Growing up poor to becoming a U.S. Army veteran, celebrity white house chef and motivational speaker.
Watch the video above or listen to the podcast below. You can also listen to the podcast on your favorite podcast app.
Chef Rush is one of the top chefs in the country, embodying the word “excellence.” His accomplishments include serving in the military for 23 years, working as a chef in the White House across four administrations, and becoming a celebrity in his own right.
In this special ICONiCast Chef speaks at length with our CEO Todd Abrams about developing his work ethic, his passion for cooking, how he trains, and what it took to get where he is.
Chef is larger than life and this entire interview is well worth your attention — but if you don’t have the time right now to listen to the whole thing, we’ve timestamped the top moments below.
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0:00 - Introduction
2:10 - Why Chef does 2,222 pushups a day.
22 military veterans die to suicide every day.
3:30 - Bullying
Chef was bullied as a kid. Since he’s always been big he wasn’t scared, but he didn’t want to fight.
4:30 - How many pushups has Chef done?
5:15 - Chef’s work ethic
His father put him to work at a very young age, and has always committed to being the hardest worker.
7:40 - Chef’s first culinary teacher
Chef learned cooking from his mother, at a time and place where men didn’t do such things.
10:30 - Chef’s daily routine
Four hours of sleep.
12:30 - Chef’s favorite meal
Simple — organic chicken.
14:40 - How Chef trains
Hard and heavy with more than 15 reps.
16:30 - Todd on training with others
Avoiding mediocre mindsets.
17:15 - “Destroy it.”
18:30 - Becoming a celebrity chef
The current result of a mountain of work, and based on helping others.
20:30 - The hard job of cooking
Why Chef strived to earn that title.
21:00 - What Presidents eat
High-quality service to heads of state and homeless alike.
22:10 - What drives Chef
Helping people and experiencing more of life.
24:00 - What Chef’s doing today
Traveling most of the time and speaking to groups.
26:40 - Cooking to Cope program
Helping people understand how important food is to physical and mental health.
28:15 - Chef’s favorite cheat meal
There’s a lot of them.
29:40 - Entrepreneurial drive
The most intense drive in the world isn’t enough — you need an amazing team.
31:00 - Being his own biggest critic
Chef knows perfection is impossible but tries to get there every single time.
33:15 - Chef’s mentors
Not the typical heroes — people who had to earn their way from the bottom.
36:00 - Chef’s book, Call Me Chef, Dammit!
The story of Chef’s life, from childhood racism to working in the White House. Available March 1st, 2022.
38:00 - What’s next for Chef
Follow Chef Rush: https://www.instagram.com/realchefrush/
Follow Todd Abrams: https://www.instagram.com/toddabrams/