Father of four, Coop Woodstone is married to Beth, his rock, and together they have three children, Viena (6), Neve (3) and Sebastian (1). Viena has a rare brain tumour and has had to undergo two surgeries in the past year, which has been emotionally and physically taxing on the whole family. For Coop, it’s the greatest hurdle he has had to overcome and it was Viena who inspired him to audition for the show. Coop has a daughter from his first marriage, Jada (9), who lives in Canada with her mother.
With no formal qualifications, Coop started as a kitchen hand at 18 years of age, as he needed to “pay the rent”, and was quickly promoted to line chef. He got his first head chef position, in the UK, at age 24 and has since worked as a head chef, executive chef and restaurant consultant. He was head chef at fine dining establishment 360 Bar and Dining, Bistrot Marlo and The Storier. He turned down an offer to be head chef at Sydney’s Bather’s Pavilion in order to start his own business.
“Marco has been my initial inspiration to become a serious chef. He inspires me, he scares me. I feel so lucky to be working with him.”
In 2009, with his wife Beth, Coop launched Evoke Private Dining, a boutique catering company specialising in private degustations. The business has been a great success with a strong client base, however, it has had to be put on hold this year because of Viena’s illness.
“I am looking forward to hitting the ground running for the next chapter of my food journey. I want to reach the top three, lift my profile and do my kids proud. This is my shot, my chance to provide for my family what they deserve.”