The Champion

June 2007 , Page 62 

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Book Review

By Jeff Henderson

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Cooked: From the Streets to the Stove, From Cocaine to Foie Gras

William Morrow (2007)
Reviewed by Jeff Henderson

When 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 your product.” 

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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