TRACY WOOD ANDERSON
Tracy Wood Anderson began her cooking career at the age of five when her parents came home to a lemon meringue pie and a spooked babysitter pointing to Tracy and saying "she just did it, I didn't have anything to do with it." Tracy and food have always gone together, but it being part of her nature, she did not immediately consider it as a career and attended Scripps College and earned a B.A., majoring in studio art. Not particularly wanting to throw herself into the spinning fan blades of the art world, and finding out that not every girl out there could cook, she finally considered food as a vocation. After a short stint at the restaurant in the Calistoga Inn to make sure this was the right direction, she enrolled in San Francisco's California Culinary Academy. After a 16 month program in the Culinary Arts, she graduated with top honors and discovered that pastry was her specialty of choice.
A short period in the pastry department at Domaine Chandon was followed by a much longer period at her husband John Anderson's family winery, S. Anderson Vineyard. There, Tracy was chef for their winery events ranging from 8 to 500 people, learned the art of blending their sparkling and still wines as well as performing the myriad of other jobs that crop up at a family winery. Balancing this with raising a family was her life's pursuit of over fifteen years.
2002 marked a change for Tracy when the focus of her life switched from wine to chocolate. She spent two years at home and traveling in Belgium and France, tasting, taking courses in chocolate and confectionary, and generally just up to her elbows in chocolate developing her own creations. The combination of her art background, her sensitivity to flavors and her love of food and sharing the fruit of her labor culminates in what is now Woodhouse Chocolate.
John Anderson's childhood was spent tinkering with electronics and building things in San Marino, California. Later, in the proper scheme of things, he graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a B.A. majoring in economics and political science. While attending college, he took a semester abroad in London where he was first exposed to fine European chocolates. Immediately out of college he went to work for Macy's in their executive training program. Part of his duties while there was to manage the candy department which included a selection of fine chocolates- his second experience with this style of confection. Deciding that the world of Macy's was not for him, he moved on to the real passion of his life, art.
While Tracy was immersed in the food arts at the California Culinary Academy, John crossed the pond after being accepted into the Christie's Fine Arts Course in London. At Christie's he was taught to recognize and evaluate fine and decorative arts of the last 500 years. Although still passionate about art, John decided that he would buy art rather than sell it and joined his parents in developing their vineyard and winery into a thriving business. As Managing Director he was responsible for nearly everything but the actual winemaking and he lent his palate to blending sessions as well. After 30 years owning the vineyard, John's family decided to retire from winemaking and pursue other interests. For John and his wife Tracy, that was chocolate.
John spent his two years between selling the winery and opening Woodhouse Chocolate traveling to Belgium and France, tasting, and analyzing chocolates, and back home, earning his M.B.A. at U.C. Davis (with honors) and working on the building which was to become Woodhouse. With the help of his stepfather, Tom Scott and doing most of the work themselves, John took their 19th century building down to mud and walls and then transformed it into the luxurious store and kitchen you see today. Woodhouse Chocolate is a very personal expression of John's passion for fine art, edible or otherwise.
CHRISTINA WOOD ANDERSON
Born to a culinary family, Christina spent a lot of time in the kitchen growing up, but it was not immediately obvious that cooking was to becoem her passion. In fact, her initial interest lay in the performing and then the visual arts. But it was while earning her degree in studio art at Scripps College in Claremont Californina that her love of cooking began to blossom. She found herself in the dorm kitchen ever more frequently baking cookies, cupcakes and other comfort foods. By senior year, as a weekly tradition of multi-course meals for friends had been established, Christina realized that she was to be chef and not a studio artist.
All through her teen years, Christina had spent her free time in the kitchen and behind the counter at her family's business, Woodhouse Chocolate, honing her skills as a chocolatier but she had no real restaurant experience. So, immediately after Scripps she spent six months at Eldorado Kitchen in Sonoma, California testing the waters and determining whether this was the career path for her. Next was twenty-one months getting a full Chef's degree at The California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, all the while working full time at City restaurants such as Catogna and Prospect.
It was while working in pastry for Michael Mina that Christina accepted her parent's invitation to rejoin them at Woodhouse Chocolate in Saint Helena, California. She now works in concert with her mother Tracy (our founder and Master Chocolatier) and brings her invaluable skills as a trained chocolatier and cutting edge pastry chef to create luscious new treats for all to enjoy.