Ghetto Gourmet: 'Today you just got to be happy'

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - John Ernst is a natural in the kitchen, and the decision to take his talents to YouTube was an easy one. He has hundreds of videos online that are all about sharing his love for food and a simple message.

"My contention is box and bag be gone," says Ernst, "Let's do it from fresh, let's do it from scratch and I'm showing people how."

His series title the Ghetto Gourmet not only shows people how to cook a meal from scratch, but how to do it on a budget.

However, for this out-of-work chef, life outside the kitchen hasn't always been as easy.

"I went through a lot of troubles on the streets with homelessness, and with addiction," said Ernst, "and then I beat all that and I got myself back into college."

He graduated from Lane Community College, giving himself an education to back up years of experience - neither of which have been able to get him back to work.

"I got hurt when I was a student," said Ernst. "I got in a car accident."

Ernst tells us that accident left him with a spinal injury that causes violent spasms that sometimes knock him off his feet. Leaving the question of when or if he will ever be able to get back to work unanswered.

"Sometimes you don't think about tomorrow," explains Ernst, "You don't think about trying to find a way to be healthy tomorrow to find that doctor because today ... today you just got to be happy."

And that is where the Ghetto Gourmet comes in..

"I have days where I'm having a really really hard times and I get really down," said Ernst, "and then I'm like no ... let's cook some great food."