Knives and Needles

Where Chefs can talk tattoos and Tattooers can talk food

Archive for the category “Foodie”

Love Is In The Air!


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Love is in the air, Lizette Gonzalez and RL Boyd are getting married! Why is that of any relevance to knives and needles, you might ask? Because they met through this blog! Lizette is an uber-talented baker and I interviewed her last year. We follow Chef RL Boyd on instagram and have featured some of his mouth-watering food photos. RL saw Lizette’s Knives and Needles blog interview, took one look at her beautiful photos and requested her friendship on IG. IG led to Fb friending which led to chats, long phone conversations and finally leading up to a love at first sight meeting (Lizette lives in Vegas, RL in D.C.)!
Please check out LIzette, RL, their food (respectively), and of course their tattoos!
Congratualtions Lizette and RL, we wish you an eternity of happiness and love!!

Thank you for sharing your story with us!!

You can catch more of Lizette and RL on their IG’s

Lizette Gonzalez: @l1zzyg03

RL Boyd: @jefeosito


Andrew Parsons


Chef Andrew Parsons has a pretty impressive job and loves tattoos. Read on and find out more on this traveling chef!

Molly: Please tell us a bit about yourself

Andrew: My name is Andrew Parsons age 25, currently working in Delhi India as the executive Chef of the Canadian High Commission. I grew up in Newfoundland Canada, where I started my cooking career as a dishwasher and then moved my way up. Moved to Toronto and worked in a few of the top restaurants then I ended up signing a contract for India, aha.


M: Canada is awesome! How did you get into cooking?

A: As a kid I always found myself helping my grandmother in her kitchen, from helping with bread and or cookies…sometimes eating most of them, I just really enjoyed it. I worked in franchise kitchens in my teenage years. Even became a welder and tried a few different things but I always found myself back working in kitchens, enjoying the rush and the creativity, so I decided to stick with it and see where it could get me.


M: Thats really cool. You currently live overseas, where else have you lived and worked?

A: I have lived in St. John’s, Newfoundland , Toronto and Calgary, now delhi India and I have cooked in all those cities except for Calgary!

M: Do you have a favorite place in the world to cook?

A: My favorite place in the world to cook I would probably have to say is on a beach somewhere in Newfoundland. Go out in the early morning, catch the freshest of Atlantic seafood and then setup on the beach with a cast iron and open fire and cook a delicious shore lunch with your friends.


M: That sounds incredible! So when did you get your first tattoo?

A: I first got tattooed when I was almost 16 years old, went and got some stars on my hips and hid them from my family for about 2 years. Once my father found out he was pretty open about it, so on came the ink.


M: Who do you admire in the culinary industry?

A: I would say right now in the culinary industry my biggest influences are probably Alex Atala, and Daniel Boulud and Grant Achatz.


M: And who do you admire in the tattoo industry?

A: Right now in the tattoo industry I love looking at Myke Chambers work. His style is so unique and fresh, I would love to get tattooed by him.

M: What is your next tattoo?

A: My next tattoo would be to probably be to finish my stomach next time I’m in Toronto. I have been thinking a lot about my hands… But who knows.


M: Hands… big step! Why do you think so many chefs are heavily tattooed?

A: I think that a lot of us are heavily tattooed because in general we are creative people in a whole.. And maybe due to the fact that we are always hiding in the kitchen anyways?

M: This may be redundant but if you could get tattooed by anyone in the world right now, who would it be and why?

A: Myke chambers, fresh style, unique and just a great tattoo artist.


M: Ah yes, you did mention him! Well, do you have any cooking advice for someone trying to cook Indian cuisine?

A: If you want to cook Indian cuisine, I would suggest to watch your spices. People tend to over power the natural flavors with chili. Oh and alway cook out your spices or pastes in the oil first.

Indian food is quite unique but rustic at the same time. It’s quite the fun style of cooking to learn.


I love cooking Indian food,  I will definitely try this amazing recipe from Andrew! I am willing to bet this is pretty authentic and will make your kitchen a high-traffic destination in your house! TRY IT……


Curry chicken with fragrant rice pilaf

2 skinless legs. Bone out and cubed

Marinate in plain yogurt, ginger garlic paste and lemon juice.

