Renowned Chicago chef Judson Todd Allen died of a suspected heart attack Saturday morning at age 36, according to his family.
A finalist on “The Next Food Network Star” television series, Allen also was the culinary lead at the West Loop restaurant Taste 222, which issued a statement on twitter about his passing.
Chef Allen traveled the world in search of hidden culinary treasures and has studied at the world-renowned Le Cordon Bleu and the Ritz in Paris. He was the self-proclaimed Architect of Flavor and the inventor of the Spice Diet. The diet is Chef Allen’s proven plan for using flavor to break addictions to unhealthy foods without feeling deprived.
Having struggled with being overweight for a significant part of his life, Chef Allen created the diet out of a need to get healthy and ended up losing over 160lbs. This weight loss served as inspiration for others to get healthy just by changing the foods they eat without losing the flavor.
In his book he shared his personal story of being addicted to food, encourages weight loss and shows you how to pair the perfect spices and ingredients, excluding salt, sugar and processed foods, to yield simple and flavorful meals that also happen to be healthy. In his book, he features 70 simple healthy recipes and also gives the reader tricks that he’s used to making his favorite foods as healthy and tasty as they are healing. The Food Network alum has traveled throughout the islands of Jamaica and Bahamas to uncover the indigenous spices, ingredients, and techniques used in food preparation. “The Spice Diet is packed with irresistible treats like guilt-free pancakes, lip-smacking chicken wings, sweet potato crumble, and hazelnut dark chocolate truffles; recipes that taste great and can actually support your efforts to get healthier with every bite.”
The Chicago native also provided culinary information as a food contributor for television programs like “The Steve Harvey Show” and FOX 32 Chicago. As the founder of Healthy Infused Cuisine, LLC, Chef Allen prided himself on “…transforming the way you think and feel about healthy cuisine.”