Thursday, November 6, 2008


Election night was an extraordinary moment in my life. I watched my wife and three children sitting on our living room floor watching history unfold. I stood in the kitchen, preparing to serve my seafood Gumbo to family and friends. I was overwhelmed with joy and hope as I watched the results. The odds were against him from birth; just being a man of color stacked the odds. Then add all the other obstacles and social misconceptions and you’re left with an amazing idea, that we really can be anything we want to be and we can achieve what seemed unachievable. Most said “he” would not and he responded “yes we can”. I was humbled. It reinforced the hope that I already had in my crew members and young people across the country. I pray each one of them find their voice and potential in life.

It took me back to 13 years ago when I walked out of prison. I never gave up on my dreams. I found my purpose through hard work and sacrifice. I ask all my friends, family and fellow bloggers to reach back and inspire someone in your life.

This coming Sunday on the “Chef Jeff Project” is the 5th episode. E-mail, call and text message everyone in your rolodex to tune in. It will be a testimonial of change and what life is truly about at the end of the day. Since the premier of the “CJP” I have truly become more inspired to make a difference in the lives of others.

Sometimes when we are traveling down life’s roads that are filled with pot holes, stop signs and accidents we lose focus on what’s truly important. Never give up your dream, never. This week we all got a lesson in “new roads”. Most roads we travel on have already be tried and tested. The road signs are there to protect and guide us. In the case of President-Elect Obama, he’s a trailblazer. He’s making the road as he travels; leaving breadcrumbs behind for others to follow. Who knows how long it will take for this road to be paved and road signs to be posted. Don’t be afraid to go on roads no one else has gone…you never know where it may lead you.

On another note, how about getting into the kitchen and cooking this weekend. Fall is in full bloom; mushroom, squash and beans are everywhere. I travelled a new road myself Tuesday, for the first time I made a “Banana Pudding Cheese Cake”, it was off the hook. I made the crust with vanilla wafers and sugared pecans, and layered the cake with cream cheese, banana pudding filling and vanilla wafers cookies. Everyone threw down. When you put family, friends and great food together, kitchen conversation is always in my mix.

As Always, Bon App├ętit


kEllEy_G said...

We're still watching every single week...and loving it.

About the kids are biracial, so it was such a moment of awe for them too. :)

Samantha said...

Dear Chef Jeff. Im at a lost to what cooking school. I should go to here in las vegas. I have meet you before when our first book came out you sigh it. i love the book and have read many other chefs books. I know i want to cook. I want to go to the right school


Junktion 360 said...

Banana Pudding Cheese Cake.... So how is this made in DETAIL...I so want to try and make this...It sounds sooo good.... I am not a big fan of BANANA'S...but I love cheese cake....sooo I just might try and eat some

Shelomi said...

Hi Chef,

I am from Trinidad ,Thats a small island in the Caribbean and i just wanted to say that the elections was indeed a great deal in Trinidad as well.People were wearing Obama t'shirts and praying/hopppping that he would win. We are glad.

On Sundays i watch you show.its is amazing .yes yes! even in the Caribbean the locals as you americans call us (lols) tune into Chef Jeffff! Perhaps you should try you hand at a few of our dishes !

God Bless

Lovebabz said...

I am twittering your blog. I will certainly tune in.

LOVE this show!

Carrie said...

Chef Jeff,

I Thank you. Your show is an inspiration, as is your blog. It is so refreshing to see a show on TV that promotes actual life skills and knowledge rather than drama and negativity.

I am a viola player who has put my art on a backseat because of some twists and turns of life - special needs child, debt, medical bills, and so forth. I believe that we all need to create something to be at peace with ourselves, whether it be food, art, music, etc. I think it's a necessary part of existence, and it's been difficult for me to lose that part of my life, even though it has been totally worth it in the sense that my child has the best possible life.

But what you said in the limo on tonight's episode about visualizing your dream really gave me hope. It seems silly, but the idea that I still have a chance to create the vision that's in my head despite the obstacles life has placed in my way lifts me up and keeps me going.

We can do anything if we belive. Now more than at any point I belive that. Thanks to visionary people like yourself and Barack Obama the rest of us are gradually beginning to realize this awesome truth. Yes we can!!

anointd2srv said...

Thanks for being such a positive force in the lives of the young people on your show. It has definitely spilled over into my life as I tune in each week. I've encouraged others to watch the show as well and be inspired. Also, I bought your cookbook and can't wait to try your recipes. Thanks you for renewing a love of cooking and good food! God bless you Chef Jeff!

msjonz said...

Hi Chef Jeff,
I watch your show every week, it is so good to see you giving back to those trying to make it. Would you be willing to share the recipe for the Banana Pudding Cheesecake?

Simply Mi-Mi
From Atlanta

Cameron said...

I am a CJP junkie. Cooking is my passion and I work part time as a caterer. Serving others is the real blessing in the business.
Chef Jeff, you are really paying it forward.
Keep up the good work.
(Bet the Obama victory gumbo was good!)

princessdominique said...

Amazing moment in history and as for this weeks episode, I needed stock in Kleenex. You unleashed tears across America I'm certain!

deedee3271 said...

chef Jeff I'm thirty something and I had many obstacles in my life my parents on drugs bad and me being the oldest of 7 at 11years old I had to be the parents It has been a hard road for me, to top it off I was only 24 years old when i was diagnosed with end stage renal failure so I have been though a lot and I watch your show and I break down almost all the time You don't even the impact you have a lot of people lives thought the show to me and a lot of others. when you talk to those kids I feel like you are talking to me too,I had never had a positive role model in my life growning up so what your doing is so wonderful. even tough I'm grown now and have children I fight every day to be a better person for my daughter and for me and your show helps so THANK YOU SO MUCH

vittoria regia said...

Chef Jeff, you are truly an inspiration. I tune in to your show every week because it really feels like the emotions, and the lessons, are real... not the typical competitive reality show where you can sense the producers behind the scenes manipulating the contestants and wanting drama. I'm sure your producers think of the educational value of the show, but I don't feel it's the driving factor. It doesn't have to be...your young folks are learning such valuable lessons and letting us be the audience is powerful drama. If you can keep that element alive in the show, i'll keep tuning in. You're doing great work, and I know you'll continue changing lives.

Lovebabz said...

It's Tuesday and there are a bunch of folks on twitter tweeting it. You need to get on

Twitter is what Obama used to get info out. I think you would do well with it.

I am doing what I can with the 350 followers I have and the 800 or so folks I am following.

Anonymous said...

Your show is the most worthwhile program on right now. How can I, as a fan, help get the word out? Has your web people created widgets and whatnot? social networking? count me in!

Love Out Loud said...

You are by far one of the most inspirational people I've seen in a long time. Fortunately for those who witness you on tv, it is more than wonderful at this exact time in life! You and President Obama all in the same year... We have overcome! Thank you for accepting God's call on your life and being one of his special ones. I pray that you will be an greater inspiration to my 17 year old. I make him watch your show just so he can witness that life is not all glam, it's real! Thank you again for Chef Jeff Project!

Much sister/brother love,

Devonna B.

Anonymous said...

Even more inspired by you after watching Tavis Smiley!