Meet Chef Jeff

by in View All Posts, View Video Only, October 5th, 2008

Food Network’s newest star talks to The FN Dish about working with six at-risk youths for his new show, The Chef Jeff Project.

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Comments (111)

  1. James Kimbrough says:

    Dear Chef Jeff,
    I have watched all of the previews for your upcoming show and finally saw the premier. I must say you are doing a fine job. I am currently a culinary student at the Art Institute of Jacksonville. I have also been a probation/home detention officer and loved your idea of helping people get on the right track or a better track than they are on. I am interested in giving back in some sort of way myself. Any assistance in how to go about getting started would be greatly appreciated. My target group is a work release center with both men and women. Keep up the good work, hopefully when I finish school I will get a chance to meet and possibly work along with, or at least compare notes with you along my travels.


  2. Carla Patterson says:

    Hello chef jeff ive been waiting for your show to come on i finally got watch it lastnite it was inspiring i would love a chance to be on your show i am 36 yrs old i have 4 children and going no where fast i have a felony that just keep reminding me that it is hard to get past the past if you no what i mean i love cooking i made my first pork fried rice out of a cook book when i was 7 and my grandmother was an great cook and i just used to sit and watch her create wonderful food chef jeff i need this chance doors have been closed in my face for the past 10 months i had to result back to what i love to do because my back is up against the wall you no being a caterer just starting out it can be a very slow start and it takes money money that i don’t have i have been cooking out of my kitchen for the past 6 months selling food mostly fast food i have my business license but i don’t have my permit because i just don’t have the funds to rent a kitchen or have one built and there is still alot i have to to learn far as business i have the drive i have some experience i just need a chance my record has really gotten in my way i was a customer service rep for many years and telemarketing and now that i can’t find a job no where it’s been almost a year i have been unemployed so i tried to have a back up plan and thats cooking out of my house selling food like hot wings and fries ,cuban sandwich, jerk chicken ,seafood rice ,buffalo shrimp ,ect…. i have2 teenage boys getting ready to go to college i hope 1 is a senior and i have a jr my oldest daughter is in college right now at le corden blue in miami, fl and she needs help paying her tuition and my boys have needs and i have to keep a roof over there head i have so much to say to tell you i need a chance my felony happend 8 yrs ago and i can’t seem to move on from it it keeps haunting me please get intouch with me you are such an inspiration for people like you and i and i need your help please i no you get so many stories behind the person but i’m not getting any younger and life is not standing still i need help i need someone like you to believe in me and possilbly help me achieve my goals as a successful chef i feel like i’m at a dead end please help me chef jeff you would really help change my life
    thank you
    carla patterson
    from north carolina

  3. Dr. Emma B. Brooks says:

    Congratulations on your show. Thanks for bringing such a worthy project to your fans. I knew it would be a “class act” and a great addition to the “Food Network” line up. Keep up the good work.
    I am so proud of you.

    Dr. Emma Brooks, Las vegas, NV

  4. Tina Johnson says:

    Dear Chef,
    I had the privelege of watching you on Dinner Impossible with with Robert. I said then that you should have a show of his own because you have something that no one is speaking on right now and it involves food. I watched last week when that gave a look back on your life and how God blessed you to be where you are now. I am a fan and I am rooting for you. I like what you are doing and told myself that I would write you and tell you how moved I was to see a larger than life figure doing what you do. I think of my father who retired last year as a senior correctional cook at Pima County Jail in Tucson, Arizona and when I saw you on Dinner Impossible I talked about you to him. My father loves to cook and that is where I give my love for cooking from. I’d like to get in contact with you or maybe you can contact my father because I have a cousin who is at risk and wants to get in the kitchen but she is much older than the those in your kitchen now. I believe she can benefit from your example because she is trying to get out of the situation you freed yourself from. Like you, she needs a chance and have someone in her corner to give her the tools to rise above her circumstances and get to a place where she is loving herself. Can you help me help my cousin. I want to see her rise above what seems to have a stronghold on her and cooking is something she loves and wants to get involved in. Thank you.


  5. Jean Anne Willaert says:

    God bless you, Chef Jeff. I caught your show last night and was truly inspired by your compassion for these young people. Thank you for giving them a second chance. Blessings for a great season!

  6. I also anticipated the premiere and LOVED the program that aired last night. I called others to watch. Thanks, Chef Jeff for your compassionate acts to mentor at risk individuals. Food Network and its sponsors have done a great thing to bring this inspirational program to the public. Hopefully, communities and other Scripps executives will develop programs to train people in life skills using creative avenues. (i.e., building trades and construction, landscaping, remodeling, fabrication trades) Chef Jeff’s fall into drug dealing is an example of why many young people fail, they lack skills and hope.


    My first impression about Chef Jeff, was, WOW!!!! How refreshing!!!!Someone who truly cares.
    I don’t know Chef Jeff personally, but I can see his heart for hurting and troubled people. Thank you Food Network for this blessing. I have been a fan of the network for the past five years, but now, I’m just crazy abut you. Chef Jeff’s show is MARVELOUS, SIMPLY MARVELOUS. CAN’T WAITE UNTIL NEXT WEEK TO VIEW THE SHOW, I’M TELLING EVERYONE I KNOW TO TUNE IN AND BE INSPIRED!!!!!!!

  8. Takara Family says:

    I have a 4 year old niece with Leukemia who had the opportunity to participate in one of your upcoming shows. We just really wanted to thank you! Cynthia really enjoyed it…. thank you for making a difference in people’s lives. I’m really looking forward to seeing it. Aloha.

  9. sebastian peterson says:

    my names sebastian and im 17 and i would like a chance to be in your program i have been taking care of my famly since i have been 13 and i think u could help me better myself in culinary area

  10. Carolyn Sheppard says:

    Chef Jeff,
    I am quickly rewriting for two reasons. When I think of Chef Jeff two words come to mind, compassion and disipline. Two very strong words, both of which I’m sure your familiar with, because without either, you would not be were you are today. With that in mind, I am sitting here reading alot of parents stories about their teens mostly and wondering to myself……..hey, I’m not the only one. By the same token, if parents are lacking these two things, then we can only blame ourselves for their outcome. Now I know we can’t hold their hand 24/7, but we can definitly tighten the reigns. Cooking is-love,compassion,disipline,etc.. If you don’t have ANY of these things, food then just becomes texture and color, as opposed to the many things it can be. As you looked at the many varios dishes and attitudes yesterday on your show, you can tell who has it and who doesn’t. Any mother with a teen, my heart goes out to you but don’t give up, there is always a “light” in them that we just have to keep lite. I would love to talk to anyone willing thru e-mail to share cooking stories, or share views. My e-mail is or

    Thank you for your time Chef Jeff.

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