In the kitchen with Todd Hudson: Wildflower Cafe owner learned via a self-designed culinary bootcamp

MASON, Ohio - We invite you to dig into our column spotlighting different chefs from the Greater Cincinnati area. Each Sunday, WCPO Contributor Grace Yek takes you into their kitchens and talks to them about their food. The chefs reveal their inspirations, philosophies, and provide a glimpse of their authentic selves.

When Todd Hudson puts food on a plate, he wants to tell you something. Hudson, the chef and owner of The Wildflower Cafe in Mason, is passionate about serving organic and locally grown food. He's an ardent storyteller of his food, and the farmers who grew the food.

Hudson's roots run deep in the Tri-. Born and raised in Fairfield, three generations of his family still live in and around the same part of town. 

"The Hudson family has been in Fairfield for a long time. My wife’s parents graduated with my parents. Our grandfathers worked on the railroads together in the 1950’s," Hudson said.

If Hudson's childhood were a painting, the artist might have been Norman Rockwell. 

"My childhood was close to flawless. I remember sitting on my grandma's back porch, shooting bows and arrows with my brothers, my Uncle Mick being there, and grandpa coming out with a cup of coffee," he recalled.

Food was the centerpiece in his family, thanks to Hudson's grandmother. Originally from Ireland, she not only cooked memorable food, but also grew her own. 

"When you put the time and effort into planting food, you really cherish it, and you cherish people eating it," Hudson said.

As a child, Hudson spent a lot of time with his grandmother.  

"Me and her were like peas and carrots," Hudson said. Childhood photographs often show his grandmother holding him while cooking. "I can remember being five or six, making biscuits with her and loving it. To this day, I like eating raw biscuit dough.”

WCPO Insiders can read how Hudson got his start in restaurant kitchens and read about the course of learning he set for himself. Plus, see his list of kitchen essentials and a recipe he enjoys cooking up at home for his family.


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