Keynote Speaker - Chef Jeff Henderson
Friday - January 25, 2012
General Session - 10:30am-12noon - Hilton Milwaukee City Center

Chef Jeff Henderson is an award-winning chef, motivational speaker, New York Times best-selling author, and Food Network television personality. Henderson captivates audiences across the country with his triumphant story of change and the power of potential.

Henderson grew up on the tough streets of Central LA and San Diego. By the time he was 19, he was running a $35,000 a week drug operation. At 24, Henderson was arrested and sent to prison, where he spent the next ten years behind bars. It was while incarcerated that he discovered a passion for cooking and committed himself to turning his life around.

After spending nearly a decade behind bars, Henderson transitioned back into an environment that was as intimidating and hostile as prison. Having no formal education and a criminal background, he struggled for years in the hospitality industry. But, with persistence and determination, he was able to achieve his dreams, eventually becoming the executive chef of Café Bellagio in Las Vegas. 

His story was first told in the New York Times best-selling memoir, Cooked: My Journey from the Streets to the Stove. In fall 2012, Henderson will release his compelling follow up book, The Power of Potential, which uses his story as a backdrop and motivates readers to overcome the barriers standing in the way of true success. Using 21 “power principles” he derived from his experiences while incarcerated, Henderson mixes street savvy and Wall Street wit in a guidebook that shows others how fulfilling their potential creates a positive impact in the world.  In January 2012, distinguished Henderson by naming him to its illustrious “Grio’s100: History Makers in the Making”, Class of 2012, which honors African Americans for the positive contributions they are making in shaping the futures of others. 

Today, Henderson is the Food Network personality behind The Chef Jeff Project, which takes six at-risk young adults and commits to turning their lives around by putting them to work for his catering company, Posh Urban Cuisine, and providing them with the knowledge, skills, and ultimately, the opportunity for a new life with a culinary career. The show also inspired the companion cookbook, Chef Jeff Cooks: In the Kitchen with America’s Inspirational New Culinary Star.

Henderson uses “Reality-Based Education” to inspire audiences to take charge of their lives and become a driver on the freeway towards their dreams. He gives them effective and simple ways to implement strategies to navigate them through the detours and roadblocks along the way.

A wide range of industries from hospitality and restaurant to urban workforce, healthcare, banking, and technology have sought after Henderson’s message. Audiences find his use of storytelling and humor not only memorable, but also captivating. Henderson is the voice of personal and professional change, distinguishing him as a leading authority on human potential.
Chef Jeff Henderson
Keynote Speaker
Friday Keynote Address
Sponsored By:
Wisconsin State Education Convention
122 W. Washington Ave., Suite 400 · Madison, WI 53703
toll-free 877-705-4422 · ph 608-257-2622 · fax 608-257-8386