Knives and Needles

Where Chefs can talk tattoos and Tattooers can talk food

Archive for the tag “culinary”

Mathias Gfroerer

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I know Mathias Gfroerer from my days working in Dubai. He is a truly talented chef, the type of chef that was simply born to cook. I remember listening to him and his now wife, Rebecca, talk about restaurants and types of European dining one afternoon. Even though we were all so young then, they had so much knowledge on dining, restaurants and hospitality all around. The conversation that day left an impression on me, inspired me to look at dining in a different way. I wanted to learn more!

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Besides running his wildly successful organic restaurant, Gutskueche, in Tangstedt, Germany, Mathias indulges in another (rather new) hobby- getting tattooed. He states that chefs get tattooed because they tend to live this short life to the fullest, in a pure and unadulterated way. Basically chefs are creative buttheads who live life the way they without much qualms to social stigmas (my words!)

Mathias has kindly given me some amazing photos of his! He has one tip for novice chefs: Stay tasty, never stop tasting!

I hope you enjoy this tiny peek into an amazing chef’s career, life and of course tattoos!

Check out his photos below….

Cheers and thank you, Mathias!!!!

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Check out more of Mathias and his restaurant at the website, http://www.gutskueche.de, there seems to be tons going on from seminars to cooking classes- it may just blow your mind!

 

 

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Ceiran Thomas

 

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Ceiran Thomas has quite an impressive resume, having worked at some of the best restaurants in Wales, where he currently lives. I got excited when he approached me about doing an interview as I have always wanted to visit that area of England! I have heard its beautiful and I am curious about the local food. Ceiran has not only worked in the best places with some of the hardest kitchens in Wales, but was the head chef of a team of 40 at the London Games in 2012. He got started cooking with his grandmother as a child and loves butchery and considers himself a fishmonger.

Read more on Ceiran just below…. Plus his mouth-watering recipe!

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Where do you work now?

I’m between restaurants at the moment I’m awaiting the opening of a new restaurant next month with one of the great British chefs I’m currently privately teaching.

 

What got you into getting tattooed?

I think the beauty and art of it I’ve Always been creative and expressed myself and I think it’s a beautiful way to do it.

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What was your first tattoo?

My first tattoo was a rib tattoo of the welsh national anthem it’s close to my heart I’m a patriot hearing it sung brings a tear to my eye.

 

What is your favorite thing to cook?

I love cooking fish it’s amazing nothing better than fresh fish it’s just magical especially strait off the line just brings you so much closer to nature. Just simple

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What is the food in Whales like?

Its Wales and its hearty and fresh we have a lively coast so the seas are abundant with shellfish and the like we also have a very green countryside full of the best organic veg and healthy cattle, wales is famous for its lamb

 

Do you ever go to any tattoo conventions?

I’ve only ever been to tattoo conventions in Cardiff ( Cardiff tattoo and toy convention I received a beautiful dot-work sleeve and Cardiff Halloween bash where I received an epic neo traditional calf tattoo and some scarification off a legend Dr Evil)

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Who do you admire in the tattoo industry?

I can’t pick and choose in the tattoo industry to be honest I’ve seen beautiful work from world class artists and just as good from local apprentices it’s not about who’s been tattooing for a lifetime it’s about the vision of the artist

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Who do you admire in the culinary industry?

In the food industry there’s many to name a few

James Sommerin

Thomas Keller

Raymond blanc

Michel roux jr

The roux brothers

Tom kerage

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What will your next tattoo be?

My next tattoo will either be my lower knuckles or my kneecap tattooed with a neo traditional rose

 

What were the London Games like?

The London games were just alive the only way I can describe it just non stop I worked 17 hour days strait for the games and then 13 hours a day in the rest days between the Olympics and the Paralympics and then back to 17 in the Paralympics it was full on but I miss it

 

Ceiran has generously given us one amazing recipe, check it out and let the hunger pains begin!

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Crab and Scallop Lasagne with Chive Bureè Blanc 

.400g fresh white scallop meat (white only)

.480ml fresh double cream

.Pinch of course sea salt and cracked black pepper

.430g white crab meat

.aprox.500g fresh Pasta dough

 

For the sauce –

Small handful of chives

Block of unsalted butter (cubed)

40ml white wine

40ml white wine vinegar

2 shallots

20ml cream

 

Roll out pasta sheets and rest between cling film sheets in the fridge

(Can you ready made sheets but these much be cooked aldenté before you build the lasagne)

 

Pick threw your crab meat for any shell.