Yellow curry powder

1 tbsp ground turmeric

1tbsp ground coriander seed

1/2 tbsp ground clove

1/2 tbsp of ground cumin

2 green chilis

Grind into paste.

1 cup julienned red onion

2tbsp tomato paste

1 cup fresh chopped tomatoes

2 tbsp of ginger garlic paste

2 sliced green chilis

1/2 cup fresh green peas

1 cup cream

1 cup water


Heat the ginger garlic paste in the oil with the curry paste, add the chopped onions, sauté until translucent.

Add tomato paste and fresh tomatoes and simmer.

In separate pan with hot oil sear the chicken with salt and pepper.

Add water and cream to the pan and incorporate chicken and peas simmer until cooked and right consistency add a bunch of chopped coriander. Finish the gravy with fried black mustard seed if wanted around 1 tsp

Make a basmati rice pilaf with cinnamon stick and clove

Plate and garnish with fresh coriander

Thank you Andrew!!

You can catch more of Andrew at either his Istagram or website



If you are a tattooed chef or foodie tattooer, we would love to feature you! Contact us at or tag us on IG, @knivesandneedles


Jeff Gogue


I had heard Jeff Gogue was a foodie through my husband. So imagine how excited I was to hear that Jeff had agreed to have a chat with me about food. This was the first time I had ever gotten the chance to sit down with Jeff one-on-one, and I have to say that he is very genuine and very nice. His humble attitude is almost shocking as he is one of the most talented tattoo artists out there today and could have every right to be not as nice as he is.

 We mostly spoke about food, what Jeff’s favorite things to cook and eat are. We also spoke about his love of fishing. Jeff grew up fishing around Lake Tahoe but now lives in Grant’s Pass, Oregon. It sounds scenically stunning and really chill, have to make it up there one day! Just imagine the seasonal foods you could forage in the abundant wildlife up there! Jeff and his wife recently took a fishing trip up the Puget Sound where he caught some pretty impressive-looking salmon. The trip sounded fun and like a real adventure with the crisp sea air and ice-cold sea!

Jeff likes cooking (and eating!) fish in pretty much any way you could think of preparing it. He also loves a good pork chop or a rare steak on occasion. But he really tries to stay on a healthy diet and exercise regime. His favorite lunch at work consists of a young coconut filled with berries and Chia seeds. That actually sounds amazing and I will have to try it out myself! When he does have a cheat day, he loves to chow down on a burger with peanut butter. While that may sound strange, I think it is reminiscent of Thai beef with peanut sauce. Very innovative! Anyone have a good recipe for either?

An interesting fact about Mr. Gogue is he actually wanted to be a chef at one point in his life and had even taken a cooking class on one of his trips to France!

Here are some photos of Jeff, hope this inspires you to get tattooed or get in the kitchen!!
























Thank you Jeff!!!!  You can catch more of Jeff and what he’s up to at any of these fine places:


If you have food tattoos, recipe or are a tattooed chef or foodie tattooer- we want to talk to you!

Hit us up at @knivesandneedles or


LIzette Gonzalez


I am super stoked to introduce Lizette Gonzalez today! She is an incredible talent, a beautiful girl and a woman who knows whats she wants! Check out her interview and get inspired to bake your ass of!


Molly: Tell us about yourself, background and what you are doing now.

Lizette: My name is Lizette Gonzalez.  I am a Chef de Partie (Pastry), residing in Las Vegas but originally from Rosemead, California.  I’ve been baking since the age of 6.  I grew up baking and making cakes galore with my mom in our kitchen at home.  She has taught me so much.  It’s because of her, I am the gal I am today.  I am a proud member of Cutthroat Culinary.  The ideas, convictions, and passion this group has towards the art of what we do amaze and inspire me every day.  I’m currently in the process of starting my own cake business, and possibly a catering business on the side.  I am not your average person, I am different.  I know who I am and what I want.  Every day I am challenged, I learn, and I continue to grow.  Every day I am that much closer to achieving my dream.


M: Wow! Strong-minded person, very cool! When did you start getting tattooed?

L: It was the summer of 2004, I was 19


M: So what was your first tattoo?

L: It was 3 little music notes, the size of a quarter.  Later on it became part of a musical piece.


M: What inspired you to get it and to get more?

