Press Release - 'Chef Jeff' Henderson to Keynote the 2021 NGA Show

July 15, 2021
NGA Show Contact: Laura Strange
(202) 938-2584
'Chef Jeff' Henderson to Keynote the 2021 NGA Show
Food Network star brings his story of redemption and success to independent grocery conference,
Sept. 19-21 in Las Vegas

Washington, D.C. – The National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, welcomes chef, author and Food Network television personality Jeff Henderson, popularly known as Chef Jeff, as the keynote speaker for the 2021 NGA Show, to be held Sept. 19-21 at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
The opening keynote session is sponsored by The Kraft Heinz Company, a long-time supporter of NGA and the independent supermarket industry.

Henderson is an award-winning American chef, critically acclaimed New York Times best-selling author, philanthropist, television personality and highly sought-after leader in personal and professional development. He is known for illuminating audiences with high-impact strategies that empower change, inspire fulfillment and motivate people to pursue their dreams.

“Chef Jeff’s life story that took him from prison inmate to renowned executive chef and Food Network TV personality, and his passion for helping at-risk youth transform their lives, is the right message at a time in our nation when many of our youth face barriers to success,” said NGA President and CEO Greg Ferrara. “As our industry comes together for the 2021 NGA Show to celebrate the Supermarket Superheroes of the food industry, Chef Jeff’s powerful story will provide strong inspiration and maybe a different perspective to help us be better in our everyday lives.”

A California native, Henderson discovered a previously untapped passion for cooking while serving nearly 10 years in federal prison. Using his incarceration as a catalyst for self-transformation, he was released in 1996 and worked his way up from a dishwasher to a cook under the tutelage of Chef Robert Gadsby in Los Angeles. After working at the Coronado Island Marriott, Hotel Bel-Air and L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, Henderson 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, following an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Sony Pictures secured the rights to Henderson’s inspiring tale of redemption.

As an author, Henderson has written a best-selling memoir, Cooked; the cookbooks Chef Jeff Cooks and America I AM Pass It Down Cookbook, and a self-help book, If You Can See It, You Can Be It. His television projects include The Chef Jeff Project (, a Food Network docu-reality series that followed him as he mentored a group of disadvantaged young adults towards realizing their own unique dreams; cooking show Beat The Chefs on the Game Show Network; Family Style with Chef Jeff; and Flip My Food.

Henderson’s inspiring story of life transformation has been featured on Oprah's Life ClassGood Morning AmericaToday ShowABC World News TonightCNN and The Steve Harvey Show, and in major publications such as The New York TimesNewsweekUSA TodayPeople MagazineThe Washington Post and many others.​​​​​​

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The NGA Show has been the place where independent grocers gather for more than 30 years, connecting supermarket retailers and wholesalers, food manufacturers and service providers from around the world to share innovative solutions and best practices that support and strengthen the independent supermarket channel. The NGA Show is produced and managed by Clarion Events as part of the Food & Beverage Group in partnership with the National Grocers Association (NGA). For more information and to register, visit

Clarion Events ( produces 37 events across 13 sectors of both trade and consumer events. Clarion Events, which is the U.S. division of Clarion Events UK and backed by The Blackstone Group, has become one of the fastest-growing event companies in the U.S. with aggressive growth through both acquisition and launch. Clarion acquired PennWell in early 2018, bringing four Tradeshow 200 events into the U.S. portfolio and supercharging the already rapid growth. Clarion Events has offices in Trumbull, Conn.; Kennesaw, Ga.; Boca Raton, Fla.; Tacoma, Wash., and Fairlawn, N.J.

About NGA
NGA is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry. An independent retailer is a privately owned or controlled food retail company operating a variety of formats. The independent grocery sector is accountable for about 1.2 percent of the nation's overall economy and is responsible for generating more than $250 billion in sales, 1.1 million jobs, $39 billion in wages and $36 billion in taxes. NGA members include retail and wholesale grocers, state grocers associations, as well as manufacturers and service suppliers. For more information about NGA, visit