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by Adrienne Petterson © 2007     About Me

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Cooked - From the Streets to the Stove, from Cocaine to Foie Gras
by Jeff Henderson
William Morrow
ISBN 0-06-115390-7
Published February 2007 - Hardcover - 275 pages - $24.95

We all love a good story of rags to riches, or redemption to revelry, and we definitely love stories of success.  This story has it all.  But, I nearly gave up after page 7 because there were 13 "fucks" between pages 3 and 7, and I wasn't that enthralled with so much cursing.  I tried another few pages and learned, sans the cursing and street talk, that Jeff Henderson and his sister grew up living with their mother and were partly raised by their paternal grandparents, and then lived with their father for a while (between L.A. and San Diego).  From a young age young Jeffrey stole money because he and his sister wanted to eat junk food, he wanted things the white kids seemed to have, and because he got away with it.  They lived in South Central Los Angeles and it was the seventies and eighties.  Young Jeffrey progressed (regressed is more accurate) to stealing bikes and burglarizing houses and getting caught by the police at sixteen years old.  It wasn't long before he started dealing drugs and making good money and getting caught and put in prison.  He didn't personally do drugs or drink, but the quick money was obviously the main attraction.  He got 19½ years with 10 years knocked off after a while.  It was in prison he learned the rudiments of cooking, which he enjoyed and pursued voraciously.  Such was his determination to better himself, and given his appetite for learning and creating, it wasn't long before he was out of prison and working as a chef in Beverly Hills, San Diego, and later in Las Vegas.  After reading Chef Jeff's story, you just know that with hard work and drive you can change your life for the better.  I'm so glad I didn't give up reading this fantastic story.
Visit Chef Jeff's website.
Conclusion - Extremely uplifting and abundantly encouraging, for all races.  Bravo.

book cover

Review copy not supplied by publisher - library copy reviewed.

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