Knives and Needles

Where Chefs can talk tattoos and Tattooers can talk food

Archive for the category “tattoo”

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


Amanzio Nascimbene


I just met Amanzio recently but it was immediately clear that he is a talented guy that lives life to its fullest! Not only is he a talented chef, but he is a devoted husband and father. And oh, not to mention a lifestyle guru with an amazing blog of his own! With all that going on, I was lucky to catch his time long enough to do this interview for me. We even decided to trade interviews! Thank you Amanzio!

Please read on…

Molly: Tell me a little about yourself please.

Amanzio: My name is Amanzio Nascimbene, I am a graduate of the California Culinary Academy In San Francisco, a former line cook & current food & lifestyle blogger for

I split my Childhood between France and California, & really feel that having grown up in Paris as part of a strong Franco-Italian family gave me an appreciation for great food and instilled in me that satisfaction that preparing & enjoying an amazing meal can bring. Through my blog, I hope to introduce folks to parts of the Bay they might never have thought to visit, beautiful places to hike & explore, share with them my opinions of restaurants they’ve always wanted to try & hopefully to introduce them to the farmers, purveyors, bakers, chefs & everybody that plays a part in the amazingly diverse and bountiful culinary landscape that the Bay Area is.


M: I am jealous you got to grow up in Paris, Love that city! What are your favorite things to cook?

A:  I love cooking simple & classic French and Italian foods, simple things like Pan-Bagna (a delicious french sandwich often found in seaside towns). I love pasta dishes and really look to keep it simple, seasonal and as local as possible.


M: I agree, cooking seasonally is important. So on to tattoos, what inspired you to start getting tattooed?

A: Probably the music I listened to growing up, bands like Guns N roses, Rage Against The Machine, Rancid, The Descendents, The Wu Tang Clan and all their various off-shoot albums. Although a lot of it was mainstream, to me, this music seemed rebellious and a ton of these guys were pretty heavily tattooed & I loved the look. Over the years I have been lucky enough to have been tattooed by some very talented tattooers who I am now honored to be able to call my friends, in particular Annie Frenzel of Lowbrow Tattoo in Berlin Germany & Sean Perkinson of FTW Tattoo in Oakland.


M: Cool. What was your first tattoo?

A: Ha! My first tattoo was one I drew up myself, a horribly cheesy tribal sun arm band with a dolphin in the middle of the sun… I was 19, it was 1996 & I thought I was the coolest thing ever. It has long since been covered up by Tex of Authentic Tattoo in San Francisco.


M: Omg, that is hilarious! I wish you had a photo of that! So, who do you admire in the tattoo industry that you have not been tattooed by (yet)?

A: It’s a pretty long list… In no particular order: Chris Conn, Stewart Robson, Chris O’Donnell, Henry Lewis, Jason Phillips, Horitomo, Eli Quinters, Holly Ellis, Grime. Like I said there are a ton of artists who’s work I really admire I I know I’m leaving a few out!


M: I hear you, so many talented tattoo artists out there, so little skin! Why do you think so many chefs are tattooed?

A: I think it’s that outsider spirit, cooking is an art & it attracts people who are not afraid to express themselves. Another huge factor is the acceptance level!  Rarely, in a professional kitchen will anyone look down on your for being tattooed.


M: What will your next tattoo be?

A: I have a few ideas, a design I’ve always been a fan of is the Pharaoh’s horses. If you look through Clifton Carter’s catalog you can see a perfect example of one, really beautiful.


M: Nice. Do you ever go to any tattoo conventions? If so, which one(s) and did you have fun?

A: I’ve been to a few, the best by far is the Bay Area Convention of the Tattoo Arts. I was lucky enough to get a classic dagger tattoo last year from Lindsey Carmichael. Just the opportunity to get that done was great & I can’t wait to go back this year.

M: Yes, that convention is so amazing! … And I’m not just saying that!

A: I also like to say hello to two lovely ladies, my wife Heather and my daughter Chloe.


M: Awwww!

Amanzio shared a mouth-watering scallop dish, perfect for those balmy, late-summer evenings! Check it out, try it out and let us know how it turned out for you!


