The competition is divided into three rounds against other Texas Roadhouse meat cutters from a market, region and nationally.
Steven Jordan from the Hiram location at 140 Depot Drive, and David Mata from the Douglasville location at 2706 Chapel Hill Road, are scheduled to compete against seven other meat cutters in their market Thursday, Aug. 29, in Calera, Ala.
“Each participant receives 30 to 40 pounds of beef, consisting of two sirloins, one filet and one ribeye to cut. Meat cutters are judged on quality, yield and speed in this timed ‘cut-off,’” according to a press release from Texas Roadhouse.
The competitors have two hours to cut in a 38-degree room, to ensure the meat stays fresh.
The top two will advance to regionals in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 25. The finals are in Amelia Island, Fla., April 27, with the winner receiving $20,000.
Jordan has been cutting for five years, and this will be his fifth competition.
“Very first time I picked up a knife was here [Texas Roadhouse],” he said.
Jordan said he is looking to place first, and believes he can do it because he has the most experience in his market, which includes parts of Georgia and Alabama.
Mata plans to be some tough competition as he has competed in two challenges, been cutting for two years, and said he has increased his speed.
Both will have to bring their best as they are slated to compete against last year’s national champion, Gustavo Jimenez of Pelham, Ala., in the first round.
Jordan cuts between eight and 10 hours a day, and produces between 200 and 300 steaks per weekday and between 300 and 600 steaks on weekends. This averages out to about 15,000 pounds of steak per week, said Hiram store owner Jon Adams.
Mata cuts between seven and eight hours a day. He cuts about 100 steaks on weekdays and 200 steaks on weekends.
“It is a lot of work. It is not just slicing and dicing,” he said. “It is one of the highest positions in the kitchen.”
Throughout the country there should be about 370 cutters competing for the national title, Adams said.