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The Architect of Flavor
Judson Todd Allen
Judson Todd Allen had a wakeup call; one that many of us experience at some point in our lives. He was graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his bachelor’s degree in food science and nutrition, and like all the other graduates, they took a picture. When he saw his photograph, it brought tears to his eyes, because at over 350 pounds, he knew he had to make a drastic change.
Judson never let his weight interfere with his life, becoming captain of the swim team in school. Even though others made fun of him, he went on to join the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and participating in their Step Show.
It took him approximately a year, but he lost over 100 pounds, and continued until he dropped a total of 160 pounds. He knew he was on to something, so he wanted to share it with others. His mission: to eradicate childhood obesity, because he knows what it’s like to be the fat kid who is ridiculed, bullied and teased.
Featured on the Food Network Star show, he learned to have confidence and fun as a chef. After traveling and experiencing the food culture of many different countries, he discovered that food is something that brings all people together, because it has no age, color or gender barriers.
Judson launched his signature line of hot sauce products. His Chef Blend Hot Sauce was a huge hit at the Portland Jerk Festival, one of Jamaica’s largest food festivals.
He has many projects in the works, including books, TV episodes and a line of cooking utensils. An adjunct professor and board member at DePaul University, he teaches young people valuable lessons on healthy cooking and modern cuisine.
A strong supporter of the farm-to-table movement, he wants to encourage others to support their local farmers and community gardens.
Thanks to his work with celebrities like Steve Harvey, who he helped lose 30 pounds, people don’t feel like they are alone in their weight loss journey. The world needs more people like Judson to teach us how to balance our love of food with being healthy.