From Army vet to White House chef
- Renowned celebrity chef and combat veteran who shares entertaining anecdotes and valuable lessons from the worlds of cooking and combat, and from inside the White House
- Uses wit, candor, and intrigue as the key ingredients for inspiring audiences to adopt a positive mindset and take advantages of the opportunities life presents
- A passionate advocate for mental health and wellness who uses his powerful platform to help others discover the best in themselves
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A powerhouse presence in the world’s most famous kitchens and as a mental health and wellness advocate, Andre Rush is a celebrity chef and decorated U.S. Army combat veteran with more than 20 years of service. Renowned as the White House Chef with 24-inch biceps, Chef Rush served through the administrations of Presidents Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump, gaining international attention for his unmistakable muscular physique when a picture of him preparing a meal on the White House lawn went viral and received more than one hundred million views. He uses his platform to advocate on behalf of our nation’s veterans, while also sharing important messages about wellness, individual and collective growth, and the moments that shape who we are.
Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Chef Rush brings audiences into his world of laughter, mystery, intrigue, and tear-jerking moments as he draws from his one-of-a-kind experiences in the kitchen and combat to lead an enriching session in which he inspires audience members to adopt the can-do mindset that is the key ingredient for success. Showing candor and wit, and dishing out food for thought, Chef Rush underscores how anyone is capable of seizing opportunities, being a leader, and unlocking their full potential, while reiterating that the path to success in any endeavor begins with a positive sense of self.
In addition to his distinguished career as a White House chef, TV host, and media personality, Chef Rush served tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has trained more than 10,000 troops and served as a combative trainer — qualifying more than 1,000 service members and civilians in the art of hand-to-hand combat. While serving in the military, he held various leadership positions, including senior advisor to the superintendent of the United States Military Academy, senior enlisted aide, operational manager, and senior food service manager.
Looking for a way to cope with PTSD, he began performing 2,222 push-ups a day to bring awareness to the troubling statistic that 22 veterans take their own lives each day. This led to him launching his nonprofit organization, 2,222 Inc. to support children dealing with the mental stressors of bullying and a changing world. The organization’s supporters include Fisher House, Gold Star Families, the United Services Organization, the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools. Additionally, Chef Rush is an ambassador for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s After School All-Star Kids.
Throughout his career in the military and beyond, Chef Rush has received numerous awards and accolades, including the Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, and the Belgium Peace Medal. He has competed in culinary events across the globe, accumulating more than 150 awards and trophies, was presented the Key to the City of his hometown of Columbus, Mississippi, and is the first chef to be inducted into the Weightlifting Hall of Fame.
In 2022, he added best-selling author to his list of accomplishments after the release of his debut book, Call Me Chef, Dammit! A Veteran’s Journey from the Rural South to the White House. In the book, he pulls back the curtain on his battle with PTSD, toxic leadership, and overcoming racism to become an esteemed chef working in the most famous house in America. He has been featured in numerous publications, including Washingtonian, Food & Wine, TMZ, and Muscle & Health, and has made appearances on the Rachael Ray Show, the Kelly Clarkson Show, Good Morning America, and The Today Show — to name a few. He is the host of the Tubi streaming series "Kitchen Commando" (produced by Chef Gordon Ramsay) and is working on various other projects in television, writing, and product development, while continuing his mission of veteran outreach and mental health awareness.
How to Create Your Own Recipe for Success. If there’s one thing Chef Andre Rush has learned on his journey from humble beginnings growing up in the Columbia, Mississippi projects to serving in Afghanistan and Iraq and becoming an esteemed White House chef, it’s that life constantly presents us with opportunities, but it’s up to us to choose the right path. Pulling audiences in with striking anecdotes of pivotal moments in his personal and professional lives, Chef Rush reveals a fresh perspective on how anyone can recognize when opportunities are in front of them and determine which ones will put them on the path to achieving their goals. In this talk, he inspires audiences to step out of their comfort zones to make an impact, reinvigorates their commitment to their passions and values, and demonstrates what’s possible when we uplift others so that they can realize their full potential as well.
Leadership Lessons from Combat to Cooking — and Everywhere in Between. Braving the heat of battle and thriving in the heat of the White House kitchen, renowned celebrity Chef Andre Rush has stood side-by-side with some of the world’s greatest leaders, allowing him to see the business world in unconventional ways and offering him unique insight into the elements of leadership that move people to action. A leader in his own right, having served in various positions of importance during his tenure in the military, Chef Rush combines his own experiences with his firsthand observations of the traits of the leaders he worked alongside to share valuable lessons for how to lead with purpose, orient your people toward a shared mission, and instill a sense of fulfillment in your team while sparking high performance.
Winning the Battle Within Begins with Reframing Your Mindset. Following Chef Andre Rush’s distinguished military career, he faced a new battle: the one inside his head. Struggling to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder, Chef Rush began performing 2,222 push ups a day — an extraordinary physical feat that greatly benefited his mental strength, while also providing an outlet for him to honor the 22 veterans who take their own lives each day due to their battles with PTSD. In this talk, Chef Rush opens up to the audience as he shares how he was able to turn the negative thoughts into positive actions, while offering practical action steps and resources for how they can do the same. The wisdom he shares motivates audience members to face the battle within head-on as they work to unlock the positive, can-do mindset that will provide the foundation for their future successes.
Finding the Positives in Adversity. Adversity rears its unfriendly face at various points in all of our lives. Combat veteran and celebrity Chef Andre Rush first encountered adversity growing up in Columbia, Mississippi where he was often confronted with racism and hardship. Adversity would continue to be something he dealt with in adulthood, especially in his struggles with PTSD. No matter what shape adversity has presented itself in, Chef Rush has never let it stop him from achieving some truly outstanding feats — from becoming a world-famous White House chef to bench pressing 700 pounds! In this lively, glass-half-full session, Chef Rush shares hard-won insights on optimism and hope, while empowering audience members to smash the obstacles in front of them and reframe hardships as opportunities for growth.
Secrets from the White House Kitchen, According to the Chefs: 'For the First Two Weeks I Was Scared to Death'
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