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By Jeff Henderson
Book Review columns.
Cooked: From the Streets to the Stove, From Cocaine to Foie GrasWilliam Morrow (2007)
Reviewed by Jeff HendersonWhen you’re cooking with foie gras, observes Jeff Henderson,
star chef and ex-con, it is unforgiving in its delicacy. “Just like
when you’re cooking with cocaine, one miscalculation of heat can destroy
One has to pay close attention when cooking. With crack, a
little inattention could mean that a third of the yield would
disintegrate. This was unacceptable for a drug dealer, as Henderson was
in the late 1980s — with a kilo of cocaine going for $14,500 wholesale.
Now, as the executive chef at Café Bellagio in Las Vegas, Henderson must
make sure the foie gras doesn’t turn to mush, and the oven-roasted
striped sea bass (with savoy cabbage and fingerling potatoes infused
with chive olive oil) makes it to the right table.
This is the story of Henderson’s rise as drug dealer, his
fall to federal prison, and his rehabilitation, through drive and
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