Our Team

Chef Chip Bates​

Chip’s passion for cooking started early on around the age of five when he learned the subtleties of scrambled eggs and quickly led to preparing full meals with the help of his parents. Soon after, Chip began to take notice of his dad barbequing ribs and other meats.

By college Chip and his dad were creating their own rubs and sauces for competition BBQ. The father-son team enjoyed success in such competition as Memphis in May, Kansas City Royal, and many St. Louis area events.

​Chip’s professional accolades also began in college. Finding work cooking at Bella Italia and The Royal New Orleans in Cape Girardeau Missouri. After college, Chip expanded his education in culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts. Soon thereafter Chip settled in as chef at Café Napoli in Clayton Missouri. Chip’s main focus was to enhance the seafood and steak offerings by finding the best herbs and spices that would not only compliment each cut of meat but would draw its distinct flavor out to the consumer.​

​When not in a commercial kitchen you can often find Chip cooking with his two young boys or out on the patio grilling up something delicious for his family and friends.​

Nick Vogt​

Nick’s first memories of BBQ go back to watching his dad grill pork steaks, a St. Louis favorite. Growing up mostly using gas grills and generic BBQ sauce, Nick was blown away when his college buddy, Chip Bates, introduced him to smoking meat using a simple kettle, charcoal, and some hickory chunks. From there, he was hooked!​

​After college Nick went on to work in his family’s business, KLANCE Unlimited, producing live events. In 2019 Nick and his brothers partnered to acquire the premier food event in the area, Taste of St. Louis. Being involved in such a high-profile food event really brought out even more interest in cooking unique and delicious food!​

​Nick shares his passion of cooking with his wife who is an exceptional baker. The two love to spend time with their two little girls and entertaining family and friends with delicious BBQ and sweet treats!​

Luke Wade

Luke loves eating food but didn’t really fall in love with cooking until his friends, Nick and Chip, bought him a smoker as a wedding gift. After Luke smoked some steaks and ribs at home he couldn’t believe how easy it was to make such good tasting meat at home and was hooked.

After college, Luke started his own business planning large events for others in Kansas City. 10 years and 3 more businesses later Luke figured out there’s a formula to creating success so when Chip and Nick asked Luke to help with a new business that not only makes food taste great but also leaves a legacy for their families and gives back to the community, Luke was in.