Blitz your scallop meat in a food processor and add your crab meat.

Slowly add your cream and seasoning, put in a piping bag and rest in the fridge for 10 minutes

prepare your lasagne in metal rings

First layer a pice of pasta cut to size in the bottem then pipe your scallop mix about 10-15 mm and add another sheet then another 10-15mm of mix then a final sheet

 

To cook steam over boiling water for 8-10 mins with a lid

 

For the sauce 

Dice your shallots fine

Add your white wine and vinegar to a pan and reduce add shallots and reduce till there is allmost no liquid in the pan then add cream and reduce further till thick move to a low heat and slowly whisk in your butter cubes

Chop your chives and add to the sauce

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Garnish with wild mushrooms if available and fine and micro herbs

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Thank you Ceiran!! Incredible food and great tattoos!!

You can catch more of Ceiran and his food on his Instagram, @theinkchef

 

If you would like to be featured on our blog, please email us or tag us!!

knivesandneedles@gmail.com

@knivesandneedles

Cheers!!

Ryan Zale

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Ryan Zale is a very talented chef. He also loves tattoos! I got Ryan to write some stuff about himself the other day. Continue reading and see what makes this amazing chef tick! Plus he has a terrific recipe at the end…. A serious must try!

I am the Executive Chef at the Local Chop and Grill House in Harrisonburg VA. I work hard and play hard, haha. I love disc golf, gardening, home brewing, eating weird stuff and the Pittsburgh steelers. I grew up on a dairy farm in Ohio so fell in love with farm concept early on. My grandmother and mom were good cooks, so I learned a lot from them, but there always something about food that gave my pleasure in life, so I cooked a lot on my own.

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Experimenting, trying different flavor profiles, cooking for friends late-night wasted, that kinda of stuff. I went on to culinary school right out of high school knowing I wanted explore this crazy lifestyle. I really enjoy the snout to tail concept, utilizing the entire animal. Butchering is great, and the farm to table concept is what I’m really into. My first tattoo is terrible, I was 15 and it’s a stupid tribal piece with an eye ball in the middle of it. I love the creative side of artists, the passion they have. I think it makes are industry very similar, they get a human I get an animal and we transform it into something beautiful. As for tattoo artists, Andrew Connor is my favorite artist. He’s local and he’s vegan so its fun when he comes in to dine with us.

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I get to run around and make him vegan coursed meals on the fly. I don’t really read any tattoo magazines usually just cook books and food related magazines. The next tattoo I’m getting will be a Tablespoon Teaspoon measuring on the palm of my hand, I thought it makes sense! Because this a crazy industry, and you have be little nuts to do what we do for years, and inking yourself up kinda all goes as one. But tattooing and cooking are both forms of art so theirs that tie together as well.

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What Chef doesn’t want a pig tattoo on them, haha. And I have never lost a job because of having them. As for future tattoos, I’d stick with Andrew Connor. He’s a friend we have a lot in common and I feel confident with his ability’s, he’s amazing!! A dream afternoon would be me, a BBQ suckling pig, glass of whiskey and watching the Rolling Stones play in my back yard.

Any advise for novice chefs?

Yeah don’t cut yourself, hahaha.

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Peppered fried Local chicken livers with truffled ale mustard, fennel celery seed slaw with cayenne, cilantro puree and fennel fronds

Fennel slaw

3 each bulbs fennel, reserve the tops for garnish

2 each red pepper

1 each English cucumber

1/2 head green cabbage all julienne

1 bunch cilantro, rough chop

2 each lemon, juiced and zest

2 T celery seed

1 cup mayo

1T cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

Truffle mustard

1 cup whole grain mustard

1 cup Dijon mustard

2 T truffle oil

1 cup sour cream

Salt and pepper to taste

Chicken liver dredge

Bread flour and lots of cracked black pepper

Soak the livers in buttermilk, heat fryer oil to 350 degrees, fry for 3 minutes and until golden brown.

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Thank you Ryan!

