Chef Lance Knowling, a Kansas City native, performed his apprenticeship at the acclaimed Laurel's restaurant in Dallas from 1983-1986. After leaving his apprenticeship, Lance went to work at the Four Seasons Las Colinas property in 1986. Lance earned his way to saucier, and then sous chef and in 1988 was recruited for his first chef’s position at the Marquis in New York City.
Since moving to the east coast Lance has worked as a chef in many critically acclaimed venues across the metropolitan area. After opening Butterfield 81 with Chef Tom Valenti to critical acclaim in the late 90’s, Lance opened his own catering business. Eager to blend his knowledge of classical cuisine and the cuisine of his heritage, Lance opened his first restaurant, Indigo Smoke in Montclair, NJ, in 2002, and in 2009, Indigo Kitchen & Bar in Maplewood.
Specializing in his unique brand of Barbecue, Contemporary Soul, and Modern Comfort food, his restaurants received rave reviews from critics and clients alike, winning "Best Of" awards eight consecutive years. His restaurants and talents have been highlighted on The Food Network, in The New York Times, The Star Ledger, Zagat’s, New Jersey Monthly, multiple television programs, and Best Chefs America, among others.
In 2010, Lance was one of the chefs honored to cater the wedding of Chelsea Clinton and had the pleasure of preparing a special meal for the Bride and Groom, as well as dinner for President Clinton. In 2012 Lance was a featured competitor on TV Food Network's Extreme Chef.
Lance opened his Harlem restaurant Blujeen in 2015 to critical acclaim and has quickly become a neighborhood favorite. Chef Lance continues to cater high profile functions and events as well as consulting in the industry.