Ariane is a cut above

An Arbroath apprentice butcher has secured a unique double in the industry’s training awards, marking her out as one of the top talents in the country,

By
Mark Dowie
Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 7:00am
Ariane is a cut above
Ariane Bennet is pictured with (from left) Alan Clarke of QMS, chef Gary Maclean and Graeme Findlay from the SQA. (Graeme Hart)

Ariane Bennett has worked in her family's butcher business, D H Robertson, at the town's Fisheracre since leaving school, learning the skills of the trade and studying for industry exams.

And at the recent Scottish Craft Butchers Training Awards 2021, the 20-year-old’s dedication and hard work paid off as she lifted the coveted SVQ Level 3 Modern Apprentice Of The Year title, marking a remarkable double with her Level 2 title the previous year.

She received her award from Gary Maclean, Scotland’s first national chef and winner of Masterchef: The Professionals.

Ariane said: "I can't believe it. It's just amazing. I'm absolutely thrilled.

"I never thought in a million years I would win given the competition and the standard of entry. To be the best in Scotland is both thrilling and humbling."

Ariane, who has battled dyslexia to secure her qualifications, said she really pushed herself to succeed and remained focused on her goals every step of the way - sentiments echoed by her Assessor Chris Wright.

He said: "Ariane's work has been of an extremely high standard," he said. "Many parts of the evidence she has created have now been implemented in the shop on a day-to-day basis - showing the high quality and knowledge she possesses.

"She has shown absolute commitment to the course.”

While studying for her latest qualification, Ariane was also invited to become an Ambassador for Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and has made videos for schools endorsing the butcher's life as a potential profession for aspiring youngsters.

Ariane started working at weekends in the shop with her parents Steven and Pamela when she was just 13. Now she is preparing to start work on her butcher’s diploma to secure her full title as a qualfied butcher.

She added: "It's what I've always wanted to do. This is my world and I love it. There's never been any other ambition.

"I want to be every bit as good as my Dad and take over when he retires. This is a job for life and it's the most rewarding profession ever."

Dad Steven is extremely proud of Ariane's achievements.

"Arianne has been an enthusiastic pupil from when she was a young lass," he said. "She was always very hands-on around the shop as a youngster - wanting to learn more and get involved.

"We're really pleased and proud to see her do so well - the industry needs talented young blood coming through and Ariane is a safe pair of hands for the family business."

Ariane topped nominations for apprentice butchers from all over Scotland in the annual awards sponsored by the Scotch Butchers Club the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

Her achievement marks the first time a young butcher has lifted both the Level 2 and Level 3 national titles in consecutive years.

Gordon King, Executive Manager of Scottish Craft Butchers, described Ariane's achievement as "inspirational".

"There are currently 320 apprentice butchers throughout Scotland going through their studies," he said. "Those qualifying in the past two years have faced specific challenges due to Covid restrictions and resultant adaptions to their training regime.

"Ariane has shown just what a rewarding journey it can be for those determined to succeed. She's an extremely talented young butcher and an inspiration to all those who follow."

Nominations for the awards were received from all over Scotland and Gordon highlighted winners in this year's awards as "exceptional examples" of a tremendous group of committed and enthusiastic apprentice butchers.

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