Tu Casa Fine Dining. Chef Woodland was also a contestant on a recent episode of Chopped Canada, pitting him against three other chefs' culinary skills as they work with the mystery ingredients in the baskets. With each round seeing one chef eliminated after the judges' evaluations of the dishes made, the pressure to make a delicious dish in each round grows as the number of chefs dwindles. It's kind of like the pressure of hockey playoffs where the pressure to perform at one's best grows each time one advances further.
So you're probably asking why I'm writing about a food creation competition on a hockey blog. It's a valid question considering the topic I normally write about, so here's why I'm talking about JohnRoss Woodland: he was an NCAA goaltender who traded in his dreams of playing in the NHL to become a chef!
JohnRoss Woodland, born in Picton, Ontario, played three seasons for NCAA Division III school Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. Woodford was a goaltender for the Wildcats, posting a GAA of 4.34 and a save percentage of .889 in his three years at the private American university. One of the faculties at JWU is a Culinary Arts school. The university is actually the largest food service educator in the world, so you have a quick background on how JohnRoss Woodland found his second calling.
They have a number of notable alumni in the culinary world, including:
- Anna Olson - celebrity chef, Food Network Canada personality, and Home Hardware culinary spokesperson.
- Sam Talbot - Season 2's winner of Top Chef.
- Aarón Sanchez - celebrity chef and judge on Chopped.
He gave up on his NHL dream after realizing his college hockey career wouldn't lead him to the NHL as he had hoped. He went to school, learned from some of the best in his chosen field, and has now appeared on national TV as a certified chef in a competition that has eaten up and spit out some excellent chefs.
So how did the 25 year-old do? Well, you'll have watch to find out. I'm not going to give away the ending, the middle, or any of the rounds in which Chef JohnRoss participated. Some of the ingredients he was forced to use in his challenges included mussels, instant coffee, orange drink crystals, and spruce tips! A challenge indeed!
Congratulations to Chef JohnRoss Woodland on his success as a chef, and for not letting one set of unfortunate circumstances ruin his goal of being successful!
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!