You can catch more of Ryan on his IG, @ryanzale

If you are a tattooed chef or foodie tattooer and want to show off your skills, contact us- we would love to feature you!

knivesandneedles@gmail.com or @knivesandneedles

Cheers!

@

Mary of Nom Yourself

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Its rare to find a vegan chef, let alone a really good one! This is Knives and Needles first vegan chef feature, Mary of Nom Yourself! Her food looks amazing and she loves tattoos; so please read, enjoy and be inspired to step out of your animal-product box!

Molly: Tell me about yourself, please include what you are doing now

Mary: I am a 27 year old vegan cook living in NYC. I am currently developing recipes for my second cookbook that is currently untitled, and promote my first cookbook Nom Yourself – The Cookbook. I run nomyourself.com and advocate home cooking.

Molly: I always want to advocate to cook at home as well, especially these days. Have you always been vegan?

Mary: I haven’t. I actually became vegan 14 months ago while living in Baltimore, Maryland. I started teaching myself how to cook and found that adding meat and dairy to my dishes was actually taking away from the flavor of all these amazing fruits and vegetables I was buying from the farmers market. Most people find veganism through animal rights or health reasons. I found it through cooking.

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Molly: Very cool! How did you get into developing Nom Yourself?

Mary: I started posting pictures of the food I was making on my personal Instagram account. Then a friend suggested I start a website. Within a week I had a thousand followers and a new love for the internet.

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Molly: What a great idea! So on to tattoos. What was your first tattoo and what inspired you to get tattooed?

Mary: My first tattoo was a star I got when I was 16. Reading Andrew Parsons interview on Knives & Needles is making me think this is what a lot of people in our generation would answer. I wanted to get tattooed because my family did and still does mean the world to me. I wanted to make it permanent and have something that would remind me of that. So, I got the star to represent the 5 people in my family. I went to some seedy place in downtown NYC and probably used a fake ID. It was less about art and more about being a rebel child than the tattoos that came after.

Molly: Haha! Who would you want a tattoo from if you could get tattooed by anyone right now? And what would you get?

Mary: Dave Wah at Stay Humble Tattoo Company, from Baltimore. The work he does is just fascinating. I would have him do my whole fruits & vegetables sleeve. Bright, vibrant veggies. Arugala, Rainbow Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Avocados, Kale, Onions, all of it!

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Molly: Food tattoos!! Do you ever go to any tattoo conventions? If so, which ones and did you have fun?

Mary: I went to the Baltimore Tattoo Convention last year. It was a blast, but short lived. I was only there for about an hour. I’m hoping to go to the NYC Tattoo Convention in March.

Molly: Who else do you admire in the tattoo industry?

Mary: Trevor Friedrich, who did my side. A truly multi-talented human being. Ashley Thomas, from Atomic Tattoo in Austin, TX. She’s vega and rad. I’d love to sit in her chair and just shoot the shit and talk life.

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Molly: Do you own any tattoo magazines?

Mary: I don’t. Mainly because I have the worst Wanderlust. My address is ever changing. I’ll pick up Inked every once in a while.

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Molly: A girl after my own heart!  What style of tattooing do you love the most?

Mary: I love black and grey portraits. With the exception of the vibrant vegetable sleeve, I would cover my whole body with black and grey tattoos.

Molly: Any vegan tips for beginners?

Mary: Teach yourself how to cook. A lot of vegans get frustrated because its inconvenient to eat out. Teaching yourself how to cook will not only make it easier for you to transition into a vegan lifestyle, but you’ll also find yourself getting creative and you feel a sense of pride with every meal. Your kitchen becomes your art studio.

Great advice, Mary, thank you!!

Mary wanted to share a recipe with all of us today, Salted Caramel Apple Pumpkin Pie! Here is the link to the recipe on her website as well: http://www.nomyourself.com/#!salted-caramel-apple-pumpkin-pie-recipe/c1m7o

Enjoy and try it out, you just might be pleasantly surprised at how “unvegan” it tastes!

