Agassiz cook in top 50 of reality cooking show

Tammy Wood is a hunter who is in the top 50 contestants on MasterChef Canada this season.

Agassiz resident Tammy Wood probably has the best-tasting dinner on her table tonight. It might be a Greek venison kleftiko with puff pastry or maybe venison samosas. It could be Italian elk sausage or perhaps braised, roasted elk with caramelized onions and mushrooms served atop a turnip horseradish puree.

“My passion is cooking and creating,” Wood explains. “I’m very calm in the kitchen. It’s my sanctity, my peace.”

Wood is a hunter but she takes her cooking to a whole new level with gourmet treatments of game meats. Her six children all like her cooking. But Wood recently brought her culinary skills to some critics more challenging than kids and she wowed them too. Wood has been announced one of the top 50 finalists in the second season of MasterChef Canada.

This reality TV show features amateur cooks from across Canada vying for the $100,000 prize and accolades as a master chef. The finalists are as varied as can be, from a holistic nutritionist in Brampton to a retired pro football player in Vancouver. There’s a veterinarian, a bus driver and stay-at-home moms, all seeking a spot in the top 16.

Wood grew up with parents who had a passion for food. Her dad has worked as a camp cook his whole career and her mom is also a “fantastic” cook who loves Asian cuisine. She grew up not on mac and cheese, but on Sunday morning visits to Vancouver for dim sum, on authentic Indian cuisine, on unique and creative foods and ways to prepare them. It gave her an adventurous spirit when it comes to food and it’s something she’s passed on to her kids as well.

This Chilliwack-born resident is raising her six children in Agassiz on her own after losing her husband before their youngest was born. Her children help her in the kitchen and her oldest goes hunting with her now too. As we sat in Wood’s kitchen, a sumptuous aroma filled the air from a simmering pot on the stove. She remarks that it is an Irish peasant soup. Made from chicken gizzards. And she knows her kids will love it. Wood proudly cooks many “offals” such as the kidney, heart or gizzards, as they are referred to in the Chilliwack grocery store where Wood works part-time.

With her favourite pastimes of hunting and fishing, Wood has access to organic, fresh meat on a regular basis for her family. She hunts, cuts and prepares the animal from start to end.

One thing Wood has found is there’s not a lot of recipe books out there for game meat so she has taken matters into her own hands and started creating her own cookbooks. She’s just finishing up her first cookbook called “Around The World in 30 Plates” focusing on venison.

In her Youtube submission to MasterChef, Wood talked about her passion for hunting. After submitting her video, she heard back the next day from MasterChef. She ended up getting a call to go to a closed audition in Vancouver and, after waiting for every other contestant to be called, finally got her chance to show off her cooking skills to the judges. She brought with her a tasting plate with smoked beer pepperoni, sage-venison sausage and cherry-smoked Jack Spring salmon served with puff pastry.

While the filming has already taken place, Wood is tight-lipped about the outcome. All she can say now is, “stay tuned.”

MasterChef Canada quickly became a hit in its inaugural season, averaging 1.8 million viewers, becoming the most-watched Canadian series in the country for the 2013/14 broadcast season. MasterChef Canada premieres its second season February 1 on CTV following the Super Bowl game. It’s rebroadcast on Feb. 8 at 7p.m.

Just Posted

Duo robs Harrison Hot Springs gas station

Husky manager planning to tighten security

Snow prayers answered as Manning Park ski hill opens Friday

Ski hill will be open seven days a week starting Dec. 14, and cross-country trails as well

Fleeing driver picks fight with Chilliwack police dog, loses

Good dog ‘Griff’ also locates large quantity of what police believe to be crystal meth in Abbotsford

UPDATE: Heavy rainfall, strong winds in forecast for Lower Mainland

Heavy rains, snow expected till Friday morning

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

37% of Metro Vancouver sees real estate industry as ‘extremely corrupt’

Report comes as the B.C. government continues to probe alleged links of money laundering in casinos to real estate

‘I practically begged’: Kootenay woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

VIDEO: Giants winning streak halts against Everett Friday at home in Langley

Following their first loss since November, G-Men hope to regroup and defeat Victoria on Saturday.

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Most Read