Hank Vaiden

Competition and cooking have always been in Hank Vaiden’s blood. In 1996, he began competing in BBQ competitions as a member of the Magnolia Smokers team. He then decided to venture out on his own and in 2000 he founded the team Cotton Patch Cooking Crew, which won several BBQ awards at the local, national and international level, including multi-time Grand Champion winner. In 2018, Hank renamed the Cotton Patch Cooking Crew to Hank’s BBQ and continues to compete under this new name.

Hank is known for winning whole hog competitions, where his fierce personality and winner-take-all attitude really come into play.

Hank also is the owner, founder and head Pitmaster of Hank’s #1 BBQ Restaurant located in Columbus, Mississippi. After many requests to share his recipes, he began a retail line of items where he branded and bottled his secret, award winning sauces and rubs.


  • Founder of Hank’s Championship Barbeque Restaurant
  • Appeared on Destination America’s BBQ Pitmasters
  • Second Place World Food Championships