Chef Jeff Henderson is more than a good cook - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Chef Jeff Henderson is more than a good cook

"Flip My Food with Chef Jeff" was in Natchitoches in July, filming with Chef Angela Lasyone, owner of Lasyone's Meat Pie Kitchen, to feature her family's famous Natchitoches Meat Pie. "Flip My Food with Chef Jeff" was in Natchitoches in July, filming with Chef Angela Lasyone, owner of Lasyone's Meat Pie Kitchen, to feature her family's famous Natchitoches Meat Pie.
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -  
With television shows on 'The Food Network,' appearances on CBS' 'The Talk,' Oprah and four best-selling books, Chef Jeff Henderson is on a roll. His success even more extraordinary, considering the path he took to get there. 

Charisse Gibson caught up with the food maven at this year's Mudbug Madness Festival in Shreveport, as he prepared to tape an episode of his new series "Flip My Food." She learned the chef has Louisiana roots, had a stint in prison and is a world-renowned chef, with no culinary experience. 

"In the early sixties, my grandparents worked for the school district. My mother and father got married and a few years later my sister and I was born. My mother and father soon divorced and my mother was a single parent that worked two jobs, said Chef Jeff. "We struggled, we moved from place to place and as a young kid I made a lot of poor choices like so many young people around this country"

Poor choices that earned him a 10 year prison stay for drug trafficking. It was there that the future chef found his way into the kitchen.

"Sometimes during the darkest moment of our lives, sometimes when we fall down and we're lost, sometimes that's the moment of discovery, that's when you have that 'aha' moment, says Chef Jeff. "You know, it was through food when I had that 'aha' moment and people started telling me 'Your food was good,' and I said 'Well, Jeff you should think about being a chef.'"

After being released, Chef Jeff cooked in kitchens from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. When he finally arrived in Vegas he set his sights on the Bellagio kitchen. It took him three years to finally land the job, but he didn't stop there. The chef went on to become a motivational speaker and youth mentor, hoping to use his love of cooking as a way to keep teens out of trouble.

"You know, to create a great dish right, you need ingredients, you need a little bit of this, a little bit of that, there's a method that brings those ingredients together that creates the ultimate dish. I kind of use that metaphor of cooking into changing young people's lives. If a young person has an anger problem or you need a little bit of therapy, a little bit of exposure then you mix these different ingredients to bring change in your life. Then there's a method to how you incorporate that to create the best you, the best product.

You can catch Chef Jeff's new show 'Flip My Food' this fall on KSLA News 12. 

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