When asked to describe his style of cooking, Victor Vinson, AKA Cajun Vic, replies, “I’m not your typical Cajun chef.”

Talk about an understatement. His mouth-watering gumbo, jambalaya, biscuits and other Cajun-inspired food have entertained the palates of Hollywood celebrities, military officials, political refugees and even cops and firefighters in Huntington Beach.

But though he’s an acclaimed personal chef and is proud that “my gumbo has opened so many doors for me,” from acclaimed bluesman Walter Trout recording a world famous song called
Victor The Cajun, to appearing in
John Voight & Cajun Vic
several blockbuster Hollywood films like, "The Rock", "Armageddon" and "Black Hawk Down", its what Vic does outside the kitchen that makes him singularly unique.
Plane Crash
From organizing relief efforts for hurricane victims in Baja California, to volunteering for anti-poaching organizations in Africa http://www.wildcon.org/ and anti-human trafficking groups in Asia, he is constantly racing across the globe in the midst of some humanitarian venture.
Louisiana Humor
Christmas Card
Someday, Vinson hopes to write a book about his many exploits. But it could just as easily be a movie. One huge scene in that film would be his harrowing escape from a small plane crash over Honduras in 1993 while on a humanitarian mission.
Deep Fried Turkey
FOX 21 News deep fried turkey
Colorado Springs, CO
Gumbo Cook-off
Colorado Springs, CO
The Cessna 180 after the crash
The plane he was in crashed into the side of a mountain, and Vinson wound up with 19 broken bones. He was the lone survivor. Six months later he jumped from a plane to prove to himself that he wasn’t afraid of flying.
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Vinson has spent 20 years in the U.S. Military, four years in active duty and the past 16 in the Army Reserves. His unit works in the civil affairs of special operations, helping to rebuild the infrastructure of war-torn countries.

He also visits Southeast Asia regularly as part of a nonprofit organization devoted to offering medical support to Karen refugees fleeing Burma into Thailand. “I’m there to help the surgeons keep from getting sick, and assist with surgeries. On my next trip, I will also be training the trainers for proper food preparation and storage in order to prevent illness from food and improve nutrition."
"I’m in charge of purifying the water and cooking for them. In fact, the last time I was there I taught some villagers a Cajun style recipe using things that were found in their area. I’ve heard that since then, those villagers have been sharing my recipe with other villages, so I guess my recipe has affected the cuisine of an entire region.”
Huntington cook spices up classes with story of survival
Mission to the Thai-Burma border
While humanitarian efforts keep his spirits alive, what helps put a roof over his head is his cooking. He grew up on the Mississippi Delta, worked at several New Orleans restaurants as a young man and always loved to cook. “But even as a kid, I’d never follow the recipe. It gave me an idea but I’d add some kind of twist.”

“I think I put a better spin on Cajun cooking,” he said. “A big misconception about Cajun food outside of Louisiana is that people think it’s just super-hot. It is a little hot, but it’s more about blending the spices and flavor. You might wipe your head a couple of times, but not burn your mouth.”