Celebrity Chef and best-selling author Jeff Henderson will open PTK Catalyst 2019 as keynote speaker on Thursday, April 4, in Orlando, Florida.
Jeff is a role model for all who seek reinvention and redemption. He grew up in South Central Los Angeles and became a successful and well-known drug dealer, often making $35,000 a week. It came crashing down, though, when federal agents raided his home in 1987 and he was sentenced to 19 years in prison for drug trafficking and conspiracy.
This, though, was only the beginning of his story. Jeff got a job in the kitchen at the prison, and his dreams of working as a chef were born.
He read his first book in prison and completed his GED. He reached out to the top black chefs in the country and asked for a job upon his release. He began putting his instincts for business to good use as he plotted out his life’s trajectory. He started working on his brand.
After serving nine years, Jeff was released. He made his way to Gadsby’s in Beverly Hills and got a job as a dishwasher. This led to work in the hotel business, and he moved to Las Vegas in 2001. He became the first African-American named “Chef de Cuisine” at Caesars Palace, and he was the first African-American executive chef at the Bellagio.
Jeff’s best-selling autobiography, Cooked, was published in 2007. He created Food Network’s reality series, The Chef Jeff Project, hosted “Family Style with Chef Jeff,” and starred in the nationally syndicated series, Flip My Food with Chef Jeff.
Jeff’s transformation story is truly inspiring. Here are five ways you can learn more about him and get ready for his PTK Catalyst 2019 presentation.
1. Read an excerpt from his memoir, Cooked.
2. Watch Jeff share his story on OWN’s “Where Are They Now?” Click on the black-and-white mugshot beneath the video to skip ahead to Jeff’s story.
3. Check out some of Jeff’s most popular “Flip My Food” recipes.
4. Learn more about Felon University, Jeff’s educational platform that helps ex-offenders successfully re-enter society.
5. Check out Jeff’s 2013 book, If You Can See It, You Can Be It: 12 Street-Smart Recipes for Success.
Registration for PTK Catalyst 2019 is now open! Register now.