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.
For 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 voodoochef.com.
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
Chicken 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 voodoochef.com)
- 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.