Welcome to Salt and Vanilla, a site dedicated to the latest food recipes created by Chef Judd Servidio. Chef Judd wants to help home cooks feel confident making elevated everyday food.
"To me, salt is one of the most important ingredients in cooking and in baking. When it comes to sweets, vanilla is my go to ingredient nine times out of ten. I don't know anyone who doesn't like vanilla! Both are so versatile, something that I strive for not only in the kitchen but in life. It seemed only natural for the name of this site to be called Salt and Vanilla!"
After culinary school in Minneapolis and nine years in the restaurant business working under 2-star Michelin, chef Daniel Patterson, chef/restaurateur Kent Rathburn In Dallas, Tx. Numerous high-end hotels including the Hilton, Hyatt, and Warwick Melrose among others, I decided to start my own catering business. A small operation at first quickly grew with word-of-mouth being my biggest advertising.
But after a few years and finding love, stability for supporting a family was a priority. I was offered a full time position with John Paul and Eloise DeJoria, co-founder of Paul Mitchell and Patron Tequila, as their private chef. The DeJoria family has giving me the opportunity of continuing my journey in growing as a chef while taking care of their family, friends, business partners, and guests.
I have also worked numerous events, parties, weddings, and celebrity dinners highlighting just a few here like cooking at the Masters for Bank of America, charity events like Save Tibet, Taste of the America, and AMOA. You can read about the memorable meals I've prepared for numerous celebrities including the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Pierce Brosnan, President of Mexico Vicente Fox, Matthew and Camila McConaughey and one of my all time favorite band members, Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin.
There is nothing better than harvesting the produce from your home garden. If you can't have a home garden, farmers markets are the next best thing Preserving, pickling, infusing and juicing those fresh, local ingredients are just a few ways of adding to the repertoire of endless combinations that produce a great meal. My passion for being a chef means never settling for what I know. I want to reach further, constantly adding to my knowledge and skills. Whenever possible I like to combine the fresh local ingredients with whatever might be in the fridge or pantry. That’s truly where the magic happens and the wheels start turning. That’s the challenge I take on every day. "I have these ingredient, now what can I do with them?” I think the true test of a great chef is keeping things simple and not over complicating a dish, that is one area that I am still perfecting.
The inspiration for creating new and interesting dishes comes from the seasonal availability from local produce first and foremost; but also could include traveling, eating out, reading and sometimes just passing ideas throughout the day. That’s what keeps it fun. I’m able to explore my creativity through the art of cooking. My cuisine reflects farm to table with twists and playfulness.
EXPANDING MY HORIZONS
With over 20 years of experiences cooking in restaurants and homes, my passion for creating dishes and being better has never ceased. If anything, it has grown. My love for traveling has taking me all over the world and with that new experiences personally and with food. In the Austin area you might also find me teaching cooking classes, food styling, or at the local gym playing basketball. You can also find me in the Los Angeles area through the summer months.
I’m always open to opportunities, collaborations and special events whenever and wherever they might be. I love to travel and explore new adventures. Let me know if you have something coming up that I can help you with.