 “Mother & Son Scallops”

Recipe courtesy of Joan Parazette & Amanzio Nascimbene

Serves 2

For the scallops

6 large scallops, seasoned with salt & pepper & seared

Salt & pepper scallops & sear off in a hot pan until golden brown.

For the Red Sauce

1 Tbs Sriracha

1 Tsp Soy Sauce

1 Tsp Tomato Paste

Mix in small bowl

For the green sauce:

1 Bunch Cilantro

1 Bunch Basil

1 Handful Mint

3 Cloves Garlic

2 Green Onions

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 cup Lime Juice


Salt & Pepper to taste


Place scallops on a bed of frisee, lightly dressed with lemon juice, garnish with Roasted Pine nuts


Thank you Amanzio!!  You can check out more of Amanzio on his Instagram, @amanzio_Nascimbene, or his blog,, definitely worth following!

If you have a recipe, food tattoo or want to be featured on; email us at We would love to feature you and your work in the kitchen or in the studio!

Have a great day


Tattoo Tuesday!!


Tattoo by Matt Adams!!

If you have any recipes or food tattoos you would like to share, contact us at

Thank you and have a great day!!!!

Dominic Ramos!

Today we have the talented Dominic Ramos…

So read on!!


Hello my name is Dominic Ramos; I’m a cook who has obtained an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of San Antonio. I currently belong to a club that goes by the name Cutthroat Culinary. We are a worldwide group that believes in the passion of cooking. The passion of cooking, and tasting the most wonderful foods began immediately after I cooked my first egg at the age of six.

Molly: How long have you been a chef?

Dominic: I don’t consider myself a Chef, as a chef to me is a title that is earned, and may take many years to gain the respect required in being called a Chef. I am just a cook.

M: Where do you work now?

D: I own a food truck, Gourmet on the Fly. We have been in business for almost one year. I love being my own boss and I love that I make my own hours.


M: When did you start getting tattooed?

D: My first tattoo, along with several others, was a homemade one a cross and the word “mom” on my left hand. It was about 10 years ago when I experienced my first professional tattoo.

M: What was it and do you still have it?

D: My first professional tattoo was a dragon on the inside of my right arm, I do still have it, and it still looks new. I couldn’t believe that I was spending hundreds of dollars on a tattoo, but it was well worth a thousand dollars.

M: What is your favorite piece and why?

D: My favorite piece is my Chef tat. Two reasons why: first, it was a cover up and second it represents me.


What drew you to tattoos initially?

I think what drew me to tattoos was the fact that my body would be a walking canvas. I have always loved art. Most of all my tattoos are free hand. I didn’t want to have the same tattoo as anyone else or someone having the same tattoo as me.

M: Why do you think the tattoo industry and the culinary industry are so intertwined?

D: Well both industries have artist. The tattoo artist, his canvas is the body; to a Chef, the plates are his canvas. Both industries can create beautiful, Tasteful, and respectful art.


M: Have you noticed this correlation (or lack thereof) in your travels in other countries?

D: Yes I have.  I believe tattoos on Chefs and Artists are battle scars or small stories of their lives. Everyone has a story to tell.

M: Do you have a tattoo experience that stands out for any reason? Funny/sentimental?

D: As stated earlier about my favorite tattoo, which is the Chef one, was a cover up. I was a girls name on my arm.  Well, one of my favorite tattoo artists, Mike Adair, was going to be in Austin. I called him to setup an appointment to do a cover up. When we starting talking about what I wanted and where I wanted it; I showed him my arm with the girl’s name. He laughed and said, “I figured you would want that covered up.” It was his sister’s name and he was the one who tatted the name in the first place.

M: Any cooking advice for a novice?

D: Stay true to your heart. Your food will taste of happiness.


M: What recipe would you suggest for our readers?

D: I would say my Avocado Cilantro dipping sauce.

Dominic’s Avocado cilantro dipping sauce

4 Avocados (ripened)

1 bunch of Cilantro, trimmed

2 lemons, juiced

1 cup of sherry wine

1 tbsp of garlic powder

1 tbsp of onion powder

1 pinch of salt and pepper

4 tbsp of mayo

Place on ingredients in a blender or ninja. Chop or blend until all corporate. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve or chill covered.


Thank you Dominic!

If you have any food tattoo photos or recipes you would like to share, we would love to feature you!

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;)

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