{You Pick Six} An Interview with Entrepreneur: Darryl Settles

You may not recognize his name right away. But if you’ve been in the Boston area for any period of time, it’s virtually impossible not to know the work of Darryl Settles. His company, Catalyst Ventures Development (CVD) is the umbrella organization for his many business ventures.

For years, Darryl has had a hand in shaping the landscape of Boston’s food and entertainment scene, including being the creator and founder of the Beantown Jazz Festival back in 2001.

Boston’s iconic soul food restaurant Bob the Chef went through lots of name changes and ownership over the decades. Yet, the spirit lives on. Transformed by Darryl, he brought it to the 21st century as Darryl’s Corner Bar and Kitchen, where new generations and old continue to enjoy southern comfort food, cocktails and jazz.

He’s part of the new ownership of Slade’s Bar & Grill and though no longer affiliated, he’s a founding partner of Beehive Boston.

Anyone who follows the food business sees restaurants quickly come and go. I was curious to learn more about someone with such success and longevity in this industry and Darryl was nice enough to oblige. So, let’s resume this ongoing series with the 18th interview of You Pick Six.

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What is a favorite dessert?
Red Velvet Cake

What is some of the best advice you’ve ever received?
Hang around smarter people and LISTEN!

What three people do you admire most?
That is hard to narrow down, but Martin Luther King, Barack Obama, and Nelson Mandela come to mind. Each were/are great, respectful, and smart men whom took a lot of “heat” but always kept their focus and helped make the world a better place!

What do you think that most people don’t understand about food?
Food always tastes better when you are happy and with family and/or great friends.

Tell me about what you’re working on now.
I am developing an online platform to connect scaled minority businesses to both private and public sectors to help level the playing field and build wealth in our communities of color.

Tell me about where you grew up.
I grew up in Aiken, S.C., a very nice community, but worked on weekends and during the summers on my grandfather’s farms in the country. He was my hero and helped develop my work ethic.

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Thank you so much for participating Darryl!

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Photos: Provided by Darryl Settles.

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