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Home » FOOD AND WINE in MA » MASSACHUSETTS (all topics) » Judie Teraspulsky - Chef and Baker Extraordinaire
Judy Teraspulsky with a Popover
Judie Teraspulsky - Chef and Baker Extraordinaire

Judie’s Restaurant, Amherst, Massachusetts

By Peter F. Demers | January 11, 2011

Becoming involved with the food service industry at the tender age of ten years old started Judie Teraspulsky on a path to establishing a highly successful restaurant that has been in business in the same location for over thirty-three years.

Aspen, Colorado

Spending summers in Aspen, Colorado the daughter of the principal cellist for the Aspen Music Festival orchestra, Judie Teraspulsky always wanted to bake.

She still remembers when she was ten going into Karl’s Pharmacy, with a sit down soda fountain, in downtown Aspen and having them agree to sell the pies and cakes she would bake for them 2 to 3 times per week.

Not satisfied with providing for Karl’s, at ten she took over the concession stand outside the Aspen Music Festival Tent. There her baked goods were a mainstay for the musicians as well as some famous Aspen visitors like Art Garfunkel and Jack Nicholson.

At age fourteen she moved into catering for the festival musicians’ cocktail parties, and she was asked by them to publish her first cookbook of her favorite recipes at age eighteen.

After attending Indiana University, Judie followed her family to Amherst, Massachusetts where her father had accepted a faculty appointment at the University of Massachusetts. After being turned down for a job as a baker at the Lord Jeffrey Inn, an Amherst institution, she returned the next day with her cakes in hand and was hired.

While baking and waitressing at the Lord Jeffrey, she became friendly with two of her customers, an architect and designer who had just completed work on one of the buildings at Boston’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace and the Hartford Civic Center. Looking to open a restaurant in a college town that was a cut above the usual college town food, yet different and affordable enough to appeal to college age students and their parents, they asked Judie to go into business with them.

Outside Judie’s Restaurant

After developing a menu that was very unique for the 70s in Amherst, Judie’s partners used her menu and her food to convince the owners of a centrally located vegetarian restaurant that her fare would be a worthy replacement for the business they were looking to sell.

They agreed and Judie’s Restaurant opened offering popovers, salads, soupers (salad, soup and popover combination), sandwiches and interesting quiche casseroles.   Her menu had ten items on it and it has now grown to almost one hundred!

Today, although the menu and the space has been substantially changed reflecting not only the growth of the business, but changing customer tastes, the structure of the menu and even some items are the same as they were thirty-three years ago. For example, a sandwich creation of chicken slices, bananas, peanut-coconut-raisin mix, cranberry sauce and curry glaze in a popover.

Judie’s menu philosophy is based on several basic tenets. One, being in a college town with many of her customers still of college age, she serves healthy portions of every dish, while encouraging sharing for her many customers whose metabolism can no longer withstand large quantities of food. She also strongly feels that while the center of the plate is important, the sides are more important and must work to compliment the center so that it all works together.

Although her expertise and knowledge of food has grown enormously since her first venture at Karl’s Pharmacy in Aspen, Judie is still a baker at heart and her renowned popovers are served or ordered with many of her signature dishes. They include:

Inside Judie’s Restaurant

• Turkey “Pop” Pie – made with freshly baked turkey slices simmered in a Madeira Mushroom Sauce with peas, fire-roasted corn and carrots, stuffed in a Popover with garlic mascarpone mashed potatoes, topped with cranberry sauce;

• Goat Cheese Praline Walnut Salad – mesclun greens, goat cheese, sundried cherries, house made praline walnuts glazed with Fosters Butter Rum Sauce tossed with Balsamic Vinaigrette;

• Lamb Shank – lamb braised for 3 to 4 hours, until fork tender with ginger-mint herbs, served on a crisp, shredded Potato Pancake stuffed with grilled tomatoes, caramelized onions and mascarpone whipped potatoes, with a Burgundy Lamb Jus;

• Drunken Scallops – seared sea scallops baked with seasoned Panko cracker crumbs and parmesan cheese, served with sautéed spinach, bacon, fire-roasted corn, zucchini, leeks and angel hair pasta in a Mexican Tomato Amber Dos Equis Beer Sauce; and

• Baked Onion Soup – caramelized white onions simmered with herbs, sherry and burgundy, baked with a puffy, cheesy, croissant lid.

The Cozy Interior

Judie’s also serves a daily “Lite Weigh” entrée that features scallops, shrimp or salmon with whole grains sautéed with fresh vegetables to attract the health conscious customer.

Still with her same two partners, Katie Eagan and Dave Williams, Judie’s now seats 170 and employs over eighty people.

Many of her top people have been with her for almost thirty years, including General Manager Brooke Darden and Chef Michael Babb.

Now thirty-three years later, Judie’s Restaurant, has reached the institution status with locals and visitors making lunch or dinner at Judie’s a must for anyone in the area.


Judie’s Restaurant

51 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01002

(413) 253-3491

Opening Hours:

Sun - Thu: 11:30AM - 10PM

Fri & Sat: 11:30AM - 11PM

Judie’s Restaurant closes one hour earlier for the first two weeks in January and is closed Christmas Day and for Thanksgiving.

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