For Fat Boys food truck owner Michael Gray, cooking is about connection.
The highlight of his day is watching customers’ faces light up as he hands them food through the window.
“I grew up with food as a way of nourishing the soul. said Gray.
Fat Boys, a Pasadena-based food truck and catering service, specializes in all kinds of comfort food, from lumpias to burgers to late-night nachos. Gray said the Fatboys’ menu reflects the food you’d want to curl up in on a cozy night out.
“I am a trained chef. Burgers are not the only thing I can do. We have an event scheduled to[make]a roast, a carrot, and we’re going to make a croissant,” explains Gray.
Gray’s love of the culinary arts began when he was cooking with his grandmother as a child. His grandmother, he said, was the one who made him the man he is today. Gray’s grandmother died before he opened Fat Boys, but he said she would be proud of what she did.Many of the recipes he uses in her Fat Boys are , is from her.
“She was my world,” said Gray. “The kitchen, that was our bonding place. please ask
Gray didn’t realize it was his dream to become a professional chef until he was in his twenties after recovering from his addiction. It was a place to interact with people.
That’s when Gray started paying more attention to the Food Network and started catering some events himself.
“We were going to Vegas one day for a friend’s birthday. ‘ remembers Gray. Then he found out the cost of the application. “Dream shattered.”
But when he celebrated with his friends, Gray said he had a revelation. We got the exact amount we needed and it’s history from there.”
Gray said there were several hurdles he had to overcome in order to achieve success, especially the one of identity. Said.
“There are still hurdles for black gays to be the face of the business, whether they admit it or not,” he said.
“I have had to face backlash from my own LGBTQ community … my own for not having a particular view, but also not feeling as though I wanted this great opportunity. The devil had to be pushed away… But with Black Lives Matter and the outpouring of love and support, I feel like I belong here as a business owner.”
To give back to the community, Gray works with local alcohol rehabilitation centers, LGBTQ organizations, and mental health nonprofits to help people achieve their dreams. In Pasadena, Gray brings her hood truck to as many outreach her events as possible. At each event, Gray donates a portion of the proceeds to the charity hosting the event.
“I am a black gay business owner and independent. I am proud to attend all gay events. It may not look like what you want, but you can follow your dreams.
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