L: I was anxious and nervous about my first tattoo, I did not just want anything, and it had to have a story… a meaning.  This may sound cliché, but it is very true.  Music has always been a part of my life since day 1.  In all that I do I’m always surrounded by music.  I listen to almost everything and anything.  From my rock ‘n roll and jazz, to hip hop and alternative.  And let’s not forget my Mexican music.  From this the ideas of self expression bloomed.


“A picture is worth a thousand words”.  All I ever wanted to do was to tell my stories.  Show the world how and why I am the person I became to be.  So much thought has been put into each piece as well as the placement.  For example; My “smile” tattoo created by my beautiful niece, Gina, was originally drawn by her.  Gina has a form of Down Syndrome.  Each day that she is with us is a blessing, as she wasn’t suppose to see past 2 and now she is going strong at 25.  She is my heart and she inspires me.  This tattoo is very visible and those who have noticed it, smile.  Not only has Gina impacted me, but those around me as well, with just a simple smile J.  That joy and happiness people get from seeing this tattoo has the power to change a bad day into something wonderful.  That’s more than I could ever ask for.

There is so much more to share, I’m far from being done with telling my story.



M: Very touching and interesting! Why do you think so many chefs are heavily tattooed?

L: We express our minds, our feelings, and convictions through our food.  It’s our art, our passion, our story.  Tattoos are another way to show our freedom to express our ideas and emotions through another form of art.  It’s a beautiful thing.


M: Do you own any tattoo magazines, if so which ones?

L: Inked and Tattoo.  On Facebook I’m following Addicted to Ink, and Inked and Sexy, and Women with Ink.


M: Nice! Who do you admire in the tattoo industry? Do you have a tattoo done by him/her?

L: Tim Mueller of Tim Mueller’s Secret Tattoo and Charly Reynoso of Black Diamond Tattoo.  These two artists have a gift in what they do.  I’ve been blessed to have crossed paths with these guys and be able to call them friends.  I have gotten work done by Charly, and I’m currently getting work done by Tim.  It’s amazing to see them work.  Without having to say much they know the ideas and concepts of what I want, and with that I allow them to have the freedom to add their artistic twist to the piece.


Thank you Lizette!! Its always nice to interview talented people who have something to say and thank you all for taking the time to read our little blog : ) !!


Lizette shared an amazing recipe; check it out, try it out, tell us about how it went!


Baguettes with a Twist

Poolish Prefrement

Bread Flour       5.5 oz

Hi-Gluten Flour   5.5 oz

Water                11 oz

Fresh Yeast      5 grams

Combine bread flour, hi-gluten flour, water and yeast. Mix until water is incorporated and the consistency is smooth.

Cover product so that it does not form a skin.

Ferment over night in walk-in



Star Anise      ¼ tsp

Honey             1 oz

Vanilla Extract  1 ½ tsps

Salt                 1 TBS

Cranberries   5 oz

Cinnamon      3 tsp

Poppy Seeds 3.5 oz

Infuse ¼ tsp star anise in half of the water.

Combine poolish, water, water infused with star anise, yeast, bread flour, honey, vanilla extract and salt. Mix at a low speed for 3 minutes (scrape bowl after 2 minutes)

Continue to mix dough at a medium for 2-3 minutes.

Divide the dough into three equal parts. Add ingredients as follo

Dough 1: Add 2.5 oz cranberries

Dough 2: Add 2.5 oz cranberries and 1 ½ tsp cinnamon

Dough 3: Add 1 ½ tsp cinnamon

In a well-oiled container, cover each of the three doughs, with plastic wrap, and ferment in a warm environment until the internal temperature reaches 75ºF. Stretch and fold after 45 minutes. Total fermentation will be 1.5 hours.

Once fermentation is complete, scale 4 equal strands from each of the 3 doughs (making 12 strands all together). Spray strands from doughs 1 and 3 with water and cover with poppy seeds. Pre-shape into mini baguetttes and let sit for 20-30 minutes, covered in plastic wrap.

Braid 3 strands (one from each different dough mixture) forming 4 different loaves.

Optional  Once braided, shape the braided dough into the form of a wreath. (Do this to all 4 loaves).

Proof for about 40 minutes

Bake at 400ºF (with steam). Bake for 20-25 minutes

Cool down and enjoy!!

