Bal­ti­more chef, with hands in air, is killed dur­ing rob­bery

Michael Bates was shot near home in S.W. Bal­ti­more

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND - By Tim Pru­dente Bal­ti­more Sun re­porter Colin Camp­bell con­trib­uted to this ar­ti­cle. tpru­dente@balt­sun.com

A Bal­ti­more man raised his hands dur­ing a rob­bery out­side his home early Wed­nes­day — but he was shot to death any­way.

“Mike didn’t de­serve to have his hands in the air and be shot,” said friend Mark Den­nis, a pho­tog­ra­pher in the mayor’s of­fice. “It’s like, for what? Why?”

Michael Bates, 46, was stand­ing out­side his apart­ment in the 4600 block of Pen Lucy Road in South­west Bal­ti­more shortly be­fore 2:30 a.m. when rob­bers ap­proached, po­lice said.

A woman who was with Bates told po­lice they had their hands up when a rob­ber fired. She was un­harmed.

Po­lice were look­ing for the rob­bers. Thirty-four peo­ple have been killed in Bal­ti­more in the last 30 days.

Bates was a chef who had worked at sev­eral Bal­ti­more restau­rants. He also founded a cater­ing com­pany, Chef Like Me Col­lec­tive, and had taught cook­ing at Carver Vo­ca­tional-Tech­ni­cal High.

He grad­u­ated from North­west­ern High School in 1988 and en­listed in the Navy, friends said. He earned an as­so­ci­ate’s de­gree at Reynolds Com­mu­nity Col­lege in Rich­mond, Va., in 2008, and trained at Strat­ford Univer­sity in Bal­ti­more’s Lit­tle Italy.

Bates ar­rived at Strat­ford in 2014 with years of ex­pe­ri­ence cook­ing, said Darryl Camp­bell, cam­pus di­rec­tor.

Bates had worked in Un­der Ar­mour’s cafe­te­ria, the for­mer Phaze 10 restau­rant in Mount Ver­non and, re­cently, Brew House No. 16, also in Mount Ver­non.

Ed­win Scholly trained Bates at Strat­ford. He said Bates would read about a French mas­ter chef and ar­rive ea­ger to learn more.

“He would have the ques­tions from the books, and I would give him the an­swers,” Scholly said. “He would get it right if it had to take him un­til 12 a.m.”

Scholly re­called one time when Bates’ as­sign­ment was mak­ing duck confit, which must cook slowly while buried in fat.

Bates for­got to cover the legs, and “I said, ‘Mike, that’s duck jerky,’ ” Scholly said. Bates tried again. Scholly re­flected on his for­mer charge Wed­nes­day.

“To be killed and treated like that,” he said, and then fell quiet and shook his head.

Camp­bell re­mem­bered Bates hold­ing court at Strat­ford, sur­rounded by stu­dents and dis­cussing the five mother sauces of French cui­sine.

He was a teach­ing as­sis­tant to Scholly while he worked to­ward a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in culi­nary man­age­ment.

“Stu­dents re­ally loved what he brought,” Camp­bell said. “He gave them a sort of raw­ness not many peo­ple can.”

He would tell stu­dents about his time in the Navy, of ris­ing from poverty and build­ing a ca­reer as a chef in Bal­ti­more, Camp­bell said. He earned his de­gree three months ago. “When his name was called across the stage,” Camp­bell said, “the place was berserk. It went crazy. ... At least a two-minute stand­ing ova­tion.”

Just be­fore grad­u­a­tion, Bates tried again with duck confit. He was care­ful to cover the legs, to slowly sim­mer the duck.

He pre­sented the dish to Scholly, a mas­ter chef who has cooked for four pres­i­dents.

It was, Scholly said, just right.

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