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World Steak Challenge 2021

Start Date:30 JUNE 2021

Start Time:10:00am GMT (London)

Duration:120 minutes


World Steak Challenge is back for 2021

Please join us for our free ‘behind-the-scenes’ webinar being held to celebrate the return of the challenge. This is supported by Bord Bia as the official host partner and judging host FIRE Steakhouse.

Popular questions ranging from the secrets of a gold medal-winning steak, to which breeds produce the best meat, and how and why favourite cuts are selected, will be answered by a panel of esteemed judges, headed up by Richie Wilson, WSC’s long-standing judge and FIRE Steakhouse’s executive chef.

JN Meat International’s John ‘Sashi’ Nielsen, a two-time overall World Steak Challenge winner, will be interviewed by our chair of judges Ioannis Grammernos, to reveal why his steaks helped him lift the supreme champion title twice, as well as what the double honour meant for him and his business.

If you are looking to enter World Steak Challenge in 2021 or simply learn more about the steak industry this webinar is a must!


Bord Bia


FIRE Steakhouse and bar


Katie Doherty


International Meat Trade Association

After completing a degree in International History at The London School of Economics Katie joined The International Meat Trade Association in 2012 and in 2019 she became CEO of IMTA. The International Meat Trade Association represents importers, exporters and wholesalers of beef, lamb, pork and poultry meat operating around the world. IMTA believes two-way trade is essential in delivering carcass balance, food security and consumer choice. In 2019 she graduated from The Institute of Export & International trade with a Diploma in World Customs Compliance and Regulations with The Institute of Export & International Trade.

Alan Franck

Master Butcher

Haywards Butchers

Returning to the World Steak Challenge for the sixth year, Alan is a passionate South African with 27 years’ industry experience. His introduction to the trade was working for a busy retail butchery where he trained from the age of 15 and became a qualified Blockman. In 1993, he emigrated to Portugal and worked with his brother-in-law in the family wholesale and public business. Whilst in Portugal he grew his skillset and knowledge of Portuguese and South American cuts of meat which he was responsible for sourcing as he had what his brother-in-law described as an eye for a good cut! As well as sourcing stock, he took great pleasure in passing on his knowledge and teaching apprentices the key to perfect display and presentation. In 2013, England became his home when he and his young family moved to Kent. Since being in England he has become the head of production and manufacturing for Ian Chatfield Butchers which is a successful and growing business in Kent. Whilst working with Ian Chatfield he has learned English cuts and broadened his skill set and knowledge further and gifted the business with his wealth of international knowledge, experience and hard graft.

Ioannis Grammenos

Celebrity chef and world’s first Meatologist™

Heliot Steak House

Hailing from the island of Corfu, Greece, Ioannis Grammenos is a renowned chef with a culinary background that stretches back over 20 years. He has worked across some of Europe’s most exclusive kitchens, and has collaborated with global brands such as Moet & Chandon, and Lipton. In May 2018, Grammenos was named the world’s first Meatologist™, with the opening of the country’s first School of Meatology™at Heliot Steak House. His school offers a series of classes throughout the year, which aim to educate meat lovers on how best to cook steak at home. Since taking the helm at Heliot Steak House, the restaurant has won Best Steak Restaurant in London in the Bookatable Awards for 2015, 2017 and 2018. The restaurant has also been named the Best UK Casino Restaurant 2018 by the British Casino Awards and Best Steakhouse 2018 in the Lux Magazine Bar and Restaurant Awards. Further marking his success, Grammenos has also been elected as the head of judges for the 2021 World Steak Challenge.

