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.
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Brief Bio of Cajun Vic
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, http://www.IHTTF.com he is constantly racing across the globe in the midst of some humanitarian venture.
Plane Crash
Iraq
Louisiana Humor
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.
Christmas Card
Po-Boy's
The Cessna 180 after the crash
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Goal:
To combat human trafficking and support existing government efforts across global jurisdictions. To increase the number of investigations, rescued victims and prosecutions of human traffickers.
 
Mission:
Support of victims and disruption of traffickers through coordinated efforts between the community and government organizations across jurisdictions from local to global.
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.
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.”
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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.”
Mission to the Thai-Burma border
Huntington cook spices up classes with story of survival
He’s developed a ten-spice mixture that he believes seasons any dish, even non-Cajun food, to a level that you’ve tasted before. “You could use it on your mother’s meatloaf recipe and it would taste better than it ever has.”

Vinson volunteers eight times a year at Newport Harbor High School, teaching high school students some of his techniques, and is currently working on a series of DVDs designed to show people how to cook Cajun food outside of Louisiana, using ingredients they can find in any major grocery store.

If you get a normal Cajun cookbook, a recipe might call for two pounds of Andouille sausage. But if you don’t know what it is, or where to buy it, you’re going to be lost. My DVD’s will show you how to use things that you can pick up at any local grocery store and then how to season them so they taste just like my food. It's simplified.
cajunvic@gte.net