Before Tammy Wood became one of Canada's most promising chefs, she spent her time hunting game with her family.

"Hunting's always been part of my life. My dad was a big duck hunter growing up. My brother and I, we've probably fished every creek across the Lower Mainland," she said.

Nearly seven years ago, she lost her husband to a workplace accident. Left with six children, she says getting them outside and teaching them to be sufficient helped them all deal with their grief. But, hunting became the glue that held her family together.

Now, Wood is turning her love of the outdoors — and the food it gives — into a full time job.

She's appeared on MasterChef Canada and will be showcasing her style at this year's Vancouver International Boat Show.

Wood appeared on CBC's Our Vancouver to share some of her favourite recipes

Salmon Ceviche

Sausage Roll and Salmon Ceviche

This Sausage Roll and Salmon Ceviche is one of Wood's favourite recipes. (Tammy Wood)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of cubed salmon fillet
  • 1 avocado, pitted, skinned and cubed
  • 1 mango, skinned, pitted and cubed
  • Juice of 2-3 limes
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1 green chili, seeded and chopped
  • ¾ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 radishes sliced very thin
  • 2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon mango balsamic
  • 1 tablespoon lime olive oil
  • ½ red onion diced small
  • Kosher salt

Method

Cube the salmon and add to a big bowl. Add juice of limes, lime zest, a pinch of kosher salt. Add in cilantro and stir well. Cover with plastic and place in your fridge for at least 30 minutes to marinate.

In a separate bowl, add your cubed avocado, mango, sliced radishes, red onion, and green chili. Stir well, adding a pinch of kosher salt, olive oil and mango balsamic. 

Take your salmon out of the fridge and gently stir into your fruit and vegetable mixture. Add about another ½ cup of fresh cilantro and sprinkle with black sesame seeds.

Serve with tortilla chips. Wood likes to dish the ceviche out into a long white deep dish to really show off the color and vibrancy of this spectacular plate.

Jamaican Jerk Style Crocodile with Coleslaw

Jamaican Jerk Style Crocodile

This Jamaican Jerk Style Crocodile is a delicious taste of the South. (Tammy Wood)

Dry rub ingredients

  • 3 teaspoons allspice
  • 3 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 3 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 6 crocodile loin pieces
  • Red cayenne chili olive oil

Coleslaw ingredients

  • I bag of mixed coleslaw (about 4 cups)
  • 1 cup shredded onion
  • Dressing:
    • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 2 teaspoons mustard
    • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 2-4 tablespoons of organic red wine vinegar

Method

Combine all dry rub ingredients mixing well. Lay out crocodile pieces and rinse under water. Place pieces in dry rub coating well. Lay on parchment paper until ready to pan fry.

Heat skillet with a few tablespoons of red cayenne chili olive oil on medium high. Place crocodile in skillet and brown well on both sides, about 2-3 minutes a side. Put on plate and let rest.

In a good size bowl, add coleslaw mix, shredded onion and toss till well mixed. In a separate bowl, add dressing ingredients and whisk well, till creamy and smooth. Add into coleslaw mix and toss till completely coated.

Use tongs and grab a good helping of Jamaican slaw and place a spicy Jamaican jerk crocodile loin on the side. This recipe gives you the spice you crave in an authentic Jamaican jerk, and the slaw is there to cool your mouth and also adds crunch and texture.