About Us



Dedicated to bringing our life's passion and creativity to every dish we develop. We promise to stay disciplined in our craft and loyal to the customers and community we serve! To continue the mission of serving with integrity, character, love, compassion and perseverance. 


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We serve Chicago style delectables patrons flock around and take pictures of for hours, but take seconds to eat!


Meet the Team!

Kris Vandenberg - Owner

Kris is a 12 year Army Vet who strives to bring his passion for food to the masses. He honed his craft at Illinois State University's Pub II and              sharpened it at Illinois Central College Culinary program.  Mary (mother), Bob (father), Cory (brother), Liz (sister) have always supported his dreams.  They are a huge part of his life and he wanted to honor his grassroots upbringing from a rural Illinois town by bringing his culinary dream to fruition in Austin, Texas! 

He has worked at various places throughout his 25 year career in the hospitality and service industry.  Pluckers Wing Bar, UT Greek Life and J Black's on W. 6th Street are a few notables. 

His mission in life is to bring joy, happiness and community through small, delectable pleasures created on the Chow Bus.  He never forgets his fellow brothers and sisters he served with, the many who have donned a uniform and all who support them. 

Give him a hard time if you do not see him smiling. After all, it's supposed to be fun! 

 "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:10-13 


TJ Zelek - Executive Chef

TJ was born and raised in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago.  Always had a passion for food as a little kid.  He remembers his first password for AOL was Pizza!  He has two sisters, Carolyn and Heather, who live in Austin, as well. Fun fact: He shares his birthday week with his little sister who is five years younger.  

Throughout high school TJ took several cooking classes which ignited a flame.  Eventually, it would translate into a Culinary Degree at the College of Dupage near Chicago, Illinois.  He has been a manager and chef at such places as Arlington Park Racetrack, Medinah Country Club, Ala Carte Entertainment and Weber Grill Restaurants. 

TJ and Kris met about 7 years ago and had discussed working together in the future when they took over a bachelor party and fed everyone for 3 days!  TJ never knew what the impact of coming here would have on his life.  "I'm happy to this day and glad I did it!", he says. 

He came to Texas to help a friend start a business who in turn became a brother in the process. 

"The Chow Bus has become a part of my life. I'm truly blessed and happy I get to do what I love everyday. More importantly, I'm happy to feed the masses the same Chicago-style food that I, myself, have eaten for the past 30 years!