Voodoo crab, a staple of South Beach, has become the go-to seafood restaurant for the nation’s most hipsters.
For decades, it’s been one of the most popular dining options on South Beach.
But over the last two decades, the restaurant has been under fire from some who say the crab is too popular.
And as one of Miami’s newest culinary talents, chef and voodoo artist Voodoo Chef, says the restaurant is “totally under fire.”
Here are some of the facts: Voodoo crabs have been around for at least 50 years, and the word crab has been used in the name of the food for over a century.
They were also first made popular by the first surfers on the South Beach in the 1800s.
When Voodoo chef and chef Voodoo Crab, who has been cooking at the restaurant for more than 20 years, decided to take the crab out for dinner, he was met with opposition.
“There were so many people that were so upset,” he says.
“I was just overwhelmed by the negative response.”
But when he saw the backlash, Voodoo Chicken and Waffles, one of his most popular restaurants on South Coast, had to cut back on crab dishes.
“It was like they just weren’t able to take a bite of the crab,” Voodoo says.
The restaurant was forced to move, but not before Voodoo had been able to create a crab-themed menu.
And since the crab was a staple, he thought he would make a custom-made crab plate for the new menu.
It wasn’t easy.
The crab was cooked at a kitchen in the back of the restaurant, where Voodoo uses traditional methods.
And Voodoo used traditional cooking methods to cook the crab, such as steaming and boiling.
The cooking process is complicated.
He says he’s used many different methods of crab, including steam cooking, which involves letting steam seep out from the skin and cooking it.
“I would use a deep skillet to cover it and then I would cook it on a very high flame, so it would boil and brown, and then it would be completely tender,” he explains.
The recipe also uses a whole lobster and some shrimp.
“You have to use different types of ingredients, which we use at the crab restaurant,” he adds.
“And the crab doesn’t have much of a crust.
It’s all about the flavor.”
Voodoo Crab has been open for two decades.
He started the restaurant in 1998.
“Voodoo Chef” says that he was inspired to start the restaurant after meeting a woman in a bar.
“She had been there for 20 years and said, ‘Oh, you should try the crab,’ and that’s what I did,” he recalls.
“It was really exciting, and I was like, ‘OK, this is what I want to do.'”
And now, he says, he has created his own custom crab dish.
He started off by working with a chef from the Culinary Institute of America and the Culina-Coca Company.
“He wanted to come up with the recipe and he was like ‘What would you like to see?’
And I said, I’m really not sure,” he remembers.
“Then I went in and I found the ingredients that we need and the process that we use.
I had to use a whole lot of old, discarded cooking pots.”
Voodos restaurant is located at the South Coast Convention Center.
The chef says he hopes that the restaurant will continue to attract the South Florida hipsters who have come to the city for summer, but he is also looking for the next generation of South Florida restaurants.
“A lot of the people I’ve worked with in the past 20 years have been really hip, so I’m hoping they’ll stay and do their thing and try to open up another restaurant in South Florida,” he admits.
“But the restaurant needs to be a destination, not just an establishment.”