Chef and restaurateur Cathal Armstrong may not have won at this year’s James Beard or RAMMY awards, but he’s going for another type of gold—in taekwondo.
Armstrong, who is a blue betl, and his family flew into Dallas yesterday to compete in the weeklong USA Taekwondo National Championships. He started the sport more than a year ago to lose weight. Now, Armstrong typically trains six days a week, and sometimes twice a day. He does all this on top of running six eating and drinking establishments: Restaurant Eve, The Majestic, Virtue Feed & Grain, PX, Society Fair, and Eamonn’s.
Armstrong is now the same weight he was when he graduated high school. The 42-year-old is also undefeated. He won gold at a nationals-qualifying competition in February and placed first at the George Mason President’s Cup and the Virginia Governor’s Cup taekwondo tournaments this spring.
Armstrong’s 10-year-old son Eamonn and 13-year-old daughter Eve—-the namesakes for his restaurants—-will also compete at nationals. Eamonn is a black belt, and Eve is a red belt—just above their dad.
“We’re all very competitive people,” Armstrong says. “I’m going out to win.”
Check out Armstrong’s training in action:
Photo courtesy Cathal Armstrong