Erik Youngs has over 30 years experience in the Foodservice Industry, and has been a Culinary Educator for the past 20 years. He is the driving force behind the award winning Culinary Operations Academy at Chamberlain High School. Erik has been recognized at various levels for his contributions to education including being recognized as teacher of the year from the following organizations:
• Florida Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (ProStart)
• Hillsborough Technical Career Adult Association (HTCAA),
• Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year,
• Chamberlain High School Teacher of the Year, and
• Hillsborough County Public Schools – Finalist.
In addition, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation also awarded Erik with the prestigious James T. Maynard Excellence in Education Award presented to the top culinary educators in the nation. Erik was also named one of Hillsborough Community Colleges 2013 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year. Recognizing Chef Youngs’ many contributions to the culinary education arena, Johnson & Wales University has honored him with an Honorary Alumnus degree. Erik is also the owner of Let's Do Gourmet, a gourmet seasoning company. The seasonings are all restaurant tested and available wholesale, retail, and as a fundraising opportunity. A portion of all sales is donated to support culinary education across the Nation. On June (Friday the) 13th, 2014, Erik launched his VooDoo Chef Brand of Products which feature classic flavors with some new twists. VooDoo Chef Seasonings was quickly named the Official Sauce and Seasoning of Gasparilla!
Working extensively with the community, Erik has served as a board member for the Hillsborough County Chapter of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association and Florida’s Restaurant and Lodging Association Education Foundation. In addition, he has worked with Feed America Tampa Bay, Hillsborough Community College, Family Career and Community Leaders of America, Steve Otto’s Chili Cook Off, Pig Jig, and Burger Showdown in support of their missions.
All of these experiences have led to Erik’s creation of the VooDoo Krewe, a social organization geared towards promoting all aspects of the Food Community. Fueled by his love of the Tampa Bay community the next logical step in “Giving Back” was to create the VooDoo Chef Foundation! Promoting the mission of providing meals to those in need and providing financial support to those seeking an education in the Foodservice/Hospitality Industry.
Erik currently resides in Tampa with his wife anddaughter.