Sal Impastato, son of Giuseppe "Pippino" and Marianna Impastato, grew up in Sicily. As a young boy, Sal Impastato learned to make fresh cheese from goat's milk, olive oil from his family's olive groves, wine from his family's vineyards and homemade tomato sauce with freshly picked tomatoes from the garden. Sal Impastato's father, Pippino and his brothers were well known for their bottled tomato sauce, olive oil, wine and cheese. At a young age, Sal Impastato was introduced to traditional Sicilian ways of cooking and a taste for homemade cuisine with fresh ingredients.
Sal Impastato, at 18 years of age, lured by New Orleans' blossoming culinary scene, left Sicily in the 1960's to work with his uncle Joe Impastato at the Napoleon House in New Orleans, Louisiana. Owned and operated by the Impastato family since 1914, it is here that Sal Impastato began his journey through different kitchens across the South.
Sal Impastato enjoyed bartending at the Napoleon House and then at the Royal Orleans, but in 1962 he left New Orleans and moved to Dallas, Texas. Here is where he worked with the late Chef Chris Karageorgiou, of La Provence Restaurant, located in Lacombe, Louisiana. During the few years they lived in Dallas, the two young chefs worked together at the Cabana and the Commonwealth. Sal Impastato returned to New Orleans and began working in the kitchen at Moran's and La Louisianne Restaurant. Before deciding to embark on the adventure of a lifetime, Sal Impastato took his last job on Bourbon Street behind the bar at the famous Old Absinthe House.
After about a decade of moving from kitchen to kitchen, this self-taught chef, Sal Impastato, wanted to do something different under his own name. Packed with a generations-old family traditions of Sicilian cooking, influences of blends of French, Spanish, French Caribbean, African, and American style cuisine, he gained from over 10 years in the restaurant business, Chef Sal Impastato felt he was ready to go out on his own and he opened Sal & Judy's in Lacombe, Louisiana in 1974.
Today, Sal & Judy's is still a thriving restaurant in Lacombe, Louisiana. The success of Sal & Judy's restaurant is evident in its loyal customer base and sizeable dinner crowds, despite its rather remote location. Customers come from all over Southern Louisiana to get a taste of where Creole Italian has been perfected.
About ten years ago, the demand for Sal & Judy's in-house pasta sauces and salad dressings grew so large that Chef Sal Impastato decided to share his kitchen with his customers by creating a line of Sal & Judy's Products. Upon its inception, the line included only two products: Italian dressing and original tomato sauce. Chef Sal Impastato began preparing the sauce and dressing in the back of the restaurant, before moving to a larger distribution facility nine years ago. Today, Sal & Judy's Products LLC operates out of a 20,000 square foot plus kitchen and distribution facility and the line includes 19 total products, from the original tomato sauce to marinades, salad dressings, olive oil and olive salad.