Laughter is the Best Medicine

How I Went from Drug Dealer to Gourmet Chef | Chef Jeff | Goalcast

– In my world we were called hustlers. In the corporate world, they’re called CEOs and business men. I used to talk a lot. I was slick. In a corporate world they call
that a master communicator. Okay? So here were the parallels
between the street hustler, the multimillion dollar drug dealers, who never used drugs, who
never was a part of gangs, who never carried guns. Age 19. Millionaire. Indicted by the federal government, 1988. Served 10 years in prison. 10 years in prison that I served. 10 years. Walking on concrete. Every single day. Sitting on a stainless steel toilet with toilet paper as hard
as a brown paper bag. So it was in 1984 that I embraced a criminal lifestyle. My criminal lifestyle
was shaped by my mentors. I wanted more for my mother. I wanted more for my sister. And I decided that this
was the way for me. Which was the meal ticket for tens of thousands of young men and women of color in inner city communities across America. I was one of those guys. And it’s not something that I’m proud of. But you always have to
go back to the beginning of how it began. I made up to $35,000 a week in my hay day. But one thing that I wasn’t able to see, because I had the blinders on, when you grow up in poverty, the front lobe that many of
these intellectuals talk about, that goes undeveloped. It doesn’t allow you to see the world through the eyes of people
who have been exposed. Who have access to the American dream. So we see one thing. That’s how to hustle. How to put food on the table. And one of the biggest mistakes that many of our mothers in our community put on the burden of young boys, is for a mother to say that
you are the man of the house. When a mother tells you that
you are the man of the house at seven, eight years old, every boy wants to help his mother. Every boy doesn’t like
to see his mother abused. Doesn’t like to see his mother going through various challenges in life. So they called me a
hustler back in the days. When I was on the street,
I understood marketing. I understood branding. I knew how to manage a diverse workforce. I had gang members
following me like any CEO, any leader or great manager of a company. When you’re a great
leader, you have vision. And when you have vision,
it becomes very addictive. People wanna be a part of that. Like tens of thousands
of people on the streets. The one thing that no one ever saw in me, they didn’t know how
to flip my gift of gab. They didn’t know how to
flip the ability that I was the number one newspaper
boy when I was eight. I had the number one candy seller route when I was a little boy. But no one saw that. Because my mother was blind. It’s not that she was
uneducated, she was miseducated. So no one was able to say, Jeffery, what do you wanna be when you grow up? No one saw that in me. So as a drug dealer, I
became very successful. I had the ability to tap in
to the talent and the strength of people on the streets. That’s how I was able to move the product. Same scenario that I’m gonna take you to. The hustler, or the business man? And I’m not putting praise on the fact that drug dealers are
these great individuals. Even though we victimize by selling drugs, we were also victims of our community and the people around us
that shaped our thinking. 30% of people go to prison
have a mental health issue. Well what about the 70 that doesn’t? Where do we go wrong? When do we make the wrong choices? Wrong choices are inspired
by something that we see, something we hear, whether it’s greed, whether it’s poverty, whether it’s just trying to beat the system
or something like that. Well Chef Jeff, how did you change? How did the blinders come off? How did you begin to see the world through a different set of eyes? Well it didn’t happen overnight. There was a collective of
situations, circumstances, intellectual stimulation. I read my first book in prison. I was told for the first time in my life that I was smart, in prison. A older man in prison taught me how to shave with a razor, in prison. But not only did that begin to get me to see myself different, I became the same analyst
that was on the streets. See I was in a federal system. I was in prison with some
of the brightest minds on the universe. Stock brokers. (audience laughs) Presidents and CEOs of corporations. (audience laughs) Judges, lawyers. Former DA agents. (audience laughs) I begin to build the
relationships with them. I became a intellectual jacker. I robbed ’em for knowledge. That’s right. I learned to cook in prison. I found my gift. It was fueled by my dream. The gift was cooking. Never knew that in my life. When I came home from prison in 1996, they told me I couldn’t get a
job and I wouldn’t get a job. Well I proved ’em wrong. I went in as a dishwasher. When I first got my job, there were things I had to change about me
when I got out of prison. Everything. I had to build a brand. I had to rebuild my image. Clean shaved my face. Took makeup to cover my earring hole up. No tattoos. Quit lifting weights so
I wasn’t big and bulky. I got my teeth fixed, $2600 grill. Look at that. (audience laughs) Because I understood the
importance of a smile. I even had to straighten
up the way I walk. ‘Cause you know I still
walk cool sometimes. (audience laughs) So this how I used to walk. So I had to get my
corporate swag down, right? (audience laughs) Chef Jeff. How did I do it? I built the right relationships. I learned to smile. I changed my swagger. It took me three and a half years to get a job at the Bellagio. I changed my walk three and a half times. (audience laughs) And I finally got the job. My mission is to get
you to really understand the power of potential in
individuals who may have grew up with circumstances in
situations that shape the thinking process of them. Why I believe that everybody
was born with a gift. I believe that everybody
was born with abilities and the strength and the
genius to become someone. The reason why we’re successful in here, because we discovered that. We unleashed that. But there’s so much talent in the hood. There’s so much individuals
out there who are smart. Who are forward thinkers. But they were using that
intellect the wrong way. I was always a genius. Like so many young people
who make poor choices. But it took me years to realize that. Transformation. Going from criminal to respected chef. It was a process. It was a journey. And I knew in order to be
the best chef in America, I had to go amongst the
best chefs to learn. To study. To transformation. We talk about leadership. We talk about diversity. We talk about geniuses just like us. But they’ve been untapped. No one looks at them. No one takes the time to develop them. Develop that intellect. So many of these young people have been impacted and influenced by negativity. Why shouldn’t we live the American dream? Doesn’t matter where you come from. What religion you are. What your story is. Everybody has a power of attention. Everybody can change. Each and every one of them
should have that opportunity to live the dream.

57 thoughts on “How I Went from Drug Dealer to Gourmet Chef | Chef Jeff | Goalcast

  1. Watch the newest Goalcast videos here:
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  2. welcome to you
    thought new (( loneliness ))
    with my sound ( emad aldeen )
    in this channel welcome to Watch it

  3. After my eyes adjusted to following him around the stage & I settled into his rapid-fire talking, I must say Chef Jeff has a humorous way (losing his swag for the corporate walk 😅) of delivering a potent message. There are so many people I met while living in Newark, NJ during my DJ days that would be a success if they were given the ability to be around other productive & successful individuals. You are most definitely a product of your environment.

  4. Thank you for mentioning that there are many wasted talents in the world. I believe full-heartedly that we all have gifts to the world, but no one is willing to open their arms and embrace the gifts that others have.

  5. Highly effective video clip! Right here at Y&S FOOD! we all love to find these types of contents. We produce Travel & Food movies as well, all over the world, and therefore we are always looking to get inspirations and creative concepts. Thank You.

  6. This is so enlightening. Yes!!! Im sharing it to my cultural friends. Thank you so much!!!

  7. ,"Intellectual jacker , I robbed them for knowledge"🔥🔥💪🏾💪🏾👌🏾

  8. Your a victim of government education system half the prisoners a very smart only problem is they where caught only if they put there effort to be on the same side as the criminal government protection and stuff the little man over

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