In 2014, Markus Bold received a call that would change his life. After a stint of homelessness and working long hours at restaurants in the Los Angeles area, he eventually launched Markus Bold Catering and took his future into his own hands. One of his first major gigs as a business owner was catering the 2014 LaFemme Film Festival.

The film festival is one of the largest female-operated festivals in the nation and has honored actresses such as Angela Bassett and Sheryl Lee Ralph. Bold catered for over 600 guests and became the youngest African American to cater the festival.

“[For the event] I created comfort-based food and wanted to bring my element to something traditional,” Bold says. The collaboration eventually led to other prominent opportunities in Los Angeles. But it was the first collaboration with his favorite chef that gave him the inspiration to accomplish his dreams.

“Growing up, culinary arts was something that was embedded in me,” Boyd says. “I grew up with her over my shoulder, it was in my bloodline. I was raised by a Creole grandmother and her cooking was instilled in me at an early age. I learned a lot of her tactics in the kitchen, went to school, worked in and out of restaurants, and from there the relationship grew and it continues to grow.”

Dutch Masters understands that perfection can take time and Bold holds true to that idea as a chef.

“I set goals by combining motivation from my family and ambition from years of struggle and living on Skid Row,” Bold says. “That was the fuel to get me to where I am today — my family and friends who are rooting for me after all that I have overcome. That allows me to get up and pick up a piece of paper and write down my goals. I have projects for the next two summers that are already written down.”