Lorraine Hendle

Managing Director – Retail & Manufacturing

William Reed

Lorraine joined William Reed in 1998 as Sales Development Manager on The Grocer, progressing through the ranks via Advertising Director and Publisher to her present role as MD. Lorraine’s current responsibilities include P&L and strategic development of a portfolio of seven brands across Retail & Manufacturing which include The Grocer and World Steak Challenge. Prior to WR, Lorraine worked as a nurse, before spending 10 years at Reed Elsevier working in a variety of B2B markets including motoring, industrial and plastics. Outside of WR, Lorraine works with Grocery Aid and is a member of the Presidents Fund Raising Committee and Communication Strategy Group in addition to Farm Africa’s Food for Good campaign Passionate about the brands, people, customers, pace and progressive nature of WR, Lorraine describes herself as an official food and drink anorak who is often found quizzing local shopkeepers at all hours.

Fernando Larroude

Master Griller


Originally from a small Argentinian village in the Patagonia region and having a mother of Spanish origin, Fernando grew up in a culture rich with social Sunday Asados and the Mediterranean inspired home cooked food. In a country of 40 million people with 60 million cattle, Fernando was no stranger to using beef as a key ingredient to many meals and has been grilling steaks from an incredibly young age. After finishing secondary school, he moved to Buenos Aires and started working in a small restaurant. Quickly discovering a passion for cooking, he undertook a two-year culinary course after which he worked at a variety of Italian restaurants, widening his skill set and experience and eventually worked his way up to being a Head Chef. Seeking new experiences in Europe, in 2007 Fernando moved to Europe to head up Argentinian restaurants in Madrid and then in Marbella. In 2009, he moved to London and joined Gaucho. Falling in love with the company’s ethos of working with grass-fed, free-to-roam Aberdeen Angus-bred beef from traditional Argentine estancias, Fernando has not looked back. In 2012 he was appointed Master Griller for the restaurant group. Responsible for educating Gaucho’s front of house teams about beef, ensuring his sought-after knowledge can be shared with diners, and also training all of the restaurant group’s grillers through regular visits to Gaucho’s 16 sites in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Leeds and Birmingham. He’s also in charge of the design and delivery of in-house Cookery Schools, giving participants a good understanding of the history of the Argentine beef as well as the skills required in cleaning and preparing different cuts of meat, marinades and grilling. Working closely with the farms in Argentina, he also makes regular trips back to his country of heritage to ensure that the beef sold in the restaurants meets the very highest quality that Gaucho has become renowned for.

John Nielsen

Owner and Founder

JN Meat International

John SASHI Nielsen is the founder (1980) and current majority owner of JN MEAT INTERNATIONAL in Denmark. JN MEAT is a meat-sommelier with special expertise in beef and with own deboning-hall situated near Copenhagen. JN MEAT makes deliveries worldwide and specializes in loin cuts from beef. The assortment of beef includes ex. the SASHI group, which consists of different sub-brands amongst them Nordic Nature Beef, origin Finland, Prussian Black origin Germany, and Cloverfield from the British isles. John SASHI Nielsen is a true craftsman with extreme passion when it comes to his profession, he thinks beef 24x7. But even though being a skilled butcher himself, nowadays he uses his pen more than his knife, he admits. In terms of what characterizes good beef he is convinced that grass-fed beef is better tasting than grain-fed. Another issue is that he believes that you do not need to be amongst the biggest to be the best. Being the overall winner of World Steak Challenge having the best steak in the world 2018 and 2019 with grass-fed beef from Finland, produced at JN MEAT with totally 60 employees, one can say his arguments are very factual indeed.

Richie Wilson

Executive Chef

FIRE Steakhouse & SOLE Seafood & Grill

Multi award winning chef Richie Wilson has been working in the food industry for 27 years and has been an Executive Chef for the past 15 years. He trained under some of Ireland's greatest chefs like Paul Flynn of The Tannery and Kevin Thornton of Thornton’s. Currently the Executive Chef of both Ireland’s busiest restaurant and Ireland’s newest restaurant along with soon to be relocated Zaragoza Restaurant, FIRE Steakhouse & SOLE Seafood & Grill respectively. Richie has been involved in World Steak Challenge for the past 4 years and was head of judges in 2019. His passion for the event has been integral in its growth.


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