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Butcher Chris Makes the Cut

By Duncan Horscroft on September 9, 2016 in News

Photo: Duncan Horscroft

Photo: Duncan Horscroft

There’s a new kid on the block in Bronte. The butcher’s block that is.

Chris Martin, 27, has taken over the reins as manager of the long-standing Lucas Meats in Bronte and he is looking to take the 45 year-old Lucas family business into the 21st century.

After growing up on a small farm in Burra, in South Australia’s mid north, Chris worked at the town’s only butcher shop as part of his Year 10 work experience.

“When I was 15 the local butcher took me on and after a while he offered to pay me to work after school, and that is basically when I began my apprenticeship,” Mr Martin said.

“But when I turned 16 I received a call from the military after registering an expression of interest at school. I was then recruited into the Navy where I spent six years.

“After that I went back to butchering and finished my apprenticeship.”

He said that while living in Coogee he met Vietnam veteran and fellow butcher Graham Burrows at the Coogee Diggers Club, who told him Dave Lucas was looking for someone with some youthful enthusiasm to take over the running of his Macpherson Street shop.

Now, 30 months later, Mr Martin has taken over from long-standing manager Dennis Brennan.

“I love working for Dave and the team here is fantastic,” Mr Martin said. “Dave is passionate about his products and regularly visits the producers at their farms and has a great rapport with his clients.”

Lucas Meats is known for buying from specialist producers and from farmers who raise and respect animals.

Mr Martin said that with the changing tastes in a more health conscious society, people now want to know where their produce is coming from.

For that reason there is now more of a trend towards pasture fed and free range products.

“People want to know where the beasts are from and whether they have been grain fed, or if the hens have been caged or are free range,” he said.

“If you buy meat from the supermarkets you have no idea where it is from. But we pride ourselves on the best Angus beef and also Junee Gold lambs. We are also introducing top quality Wagyu from a local supplier.”

Chris said another product on the menu is chicken cordon bleu, which is something that hasn’t been done in the shop before.

“We have to try different things to move with the times,” he said. “When we have our weekly specials up in the window we see the same people come by looking for an idea for what to cook and it is working.”

But if you have any issues with Mr Martin or his products, beware. During his stint in the Navy he became a professional kick boxer and he still teaches boxing at the Punch gym in Randwick.

That said, he assured us he doesn’t use any of the carcasses at work for training purposes.