With his vibrant energy, passion for food and ubiquitous bow ties, Judson Todd Allen exudes star quality. And as a contestant on season eight of “Food Network Star,” he hopes to walk away with the big win – an opportunity to host his own Food Network show. The DePaul MBA student and professional chef is a repeat contender, having been a semi-finalist on season six of the fast-paced cooking program.
Allen is one of 13 remaining competitors on the show, which airs Sunday nights. He has already survived elimination during the first challenges, which included creating a pop-up restaurant and leading a food tour of New York City. On the next show, May 27, he’ll face off against his own teammates.
Allen styles himself an “architect of flavor” who derives culinary inspiration from his 92-year-old grandparents. As a child growing up in Chicago, Allen remembers devouring Creole meals prepared by his grandfather, a soul food aficionado. Allen’s love of food and cooking led him to the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences and then to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studied food science and nutrition.
During college, Allen struggled to keep his weight under control. To change his lifestyle, he started experimenting with making his favorite dishes healthier but still full of flavor. Allen’s perseverance paid off: over two years, he lost more than 100 pounds. Now in his final quarter at DePaul’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, Allen continues to refine his cooking expertise as founder and owner of Healthy Infused Cuisine, LLC, which provides personal chef services, catering and meal delivery.
Calling the Food Network show a “dream come true for me,” Allen looks forward to teaching people to “think outside the box when it comes to healthy food.” Given his flair for storytelling and his talent in the kitchen, Allen is well on his way to meeting that goal.
Want to help this fellow Blue Demon accomplish his mission? Vote for Allen as your favorite finalist.
Follow Allen’s progress by watching “Food Network Star” on Sundays at 8 p.m. CST or visiting his website: judsontoddallen.com.