Juan Rodriguez was chopped.
But he’s OK with it because he landed a table at Red Rooster, the acclaimed restaurant by James Beard Foundation Award winner Marcus Samuelsson, one of the judges on “Chopped.”
As a child, Rodriguez spent time in Mexico and Illinois. He grew up in a family of entrepreneurs—his parents sold pottery and his grandfather built an excavation company—but he followed in his grandmother’s steps, developing a passion for cooking. He earned his associate degree in Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of Dallas. He spent 15 years working in restaurants all over the US and eventually settled in Fort Worth, Texas, where he launched a catering business called Magdalena’s.