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Chef Jeff Henderson

Award-Winning Chef | Personal & Professional Development Speaker

Chef Jeff Henderson is an award-winning chef, New York Times Best-Selling author, entrepreneur and motivational speaker.

Jeff started his culinary career in the unlikeliest of places: prison. While serving nearly ten years, he discovered an untapped passion for cooking, which led to executive chef positions at Bellagio and Caesars Palace.

Jeff’s inspiring story has been featured on Oprah’s Life Class, Good Morning America, Today Show, ABC World News Tonight, CNN, The Steve Harvey Show and in major publications such as The New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, People Magazine, the Washington Post, and many others. When Jeff is not traveling the world teaching his life-changing lessons, he resides in Las Vegas with his wife Stacy and their five children.

Chef Jeff’s Demo Reel

Travels From:

Las Vegas, NV

Fee Range:

Keynote: $15,000 – $20,000

Virtual: $10,000 – $15,000

Chef Jeff Bio

Known around the world as Chef Jeff, Jeff Henderson is an award-winning American chef, critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling author, philanthropist, television personality, and highly sought-after leader in personal and professional development. Known for his dynamic teachings and powerful story of personal transformation, Jeff illuminate’s audiences with proven, high-impact strategies that empower change, inspire fulfillment, and motivate millions to live the lives of their dreams.

A California native, Jeff started his illustrious culinary career in the unlikeliest of places: federal prison. While serving nearly ten years, he would discover a previously untapped passion for the art of cooking. Using prison as a catalyst for self-transformation, he would be released in 1996 and work his way up from a dishwasher to a cook under the tutelage of Chef Robert Gadsby. Jeff went on to work at Coronado Island Marriott, Hotel Bel-Air, and L’Ermitage Beverly Hills. He made history as the first African American Chef de Cuisine at Caesars Palace where he was also named Las Vegas Chef of The Year and then executive chef at the renowned Café Bellagio.

In 2007, Harper Collins published Jeff’s bestselling memoir Cooked, which lead to an interview with Oprah Winfrey. Shortly after the interview, Sony Pictures secured the rights to his inspiring tale of redemption and Jeff left his post at the helm of the prestigious Café Bellagio to embark on a journey that would lead him to television, consulting, and public speaking engagements all over the world. The same year, he also launched The Chef Jeff Project, a docu-reality series on the Food Network that followed him as he mentored a group of disadvantaged young adults towards realizing their own unique dreams.

Jeff would publish his first cookbook, Chef Jeff Cooks with Simon & Schuster in 2009 followed by America I AM Pass It Down Cookbook (Hay House/Smiley Books). In 2013 he published his first self-help book If You Can See It, You Can Be It (Hay House/Smiley Books). In 2012, Jeff’s first cooking show Beat The Chefs premiered on the Game Show Network, followed by Family Style with Chef Jeff and Flip My Food.

From incarcerated to world-renowned chef, author, television star and authoritative life strategist, Jeff’s inspiring story of life transformation has been featured on Oprah’s Life Class, Good Morning America, Today Show, ABC World News Tonight, CNN, The Steve Harvey Show and in major publications such as The New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, People Magazine, the Washington Post, and many others.

Photographed by Rance Elgin

Partial Client List:

  • American Express
  • Aramark
  • Bank of America
  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • Duke University
  • El Pollo Loco
  • General Electric
  • Goodwill
  • Nestle
  • Pinterest
  • Rutgers
  • Texas Roadhouse
  • The Salvation Army
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • Wendy’s
  • Attendees were treated to an inspirational keynote by all-star speaker Chef Jeff Henderson. Jeff shared his life story on how he changed his path to become a renowned chef at Caesars Palace, empowered our members to be extraordinary.

    American Express
  • He's an unbelievable, dynamic speaker who has been through it all, turned his life around and now doing something great!

    Duke University
  • More men are getting into the kitchen because of role models like Chef Jeff. His talent and upbeat personality makes him the perfect representative for General Electric.

    General Electric

Chef Jeff Henderson Programs

Rebuilding America's Workforce

Using Second Chance Initiatives To Solve Today’s Labor Crisis

At a time when many companies are struggling to fill open positions and are experiencing a decline in applicants for those hard-to-fill positions, employers may have no other choice but to look at alternative labor solutions. In this presentation, Chef Jeff shares his journey from incarceration to employment and how a second chance employer helped restart his life and go from dishwasher to Executive Chef only six years after being released from prison.

Attendees will leave with successful strategies for:

  • Recruiting the right talent
  • Creating a culture of engagement and accountability to maximize retention
If You Can See It, You Can Be It

In this presentation Jeff shares two decades of life lessons that he gained on his redemptive journey from drug dealer to TV celebrity chef to internationally acclaimed speaker. With his 12 inspiring and pragmatic street-smart recipes for success, audiences will discover their hidden business aptitudes, make life-changing decisions, and secure personal and professional success.

Unlocked: Change Your Walk, Change Your Life

Despite popular misconceptions, ‘prisoners’ aren’t only found behind steel bars. They’re walking amongst us every single day, locked behind self-imposed, seemingly impenetrable mental barriers. With wit and wisdom, ex-convict and celebrity chef, Jeff Henderson compellingly shifts the prisoner narrative while serving up some delicious fare, illustrating how the general idea of ‘prisoner’ is both incomplete and incredibly misleading. Having spent 10 years in federal prison before going on to culinary acclaim, Chef Jeff gives actionable insights on how to break free from the mental walls we’ve built for ourselves, unlocking a whole new perspective and lease on life.

What Every College Student Needs to Know

Students will learn everything they need to know to level up for life after college. They will take away the same strategies Jeff used to reach success from former drug dealer to executive chef. Jeff will help students discover their TOP strengths and GREATEST weakness, to build a solid foundation to assist them in their personal and professional development.

Talk & Cook

Inspiration meets entertainment. In this presentation, Jeff delivers a powerful keynote while performing an entertaining speed cooking performance. This presentation is interactive, and motivates your group to take positive action to improve their personal and professional life. We also offer a virtual cookout experience.

Additional Resources

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