Sign up for our Newsletter

61.1 F
Sunday, January 29, 2023

Stay Connected

Sign up for our Newsletter

Gasparilla Krewe Life: Meet the VooDoo Chef of the VooDoo Krewe

The VooDoo Chef—AKA  Erik Youngs—is the culinary genius behind Let’s Do Gourmet, a sauce and spice company invading dinner plates across Tampa Bay and beyond. Youngs’ creations also happen to be the official sauce and spice of the Gasparilla Pirate Fest, which is why he’s preparing to invade Bayshore Boulevard to walk among pirates with his brand new VooDoo Krewe.

Gasparilla krewes are a coveted and guaranteed good time, but they’re about more than just a social experience; they also serve as an opportunity to give back to our community. Filling hungry bellies and the empty cupboards of needy children and families in our area is among this kitchen krewe’s top priorities.

VooDoo ChefFor Youngs, it’s also about his students. Youngs is the award-winning educator behind Chamberlain High School’s Culinary Operations Academy.  The unique, intensive program—the only Model Culinary Career Academy in the country—teams up with Outback Steakhouse to provide students with real-world experiences in the Food Service/Hospitality industry. The VooDoo Krewe raises money to help send Youngs’ students and others throughout the state to higher levels of culinary education. He’s already given away $6,000 in scholarships and hopes to continue to grow that number.

Learn more about VooDoo Chef at

From Erik Youngs’ personal recipe collection:

“These are the note cards from when I wrote the recipe for Chicken Réal, one of my family’s favorites. It is simple, but delivers an amazing flavor. We use for chicken tacos or burrito bowls, but would play well in any of your Tex-Mex favorites. I hope you enjoy as much as we do!” -Erik Youngs

VooDoo ChefChicken Reál Recipe:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken
  • 2 cups Tomato Trinity, diced (available at Publix)
  • 3 tablespoons VooDoo Chef Red (available at
  • 4 cups water

In a large pot, brown chicken in olive oil over medium/high heat. Add Tomato Trinity and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat. Add Red and water and simmer for 40 minutes until water evaporates and chicken pulls.



Laura Byrne
Laura Byrne
Laura Byrne is an award-winning former television news journalist who spent 15+ years in newsrooms across the state of Florida including Sarasota, Tallahassee, Fort Myers and right here in Tampa Bay where she still freelances on occasion. She covered the political beat, crime beat and every day breaking news during her time in Florida newsrooms, but is now focused on sharing positive news stories and events with families in Tampa Bay. She is a proud mommy of two little boys who keep her on her toes and laughing every day. Her goal is to inspire families just like yours to get out and play and experience all that Tampa Bay and our great state of Florida have to offer! She encourages you to share your stories and upcoming events so we can spread the good news.

Related Articles