Monday, January 24, 2011

Chef Tattoos

It’s not hard to mistake Top Chef with LA Ink, considering both shows are heavy on the tattoos and cheese. It almost seems like high-end NY eateries require full sleeves for a souffle.

Taking a look at the art of chef tattoos is Zagat’s Tattoo Tell-All series.

Aside from the use of “tats” and my usual pet peeve of not naming the tattoo artists behind the work, it’s a good read–particularly the “Ink Insight” section addressing the why question.

Here are some quotes to give you a taste:

“There are a lot of tattooed punk-rock kids in the kitchen because it
has punk-rock energy. If you’re a banker giving out million-dollar
loans, you can’t have a tattoo on your hand, but it’s funny that someone
tattooed, like Nate Appleman, might have a great
career, but some people wouldn’t want to sit next to him on the subway.”
– Jamie Bissonnette, Coppa
and Toro

“Maybe chefs like tats because we are always burning our arms? I’ve
never gotten one to cover a burn but I’ve gotten burned on top of my
tattoos. Gives it a three-dimensional look.”
– Seamus Mullen, Boqueria
[shown right]

“I consider tattoos [to be] art like cooking is an art. My tattoos don’t
scream, ‘look at me, I’m a chef!’ I just like to create little things
that send little messages about who I am as a person. I do the same
thing when I cook.”

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