They passed on their love of the job", he explains. And too bad for those that the dead flesh regrowth. The anti-meat, vegans (who do not use any product or material derived from animal exploitation) and other advocates of animal. "Everyone does what he wants, we are our business", is happy to meet the young man, lowering his eyes on his white coat immaculate. Below, it has slipped, like the other candidates, a coat of metallic mesh that protects it from a blow of a knife clumsy.
The four hours of the test, "it is hard, especially mentally," says Nicolas. The eleven candidates need to reverse engineer a leg, a rear leg of cattle, and a "globe", a thigh before, in which are cut the pieces to roast are the most noble, such as the roast beef. Everything is assessed: the "trimming", removal of excess fat in the "tying" in the leg or in rolls, by way of "peeling", withdrawal nerves, and the presentation and decoration of the pieces: the "masterpiece", placed on a tray.Your support is essential. Subscribe for $ 1 support Us
No unemployment in butcher
Thierry Michaud, president of the jury, Best Worker of France, and boucher in Paris, the level of the test is "high" this year. "Young French people are very much sought after in the world, they have a quality of exceptional training, not bad work in Canada, Japan, the United States," he said. "Because they have a palette of diversity of cut-out that allows them to adapt everywhere".
But it was in France that they are the most requested. No unemployment at the butcher shop. 7.000 young people from the CFA (apprentice training Center) receive a CAP (professional aptitude certificate) each year. "The profession could recruit the double", stresses Lucette Bertrand, general director of the Ecole de la Boucherie in Paris for 20 years.
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However, the beef comes from far away. Many shops continue to close. Ten years ago, the school in paris had only 230-240 apprentices. Today, "nearly 400," says she. "We will not turn anyone away, provided it be accompanied by a patron," she said.
The business for a long time debased and derided, remains a very male-dominated: only 2% of girls. "It is a pity, because the few girls who try this occupation, in general do well," stresses Lucette Bertrand.
While the urban society is becoming increasingly vegetarian, the craze for slaughter, in particular, just a mobilization of the profession who wanted to get rid of the negative stereotypes circulating about their account.
"We earn well our life"
The butchers-stars Hugo Desnoyers and Yves-Marie Bourdonnec, Paris, or the young Alexander Polmar Nancy are also for something. According to tradition, students and butchers dragged their knives on beef, veal, lamb, fumble chicken and rabbit. But do not touch the pig, reserved for the pork: another CAP. "Today, a butcher does not kill, does not of blood on the blouse," says Patrick Paulmier, trainer. "We are dismantlers, a peculiarity in the agro-food rather made up of assemblers".
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But the excitement comes mostly from the professional outlet guaranteed. "We earn well our life", adds Patrick Paulmier. A beginner with a CAP that starts above the minimum wage (smic), between 1.800 and 2.200 euros of gross salary, according to Lucette Bertrand. Not so bad in a world where a lot of young graduates are stuck in the vicious cycle of internships.