Cream Cheese Topping

Cream Cheese, softened    16 oz

Powdered Sugar             1 ½ cups

Vanilla Extract                1 TBS

Combine all ingredients and mix until well blended


Thank you Lizette again! You can check out more of Lizette and her creations at:

IG: @l1zzyg03


If you have a food tattoo or recipe you would like to share, please contact us at either or @knivesandneedles on IG.


Steve Looney


Steve Looney and his family are our family. He is an incredibly talented tattoo artist (he does some of the best Polynesian tattoo work out there!) and every time I see something he is working on I am blown away! But his many talents extend way past the doors of Pacific Soul; his tattoo studio out in Honolulu, Hawaii (I know, right?! Uh HEAVEN!).


One of the many talents Steve has is that he is one of the best grillers I have come across in my many years of cooking professionally. His teriyaki burgers rule and his short ribs are the stuff legends are made of. Taki and I (and any fortunate friends we bring along) are so spoiled when we visit them on the island.


We always the best and most interesting food whenever we visit, from coconut crab (a land crab that eats coconuts, Google them- you will be amazed!) to the above-mentioned grilled treats. Thank you Steve and Dani!!


Check out Steve’s Samoan BBQ recipe and some of this incredible tattoo work!!


Steve’s Samoan BBQ

This is for a small bbq (2-4ppl) so multiply recipe for larger bbq parties!

3/4 gal. Aloha Shoyu (soy sauce)

4-6 cups water to dilute shoyu

2 1/2 cups sugar or more or less to taste

Sesame seed oil 3 heaping tbl sp.

Fresh chopped Ginger or minced in a jar 1 heaping tbl sp.

10-15 chopped cloves of garlic

1 lrg. Yellow onion chopped

1 lrg tray of boneless chicken thighs (about 20-25 pieces) from Costco’s or Sam’s Club

1 lrg tray of short ribs (about 20-25 pieces) from Costco’s or Sam’s Club


In a large pot pour shoyu and water and add all ingredients. With your hands squeeze and mash up the ingredients in the shoyu mix. This releases the flavors in the shoyu. Then put it on the stove and turn to med and let simmer for about 5 min. After simmering, pour in to another pot so will cool down faster. Add chicken about half full in 2 gallon ziploc bags as well as ribs in it’s own bags halfway full. After it cools down pour marinade in large 1 or 2 gallon bags with chicken in it. Then in a 1 or 2 gallon bag for ribs to fill just over the ribs and chicken.



Refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours or even overnight.

Grill over mesquite charcoal or Kiawe wood for best flavor till fully cooked

Prep time for marinade: 15-20 minutes about 30-45 min for marinade to cool

Cook time: 1-2 hours depending on heat of charcoal

Feeds about 20-25 or about 10 Samoans maybe less if over 300 lbs.




Thank you Steve for the bbq inspiration!!





Check more of Steve’s tattoo work at:

Pacific Soul Tattoo

320 Ward Ave. #215

Honolulu,HI 96814


If you Have a recipe or food tattoo you would like to share, contact us!

We would love to promote your work in the kitchen or in the studio!


Thanks for reading, have a great day!!

Tattoo Tuesday!

Ryan Davidson gave us this rad sandwich for Tattoo Tuesday!

“Rob Nuñez did it back in 2006. Was my last day as the shop guy at HB Tattoo, and I wanted a food tattoo from him. He asked me what I liked to eat, I said ‘chicken sandwiches’, and that was it.”

Thanks, Ryan!

If you have a food tattoo you’d like us to show on Knives and Needles, email a photo of it along with artist credit and a little back story to

Tattoo Tuesday!

This week’s submission is brought to us by Myra Oh, an artist at Diadem Tattoo in Orange Park, FL.

Myra says “Thanks for checking out my work! I did this tattoo a couple weeks ago on Jake Mott of Champagne, Illinois. He is quite the pizza fanatic and once ate nothing but pizza for 13 days straight! Thank you for the chance to be featured on your blog!”

Thank you, Myra! If you have done or have a food tattoo you’d like us to feature, please email a photo (along with backstory and artist credit) to!

Tattoo Tuesday!

Guen Douglas is a tattooer (and a babe!) from Amsterdam who has this awesome cheeseburger she wanted to share with us!

