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Cooked: From the Streets to the Stove, from Cocaine to Foie Gras | [Jeff Henderson]

Cooked: From the Streets to the Stove, from Cocaine to Foie Gras

This riveting memoir is the incredible story of Jeff Henderson's rollercoaster ride from high-stakes cocaine dealer, to prison inmate, to world-class chef. When he was 23, he was indicted on federal drug trafficking charges and sentenced to almost 20 years. One day, he was assigned to wash dishes in the prison kitchen, and he immediately took an interest in food preparation and eventually determined that when he was released, he would become a chef, no matter what.
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Publisher's Summary

This riveting memoir is the incredible story of Jeff Henderson's rollercoaster ride from high-stakes cocaine dealer, to prison inmate, to world-class chef.

Barely old enough to drink legally, Henderson was clearing $35,000 per week as one of the most successful cocaine dealers in San Diego. But when he was 23, he was indicted on federal drug trafficking charges and sentenced to almost 20 years. Hardheaded, Henderson held firmly to his gritty street morals, until the day he was assigned to wash dishes in the prison kitchen. He immediately took an interest in food preparation and eventually determined that when he was released, he would become a chef, no matter what.

An extraordinary tale of crime, punishment, and redemption, Cooked is a glorious testament to the power of the human spirit when faced with seemingly impossible odds.

©2007 Jeff Henderson; (P)2007 Recorded Books LLC

What the Critics Say

"Cooked is alive with the visceral energy of street life, the sober reality of prison, and the drama and intensity of working in top restaurant kitchens. With extraordinary poise and clever insight, Jeff relates the astounding obstacles he overcame to be recognized as one of the best young chefs in America." (BlackNews.com)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (83 )
5 star
 (26)
4 star
 (31)
3 star
 (17)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.0 (36 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.7 (37 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Brian Seattle, WA, USA 05-28-08
    Brian Seattle, WA, USA 05-28-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Too Thuggish Ruggish"

    I love cooking, and been to jail, so this book looked really cool to me. Unfortunately it's narrated by the author, who apparently feels he needs to speak gansta. 8 hours of a thug speak is just too much too handle. Props for getting out of jail and making it, but its a shame the his English didn't improve with his cooking.

    This guy's book would maybe make a better read then listen. If your looking for something like Bourdain, this isn't it. Bourdain can talk shite, but still sound pleasing to the ear. This guy cant. I feel i wasted my money on this one.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jaclyn Newport Beach, CA, USA 06-06-07
    Jaclyn Newport Beach, CA, USA 06-06-07 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "Great Story of Triumph"

    The best thing about this book may be Jeff's pronunciation of french dishes and cooking terms. His reading is a bit hard, uneven and "street" but I don't think the material would have worked so well without it.

    Admittedly I skipped over some of the earlier stuff like his early childhood, but listened to every word once he got to prison and beyond.

    I only gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because it is slow in spots, mostly in the beginning.

    In the last third of the book, when he becomes the head chef at the Bel Air hotel (before Bellagio) you can't believe how much this guy has gone through and how hard he has worked to get there.

    I'm tend to go for the "chick-flick" books like "Eat Pray Love" (the ultimate) but this coming of age tale has much of the same feel, even if it is about a man from LA's ghetto.

    Bottom line: recommended

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Sippel San Jose, CA United States 12-18-08
    R. Sippel San Jose, CA United States 12-18-08 Member Since 2007

    Chef

    HELPFUL VOTES
    71
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    337
    34
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    5
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    "from the soul"

    This book is raw, if you do not like curse words then this book is not for you. You feel that Jeff is speaking from the heart and nothing but the truth. This is a story that needs to be told.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Natick, MA, United States 08-19-08
    John Natick, MA, United States 08-19-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Cooked"

    This is very difficult to listen to. I can understand the emphasis on coming from the ghetto, but there is no need for the constant abusive language.

    The personal honesty and pride is refreshing, but I would not recommend this.
    A better read about someone pulling themselves up would be Humble Pie.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia A. Coquille, OR, USA 11-03-07
    Cynthia A. Coquille, OR, USA 11-03-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "success story"

    Listening to the author tell his life story was like having him tell you in person. I was captivated listening to it not wanting to turn it off. I love success stories and how driven he was to learn and turn his life around.I liked the cooking stories.An excellent book.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean D davenport fl 06-28-12
    Sean D davenport fl 06-28-12

    geeky chef

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "not very good"
    What would have made Cooked better?

    Better english


    What could Jeff Henderson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Less thug talk more English language.


    How could the performance have been better?

    If the story was written better


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Cooked?

    Not scenes just changed how it was written


    Any additional comments?

    With all the f-bombs and raw language the author can off as uneducated. I stopped listening half way through. Me and my friend who are cooks still laugh about this book. Its a joke.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. CINCINNATI, OH, United States 11-28-11
    M. CINCINNATI, OH, United States 11-28-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic!"

    This book should stand as an inspiration to anyone who wishes to turn their life around! Jeff is eloquent yet real, and from leading the life he has, he is fascinating!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carol 11-12-11
    carol 11-12-11 Member Since 2011

    love books,cats,computers,information

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A real success story"

    I just loved Mr. Henderson's climb from the streets to the stove. His tenacity and proceed till apprehended attitude is awesome. This proves with goals and drive someone's life can be turned around. I think having a mentor and support from one's family & friends can help as well. Maybe one day I will have a meal prepared by Mr. Henderson.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harlan Spring, TX, United States 09-25-11
    Harlan Spring, TX, United States 09-25-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Way too many "F" bombs to get past the 4th chapter"

    I just can't have that kind of foul language continuously in my ears. Why are so many books turning to this when there is a world of words just waiting to be enjoyed.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Raymond America, TX, United States 07-17-10
    Raymond America, TX, United States 07-17-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    "Refreshing"

    A nice success story, well delivered and very interesting.

    Certainly worth both the time and money.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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