Taylorsville Man Places in National Meat Cutting Competition
Jun 15, 2016 10:17AM
● By Tori La Rue
By Tori La Rue | [email protected]
Taylorsville is home to one of the top 10 meat cutters in the nation, according to Texas Road House judges.
Every year, the franchise hosts a series of meat cutting competitions, the 460 meat cutters in the business are invited to participate to win a grand prize of $20,000. This year Adan Bonilla, meat cutter at the Taylorsville location, sliced his way into the championship round – the first meat cutter in Utah to claim this honor.
“I felt good and proud,” Bonilla said. “I was excited to tell my family.”
Bonilla won the intermountain west region competition and was invited to participate in the national competition in Miami, Florida. Judges gave the 30 finalists one hour and 15 minutes to cut two top sirloins, a tenderloin and a ribeye loin, and selected the top 10 meat cutters based on the highest yield and quality.
Bonilla made it into the top 10, so Texas Roadhouse flew Bonilla and his wife to Miami during the second week of April, where they announced the champion meat cutter and recipient of $20,000.
“I felt excited but really, really nervous,” Bonilla said.
Bonilla didn’t win the competition, but he said he was happy to get further in the competition than he had before, and that he was grateful for the company-paid vacation they gave he and his wife to Miami. Although he had been a finalist in the competition three times, this was the first year he made it into the top 10, and his coworkers and managers were proud, Michael Steinberg, kitchen manager, said.
Because the top 10 meat cutters are all so talented, winning the $20,000 comes down to who coincidentally has the best day, Steinberg said. You could throw a dart at their pictures to pick the winner, just as easily as you could determine it by skill, according to Steinberg.
“This is a huge win for us,” Steinberg said. “We know that he is amazing and that his steaks are great quality, but to be able to point at the sign and be able to say, ‘Our steaks are top-10 material, and we have some of the highest quality staff in the nation’ is incredible. We pride ourselves in legendary food.”
Steinberg said Bonilla’s a humble guy who deserves recognition for performing a challenging job exceptionally well. Bonilla’s meat cutting career began five years ago in 2001, and, since that time, he’s spent 45 to 50 hours a week in a 34-degree meat room chopping steaks.
Bonilla grew up in a Mexico town that is a “very cowboy-type area,” according to Steinberg. Whenever he can, Bonilla and his wife and kids love to go to rodeos and participate in any activity that has to do with horses, so the Texas Roadhouse country atmosphere fits Bonilla’s lifestyle, he said.
“I love it. I love the people I work with. I love the hours. I like what I am doing,” Bonilla said in Spanish.
Bonilla said he’s already gearing up for next year’s competition.
“I’m practicing to win,” he said.