“This huge cheeseburger tattoo was done by Dave Knight from PCS Montreal, and over the years I’ve done a fair amount of food tattoos! This is such a fun idea!!”

Check Guen out at Salon Serpent in the Netherlands, and at!

If you have a food tattoo you’d like us to show on Knives and Needles, email a photo of it along with artist credit and a little back story to


Our good friend John over at Tattoo Artist Magazine has been so supportive of our blog! When I heard he wanted to share a recipe with us, I was stoked. John is quite a foodie, and with traveling to so many conventions, he enjoys some of the finest dining with some of the best tattooers in the world!

Brynne Palmer- How long have you been involved with Tattoo Artist Magazine (TAM) and the tattoo industry?

JohnDotCom- So I started in 2005-2006 at Taylor St. Tattoo… and then I started freelancing and doing tat cons for TAM in 2007, maybe? I met Crash through Keith at SXSW one year… and I just went right up to Crash and said, “Hey dude, I kinda went to school for journalism and I noticed a lot of spelling errors in TAM…” Ha ha! Subtlety is not my strong point. I think he was kinda offended at first, but I just told him I really wanted to help and really believed in what he was doing…

The first issue of TAM I ever worked on was issue #13… The Scott Harrison article to boot. Talk about a rough way to cut your teeth… Scott, I had met through Keith and at that time I was pretty intimidated by him because he’s so damn smart! Ha ha!

Yeah, so I thought Scott was just going to hate my edits and I was scared that I would never get another gig with the magazine… But then after that I kinda bounced around, followed Keith to Texas, got my ex-fiance arrested, partied and head-butted with Tony Hundahl (these are two unrelated AND related events) and then I decided it was time to leave Texas… for good. (Don’t worry she got out of jail.)

After only six months in Texas, I moved back to Chicago and started going to grad school at DePaul… I got my job back at Taylor St. Tattoo, got fired… and then re-hired again… Ha ha! When I write it all out it seems like this is some other dude’s life because it sounds so “unbelievable” even to myself…

After grad school I started working for TAM full-time… So almost about eight years I’ve been involved with the tattoo community/family…

BP- In your travels, do you have any standout culinary experiences of fond food related memories?

JDC-Totally! Joining the “T-Bone Club” that Hanky Panky (Henk Schiffmacher) started years ago, that was the best… Mostly because I have been vegetarian/pescatarian for most of my “adult” life…

Henk had a rule that you couldn’t work at his shop in Amsterdam (back in the day) unless you ate the biggest steak on the menu at De Klos, which is this fuckin’ amazing magical meat palace in Amsterdam. So I said “fuck it” threw caution to the wind and my stomach and dove it steak knife first! Done and done… Lucky Bastard or Danny Dringenberg, or someone was trying to do the kilo to ounce ratio on their phone… but it was the first time I had eaten meat in 15 years and it was like 76 oz… or some shit! I lived to tell the tale… I still don’t eat meat. It didn’t “convert” me or anything… but damn it was pretty fucking good and I’ll do it again, but only overseas. Why rob yourself of the experience of trying delicious foreign foods? Makes no sense to me…

BP- Haha! What a rad story! What is your favorite style of food, and what do you enjoy cooking at home?

JDC- I’ll cook anything really… I like cooking for the seasons. So in the winter I eat a lot of carbs: bread, pasta… The pizza in my city (Chicago) is pretty good if you ain’t heard? HA! So when the weather warms up I start to eat lighter, more veggies and grilling… BBQ-ing veggies and fish is the summer jam for me… But I would say that I try to make food that is gonna last me several meals and can be easily transported, so I can take food to the tat shop. I’ve eaten at every place around Taylor St. Tattoo, and it’s in Little Italy, so there are some pretty good places to eat over there… I’m just over it. I stay pretty busy so I need to make stuff I can just heat up and go.

Breakfast is my favorite meal EVER! I had breakfast for all three meals in one day once! I had to experience it… Let me be the first to tell ya… IT WAS AWESOME!

