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Celebrity Chef Pays It Forward at Hutchinson Correctional Facility

by Dirk Moss last modified May 27, 2014 03:25 PM
Celebrity chef and bestselling author Jeff Henderson dropped by the kitchen at Hutchinson Correctional Facility (HCF) Tuesday and spoke to inmates to deliver a message of inspiration and hope about their futures after prison. Henderson, who spent nearly a decade in federal prison for drug trafficking, was in town to give a lecture at Hutchinson Community College and requested the HCF visit.
Celebrity Chef Pays It Forward at Hutchinson Correctional Facility

Chef Jeff talks wth inmates in the HCF kitchen

Henderson used his life story to illustrate that the skills and talents the inmates used to get into prison can now be used to create positive outcomes in their futures with hard work, determination and a plan.

Prison was the first place Henderson said he had ever read a book and he said he was an inmate the first time in his life someone told him he was smart. When a staff member call him son, he realized he had something to give back. Henderson urged the inmates to use their time in prison to examine their own lives and make changes before they get out of prison.

Following the discussion, Henderson visited the HCF kitchen where he tasted dinner rolls that had been prepared by an inmate baker. Henderson remarked that he would not hesitate to serve the roll in his restaurant in the Bellagio in LasVegas. Henderson told the inmates that the only difference would be adding rosemary scented butter brushed on the top with a sprinkle of cracked sea salt. He emphasized that the ingredients are the same. The skill and care of the baker is obvious, he said, but the presentation would be different. Henderson said the same could be said of the inmates. As an ex-inmate they would have to make a different presentation, he said.

Before leaving, Henderson donated signed copies of his books, “Cooked”, and his most recent, “If You Can See It, You Can Be It” to the HCF library.

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