From the Streets to the Stove, from Cocaine to Foie Gras
On Sale: February 20, 2007
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was just another inner-city black kid born into a world of
limited options, where crime seemed to provide the only way
to get out.
Raised mostly by his single mother, who struggled just to
keep food on
the table, Jeff dreamed big. He had to get out and he soon
turning to what so many in his community did: dealing drugs.
was no ordinary drug dealer; by twenty-one, he was one of
cocaine dealers in San Diego, making up to $35,000 a week.
later he was indicted on federal drug trafficking charges
to almost twenty years in prison. Before he knew what had
hit him, he
was looking at spending most of his life behind bars. The
had been the only one he'd ever known and even incarcerated
he was too
hardheaded to realize that no good would come of it.
until he was assigned to one of the least desirable prison jobs:
washing dishes. That job helped turn his whole life around.
It gave him
access to the prison kitchen and he became fascinated
fellow prisoners cook for the thousands of other inmates and
officials. Henderson learned to cook in prison. Not cocaine,
And his dream was born: Once outside, he would become a
It was a tough, seemingly impossible journey for an ex-con.
would give him the opportunity to cook in their restaurants.
hired, he endured racism and sabotage in the kitchen. But
refused to accept rejection. Driven by a dream and an
to succeed, Chef Jeff worked hard to overcome unimaginable
and eventually reached the top of his profession, becoming
chef at Café Bellagio in Las Vegas.
Alive with the
the streets, the sober reality of prison, and the visceral
being inside the fast-paced kitchens of great restaurants,
is an intense, intimate tale of crime, punishment, and
deeply poignant story of how the worst wrong can lead to the
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