I like all styles of cooking and food. I guess I’ll try anything once when it comes to food…

John’s Vegetarian/Vegan Chili and Corn Bread

(Secret to good chili; slow and low… The longer it takes the better it will taste.)
2-4 cans of craft beer from your hometown… Buy local!
1 large onion
3-4 pieces of garlic from clove
1 bunch on green onions
2-4 Jalapeños
1 yellow pepper
1 can of Tomato sauce
1 can of whole/diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 medium/large zucchini
1 8 oz. package of fake meat (optional)
2-3 tbsp. of olive oil (butter or veg. oil will work too)
Hot sauce (what ever you like) I chose Tapatio.
Various spices and accoutrements: chili power, cinnamon, black pepper, cumin, crushed rep pepper, salt, sugar, and cayenne pepper…

-Get your oil in a bigger cooking pot with lid and turn heat on low.
-Dice onion.
-Once the oil is up to temp (test by flicking one drop of water in pot… sizzle means GO!) throw in diced onion.
-Cover with lid and let it sit until they start to “sweat” real nice. Approx. 5-10 min.
-Stir and in add minced garlic (I suggest getting a garlic press, they are magical) pinch of salt and sugar… Let that sit on low for other 5 min.
-Add fake meat… don’t forget to stir.
-Add spices… everything but the cinnamon. I just kinda eyeball stuff here… if it needs more of something you can add it later after tasting. It’s chili not rocket science. Spice with common sense and your level of hot that you are willing to handle… I like shit spicy… so I add more cayenne pepper and red pepper.


-Cover and let the fake meat sit and absorb the spices 5-10 min.
-Add in can of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes and 1/3-cup water. Stir… cover with lid and let sit 5-10 min.

Drink beer. Relax.

-Taste sauce. Mine ain’t spicy. So I’m gonna add some salt and hot sauce. At this point the sauce should be slightly bubbling. Put lid on.
-Strain and rinse beans thoroughly and stir into sauce. Put lid on.
-Dice veggies. And add and stir into sauce. Increase heat to medium low. Let sit for 10-20 min.

*(If you don’t handle jalapeños with gloves… you can pour vinegar on your fingers and rub them together with a little water and then soap to get the oils off your fingers.)

At this point we can start the corn bread. Just be sure to check the sauce and adjust temp if need be…
-I really just follow the directions on the back of the box… The difference is that I spruce it up a bit.
-Turn oven on pre heat to 400. Get out a big mixing bowl and follow directions on the box…
-Once you have your corn beard mixture add one can of strained corn, 4oz. of shredded cheddar, one tsp of cream, 2 tbsps of honey and two finely diced jalapeños… stir really good and let sit 3-4 min.

-Check sauce add cinnamon, a little goes a long way. And turn temp to low before adding corn mixture to non-stick pan. Stir and put lid back on.

-Fill each mold half way… I use a ladle for portion control.
-Place in oven at 400. 20-25 min.

Drink Beer #2. Relax.

-Taste sauce, stir and adjust flavors while cornbread is baking… Place lid back on pot until bread is golden brown-ish…

-Take them shits out the oven… let cool 5 min. Then run a small spoon around the edges to remove.

-Garnish chili… (If you’re vegan don’t use the dairy)

Total cooking time 2-3 hours.

Serves about 6-10 peeps… or feeds one hungry magazine editor for a week…

Thanks for listening… Eat well, and prosper…

Once a week JohnDotCom features an artist from K&N on, be sure to check it out! Thank you John, for your recipe and all your support! MTFBWY, and see you at the next convention;)

Tattoo Tuesday!

Big Chuck from Relentless Tattoo in Sacramento, CA gives us this awesome sacred avocado!


“The person who wanted it had the basic idea of wanting an Avocado sacred heart. I was stoked to do it because avocados are my favorite fruit (second favorite: BANANAS!) and also I love religious iconography. Happily, an open avocado is naturally heart shaped so that was nice. I added a little tomato to act as the stem, since it was both a nice fit, and because the two items are often paired together in delicious dishes such as guacamole. Overall I was very inspired by an old Dave Waugh “sacred heart” flash page I’ve seen a few times. Kinda just has a whimsical vibe or whatever. It’s farmers market time right now in Sacramento which means until October I can eat a perfect, delicious avocado every single day. And I will!”

Thank you, Chuck!

If you have a food tattoo you’d like us to show on Knives and Needles, email a photo of it along with artist credit and a little back story to

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