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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 9:20 EDT

Food Network Changes Lives – Through Food!

September 10, 2008

NEW YORK, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ — Food Network launches a ground-breaking new reality series this October, with the premiere of The Chef Jeff Project. Premiering Sunday, October 12th at 10pm ET/PT, The Chef Jeff Project follows Chef Jeff Henderson, a former prison inmate turned successful executive chef, as he attempts to transform the lives of six struggling young adults through the power of food.

“Chef Jeff has an amazing story that will inspire not only the young adults in the show, but viewers across the country,” said Bob Tuschman, Senior Vice President, Programming and Production for Food Network. “This type of show only comes along once in a while and we are proud to bring a unique, touching, exciting show like this to our Food Network viewers.”

In The Chef Jeff Project, Chef Jeff takes the lessons learned from his inspiring journey and works to connect with six troubled young adults who have gone down similar paths and now have a strong desire to improve their lives. Nicknamed, “The Crew,” their task at hand is to work under Chef Jeff’s watchful eye at his new LA-based catering company, Posh Urban Cuisine. Along the way, the crew is given necessary skills to remake themselves and succeed, including appearance, attitude, respect, motivation and behavior. As an added incentive, if each of the crew members makes it though the project, then they will have the opportunity to receive scholarships from the International Culinary Schools at The Art Institutes to help them continue towards a culinary career. From catering assignments with high-profile clients like the cast of General Hospital and the LA Dodgers, to personal meals with Jeff’s family, the crew will get a new look at life and realize they have the tools to thrive despite the odds.

Chef Jeff Henderson has become one of the most inspirational chefs in the country after finding his passion for cooking while incarcerated for drugs, and subsequently turning his life around. In 2001, Jeff made history in Las Vegas, when he became the first African-American named “Chef de Cuisine” at Caesar’s Palace. He eventually became an executive chef at several top restaurants including Cafe Bellagio, which he joined in 2004. Jeff’s remarkable story was captured in his New York Times bestseller COOKED, and is now being turned into a major motion picture by the team that made The Pursuit of Happyness. In October 2008, he also launches his first cookbook, “CHEF JEFF COOKS: In the Kitchen with America’s Inspirational New Culinary Star” (Scribner). Jeff currently lives in Las Vegas with his wife and three children.

FOOD NETWORK (http://www.foodnetwork.com/) is a unique lifestyle network and Web site that strives to be way more than cooking. The network is committed to exploring new and different ways to approach food — through pop culture, competition, adventure, and travel — while also expanding its repertoire of technique-based information. Food Network is distributed to more than 96 million U.S. households and averages more than seven million Web site users monthly. With headquarters in New York City and offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and Knoxville, Food Network can be seen internationally in Canada, Australia, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Monaco, Andorra, Africa, France, and the French-speaking territories in the Caribbean and Polynesia. Scripps Networks Interactive , which also owns and operates HGTV (http://www.hgtv.com/), DIY Network (http://www.diynetwork.com/), Great American Country (http://www.gactv.com/) and FINE LIVING (http://www.fineliving.com/), is the manager and general partner.

Food Network

CONTACT: Lisa Krueger of Food Network, +1-212-401-2430,lkrueger@foodnetwork.com; or Sean Martin of The Dowd Agency, +1-212-686-7777,sean@dowdagency.com, for Food Network

Web site: http://www.foodnetwork.com/