Call Me Chef, Dammit!: A Veteran's Journey from the Rural South to the White House
What does it take to go from growing up in a Mississippi housing project to becoming a master sergeant and a celebrity chef serving in the White House under four United States presidents?
Call Me Chef, Dammit! is the inspiring story of Andre Rush, who became an overnight sensation in 2018, after a photograph of his now-famous twenty-four-inch biceps went viral. However, his journey to that moment could never be captured in a fleeting moment.
From his childhood working on a farm, to his developing into a gifted athlete and artist to his joining the Army, Rush has dedicated his life to serving others. During his twenty-four-year military career, his reputation as an award-winning cook eventually led him to the Pentagon. His presence in the building when the plane struck on 9/11/2001 led to his suffering from PTSD, and he has become an outspoken advocate for the military and especially for wounded warriors.
Every step of the way, Chef Rush has overcome tremendous obstacles, including battling stereotypes and racism. And in this memoir, he shares not only his wounds and what he experienced along the road to recovery but also the optimism, hope, and hard-earned wisdom that have encouraged countless others.
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About the Author
Chef Andre Rush was born in the small town of Columbus, Mississippi. His father was a country farmer. He developed his love of fresh food by working on the farm and his love of cooking by helping his mom create family dinners. Young Andre was a gifted artist, football player, and record-breaking track star whose skills earned him an Olympic tryout. But cooking was always his true passion.
As a young man, he joined the US Army Reserves, where his physical strength and leadership abilities were singled out on day one. But Rush signed up for KP ("kitchen patrol") duty, because the cooks got to eat all the food they wanted! He also served as a minuteman, trained with special forces, and became a military fitness trainer. However, it was via cooking that he made his strongest mark.
During his military years, Rush won hundreds of medals for cooking, ice sculpting, and other related skills. His reputation as a cook led to a call from the Pentagon to try out for a job in the kitchen there. He got the position, which led to his first cooking opportunity at the White House. While working at the Pentagon and White House, Rush also developed a private business on the side, catering parties for Washington "society."
Chef was at the Pentagon the day the plane struck the building on 9/11/2001. He was part of the recovery effort, and as a result later suffered PTSD symptoms, which instilled a passion for helping America's wounded warriors.
Today, Chef has his hands in many pies, literally and figuratively. He is a key advocate for the USO, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and American Legion, as well as an active supporter of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. He is currently developing his consumer-driven brand, which will include edible goods, health/wellness/fitness products, apparel, and more. He recently contracted with a well-known television production company to host a new series, Chef in the City, which he has begun working on.