Jeff Henderson once earned $19,000 a week cooking powdered cocaine into crack as a major drug dealer in San Diego. After being caught and sent to federal prison, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Henderson began a different cooking career – one that eventually brought him to the heights of the culinary world as an author, impending TV host and prospective subject of a movie. Henderson spoke yesterday in St. Louis to two groups of young offenders. His message: Stealing and drug dealing may bring glamour and gadgets, but it won’t help anyone achieve his dreams. He stressed that young people should worry less about impressing their friends on the streets and more about blending into the work force.
Henderson, 44, wrote a book, “Cooked: From the Streets to the Stove, from Cocaine to Foie Gras,” that was a best-seller after an appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey.” Doug Burris, chief federal probation officer in St. Louis, arranged the visit and said that speaking to young people is Henderson’s real passion.