Indigenous and rare wood Butcher Blocks


The modern butcher block was developed in the late 1800′s and was originally called “The Sanitary Meat Block”.  Prior to the butcher block, butchers cut on a section of tree trunk set on legs. Tree rounds were prone to cracking and splintering creating spaces for germs and general unsanitary conditions. The Butcher block minimized this cracking, by being design from many pieces of hardwoods, exposing the hardest part of the wood as the cutting edge – the end grain.

The modern butcher block was always solid and usually very thick. The thickness was very important for the longevity of the block and also for the stability the size provided.  Additionally, the blocks were usually very thick to allow the butcher to work on the block for a very long period of time. It was common practice for a  butcher to  buy a block as an apprentice and use the block throughout his  entire career. After long use the block would become worn and could be planed down to create a flat cutting surface.

Thus butcher block became tremendously popular with butchers and today butcher blocks are still considered safe for food preparation, when cared for and maintained properly.

 ”Van der West” butcher blocks are made from indigenous and rare wood  to order.  We manufacture from most rare woods, feel free to enquire about your personal choice of wood.

The photo displays a butcher block manufactured from South African Pine.  Our butcher blocks are marked  “Proudly van der West”, made in South Africa, and display our logo.

Our butcher blocks and cutting boards are equally popular for home use in the modern kitchen. Food preparation for most meals is a time-consuming process.  A genuine “van der West” cutting board or butcher block makes this task an absolute pleasure.  Our butcher blocks all come standard with a sloped juice groove.

A genuine “van der West” cutting board looks great in any kitchen, and will become a family heir-loom that can be passed down to future generations.

Welcome to the world of genuine Van Der West Cutting Boards


Reversible end grain cutting boards

There is not much that compares to end grain cutting boards on the market for durability and regular use. They are the preferred working surfaces of international chefs like Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey, both expounding the value of a true end grain cutting board.

The end grain cutting boards are all custom made from indigenous rare woods and will complement your kitchen perfectly. Our end grain cutting boards are clearly marked with our logo ensuring that it is a genuine “Van der West” cutting board. An  end grain cutting board  has a much harder surface  and gives a truly resistant cutting surface, and ensuring your knife stays sharper for longer.

The size and weight of our end grain cutting boards make it the perfect working space for all your chopping and cutting while your cutting boards stays perfectly still.  Old fashioned butcher blocks and cutting boards were always end grain design.  Our end grain cutting boards do not show any knife marks on the boards.

A genuine “van der West” cutting board is manufactured from finely selected rare woods. We cut  individual pieces of wood from timber sections and then assemble them ensuring that the grain runs vertically.  In practice this means that the cutting surface is actually the end of many individual pieces of indigenous rare woods.

Using the end grain as the exposed surface minimizes marking of the board (and creating the subsequent space for germs), and protects you knife edges’ as well, as you are essentially cutting “between” the fibers of the wood which promotes the board to “self-heal”, as hardwood’s natural tendency is to close the gaps between the fiber.

Standard Cutting board dimensions

  • Surface size 340mm x 460mm
  • Block thickness 85mm

Standard Cutting block dimensions

  • Surface size 300mm x 500mm
  • Height 935mm
  • Block thickness 290mm