Agassiz resident Tammy Wood was featured on MasterChef Canada’s season two premiere Sunday evening, where she earned a spot in the show’s competition.
Wood impressed the judges with her choice of meat, her plating and, especially, her story.
“No matter what life throws at you, you can just keep trudging forward and you can finally get to your goal,” she shared with TV viewers across Canada. “I’d like to be an example for single moms and widows out there that you can accomplish anything.”
Woods, who lost her husband six years ago in a workplace accident, is raising her six children on her own. When asked by one of the judges who she is doing this competition for, Wood answered with tears in her eyes.
“I’m doing this for me,” she said.
In the episode, Wood prepared smoked elk carpaccio with pickled vegetables, basil, pine nuts and fig balsamic sauce.
“You did something very unique with your dish,” said judge Claudio Aprile. “There were so many wonderful notes, so many great flavours, and that smoke came through really well. So it’s a yes for me.”
The other judges agreed to giving Wood a chance to compete in the next phase. Judge Alvin Leung told her this is the first time he has ever had elk but, with the way Wood prepared it, he will certainly be eating it again. And judge Michael Bonacini praised the dish: “It was incredibly moist. Incredibly flavourful. That was absolutely delicious.”
In the show, Wood said she chose elk for the dish because of its succulent, soft texture: “Like butter.” Using game meat highlights her passion for wild game cooking and her enjoyment of the wilderness.
“I love to hunt and I can support my family without going to a grocery store.”
After she got her white apron, Wood voiced her reaction.
“I feel exhilarated. I feel like this huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. And now I can work for what I want to achieve, which is to be MasterChef Canada.”
The premiere aired Sunday, Feb. 1. If you missed it on Sunday, CTV will be rebroadcasting the episode this Sunday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m.