2021 Opening Keynote Address
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 illuminates 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.
A truly world-class presenter, Jeff has that rare ability to electrify audiences while delivering uncommonly original and useful insights that lead to long-lasting success for individuals, businesses, and corporations alike. As a premier speaker on leadership and personal mastery, Jeff invites millions of people from all walks of life to believe that if they can see it, they can be it.
When Jeff is not traveling the world teaching his life-changing lessons, or working with at risk young people through his non profit The Chef Jeff Project, he resides in Las Vegas with his wife Stacy and their five children.