Todd Erickson, Executive Chef of Haven South Beach and Huahua's Taqueria, is a critically acclaimed culinary professional with more than 15 years of experience garnered at esteemed restaurants around the United States. Erickson's approach reflects his passion for travel and regional cuisines and has earned him a following with respected critics and food novices alike. Hailing from Phoenix, AZ, Erickson's passion for the culinary arts developed as a young child while cooking with his mother in their home kitchen. His fascination with the senses that are utilized in the preparation of each meal led Erickson to pursue a career in culinary arts. In 1997, Erickson enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.
Upon his graduation in 2001, Erickson moved to Dallas, Texas, as the newly appointed Executive Chef of Hector's on Henderson. With Erickson at the helm, the Southern-living inspired restaurant was named "Best New Restaurant 2004" by Dallas Morning News and "Top Ten Best New Restaurants of 2004" by Texas Monthly magazine. In 2006, he was offered the position of Executive Chef consultant for Tryst, an American bar and grill. He worked at Tryst for a year before opening his own catering company in 2007. During his time in Texas, he received several accolades, which include recognition from the Dallas Observer as the "Best Chef Under 30" and a "Number One Young Gun Chef" endorsement by D Magazine.
In the spring of 2010, Erickson settled in Miami as Executive Sous Chef at Zuma. In November of 2010, he partnered with Haven Hospitality Concepts to create a new look for gastro-lounge cuisine in South Beach. Using his passion for locally inspired and fresh dishes, he created a global small plates menu that features fresh salads, sliders, skewers, sushi rolls and Floridian inspired favorites.
At Haven, Erickson has acquired the recognition of notable foodies including Food Network celebrity chef Ingrid Hoffmann and Food Network Wine & Food Festival Founder Lee Schrager. Erickson received a three out of four star rating by The Miami Herald's Victoria Pesce Elliott and was dubbed a "bright young chef" by Lee Klein of the Miami New Times. In 2012, Haven won the number one spot on Miami New Times "Top 5 Gastropubs" list and was included as Restaurant Management's "20 Hottest New Restaurants." Together, with Erickson's culinary expertise and Boles' progressive insight, they have fashioned one of the most evolutionary venues in Miami.
In early 2013, chef Todd along with the rest of the Haven Hospitality concepts crew opened Huahua's taqueria, a pioneering fast casual concept quickly embraced by tourists and locals alike. Todd is currently engaged with the two unique concepts while also devoting additional time to construction of his new premier second location, Haven Fort Meyers Florida.
"I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of Haven Hospitality," says Erickson. "These new concepts have been built by an incredible team and have an unbelievable amount of potential. I look forward to opening many more Haven and Huahua's locations across the country, each with menus that reflect the personality and flavor of its host city."
Erickson's awards and accolades include:
Erickson resides in Miami, FL. "Food is Art. Art is Life. Life is Good." Todd Erickson
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What is your earliest memory involving food or wine?
On my Grandparents farm in Iowa it was the smell of bacon and the taste of fresh butter. At my Grandparents home in Arizona, it was the preparation of Swedish shrimp toasts.
If you've participated in the Festival before, what is your favorite SOBEWFF memory to date?
Just one? You get two! Humbled by: Being given a table sandwiched between culinary legends FranÃ¯Â¿Â½ois Payard and Anita Lo at Best of the Best. Amazed by: Wearing booty shorts with Spike Mendelsohn & Johnny Iuzzini at Celebrity Chef Volleyball.
If you could cook with anyone in the world, who would it be?
John Oliver. He'd school me on current events. I'd school him on killer biscuits.
I never leave home without my: