He has been in the hospitality industry for over a decade. But, in all these years, his knowledge of the variety of cuisine was self-taught. At around 8 years old, chef Bryant Williams, also known as Chef Baul, began his culinary journey by experimenting in the kitchen.
Growing up with many siblings allowed him to explore various cooking ideas. At 18, he got his first job as a dishwasher, and after a few months, he approached the head chef to let him try cooking. He became a prep chef, starting with tasks like chopping onions, which he found enormous love for.
Working with food became an escape, offering him valuable time alone to reflect and plan his life. This led him to realize his passion for preparing food for others. He began to envision doing this daily and decided to establish his own private catering business.
In 2013, he founded Chef Baul Catering, focusing on upscale catering with a specialty in southern, Caribbean, and Asian dishes. His delicious recipes and enthusiastic personality gained him recognition in the music industry, leading to cooking for popular artists like Cardi B., Offset, Lil Baby, Kendrick Lamar, and Gucci Mane. Eventually, he became the personal tour chef for the music group Migos during their international tour.
After enjoying his role as a personal chef on tour, Chef Baul decided to fulfill his dream of opening his first restaurant in 2019. His goal was to offer his heartfelt dishes in a sophisticated and cozy environment, according to Forbes.
Unfortunately, despite initial success, his restaurant venture quickly collapsed, resulting in the loss of the opportunity that was meant to transform his life. This setback led Chef Baul into a state of despair, causing him to lose not only his aspirations and savings but also his self-assurance. This difficult period eventually led him to homelessness.
In the midst of the gloom, Chef Baul experienced a significant turnaround when he crossed paths with Daniella “Ivy” Emillien. Ivy, a former celebrity hairstylist and the creator of The Ivy League Academy, a financial literacy program, played a pivotal role in his comeback. Through her program, hundreds of black-owned businesses have been able to secure over $1 million in business funding by harnessing the potential of good credit and tailored resources. Ivy, who later became Chef Baul’s wife, helped him rebuild his life thanks to her finance and business skills.
In April, Chef Baul launched his first of two new restaurant concepts. The initial one, called Binky’s Eatery, offers a high-end takeout experience centered around soul food. It’s situated in the Historic Five Points Plaza in downtown Atlanta. Following this, Chef Baul plans to introduce another concept named Betty Sue’s, focused on all-day brunch, creating anticipation for its upcoming opening.