Salted Caramel Apple Pumpkin Pie

Salted Caramel Apple Pumpkin Pie

 

Pie Crust

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 Tbs. organic granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup vegan margarine

2 Tbs. vegetable shortening

3 Tbs. cold water

 

Pumpkin Pie Filling

1 cup organic pumpkin pie puree

3 Tbs. all purpose flour

2 Tbs. organic light brown sugar

1 Tbs. organic granulated sugar

1/4 cup canned coconut milk

1 Tbs. vanilla extract

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

Apple Pie Filling

2 medium granny smith apples

2 medium pink lady apples

1/2 Tbs. lemon juice

1/3 cup organic brown sugar

1 1/2 Tbs. all purpose flour

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

pinch of salt

 

Salted Caramel Sauce

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

3/4 cup canned coconut milk

3 Tbs. vegan margarine

1 tsp. sea salt, coarse

Pie Crust

1) Mix flour, sugar and salt in a small bowl until well combined.

2) Add in margarine and shortening while you mix it all together with your hands. Keep kneeding until all ingredients are crumbled.

3) Slowly add cold water 1 Tbs. at a time and mix with your hands until dough is a ball.

4) Wrap the ball in saran wrap and put it in the refridgerator while you work on the pie fillings.

 Method

Pumpkin Pie Filling

1) Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl until combined.

2) Set bowl aside.

Apple Pie Filling

1) Peel, core and thinly slice apples. If you have a mandoline, use it! Thin apples make the perfect filling. Place the apples in a large bowl with the lemon juice.

2) Add brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg & salt.

3) Gently toss until apples are coated.

4) Set bowl aside.

Bring it all together

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2) Take pie crust out of the refrigerator and roll out onto a floured countertop with a rolling pin.

3) Once the size of the outer rim of your pie dish, place the dough in the pan. When you get the edges, make sure there is no dough hanging over, or on the sides. Keeping your crust on the inside of the pan and off the rim, keeps the crust from burning.

4) Pour pumpkin pie filling into crust and smooth out until even.

5) Neatly place apples on top of pumpkin filling.

6) Place in oven and bake for 40 minutes. (Some of you may be confused here because on my instagram video, I poured the caramel sauce in right before this step. After making it a second time, I feel the best outcome is making the sauce right before serving.)

7) Let cool overnight, or at least 5 hours.

8) Once chilled, proceed to Salted Caramel sauce directions.

Salted Caramel Sauce

1) In a non-stick skillet, combine sugar and water over medium-low heat and mix until the sugar is dissolved.

2) Increse heat and bring to a boil, without stirring.

3) Boil until the liquid is a deep amber color, 5-7 minutes.

4) Remove the sugar from the heat and carefully whisk in coconut milk, vegan margaine and salt.

5) Pour in a heat safe dish and let cool for 5-10 minutes.

6) Once cooled, top pie with your favorite ice cream (mines Vanilla!) and pour caramel sauce over it, and ENJOY!

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Thank you Mary, this looks amazing!

Don’t forget to post your finished product on instagram, facebook or twitter and tag me in it when you’re done! I’d love to see your creations and what you think. @nomyourself or @knivesandneedles !

Cheers!

Wilhelmina

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Wilhelmina is one of our first international chefs to interviewed for knivesandneedlesblog! Thank you Wilhelmina for taking the time to share your thoughts, tattoos and yummy recipe! Read on to see what Wilhelmina has to say…
Molly: So tell us a bit about yourself
Wilhelmina: My name is Wilhelmina, I’m 23 years old and live in Leiden, Holland. Since February I’m working as garde manger at the Hilton Garden Inn in Leiden/Oegstgeest, Holland.
M: I love Holland! The food there is so great, what are some of your favorite things to cook?
W: My favorite thing to cook is without a doubt cheesecake. I love, love, love cheesecake! But I don’t bake them. Just let them stiffen up in the fridge. In every flavor you can imagine.
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M: who doesn’t love cheesecake! So on to tattoos. When did you get your first tattoo and what was it?
W: I got my first tattoo when I just turned 15. I had a boyfriend [who is now my ex-husband] who had some tattoos and I really loved that kind of art. So I wanted something too. My mom didn’t agree, but when I said I’d love to have the Chinese character for ‘Mother’ she just sighed and said ‘Okay, love you’. Two weeks later I got my first tattoo and my mom even paid for it. It’s still there in my shoulder, but now I’ve got ‘The Big Wave’ from the Japanese painter Hokusai all around it.
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M: Hokusai… yes! So do you ever go to any tattoo conventions?

W: Tattoo conventions are so awesome and I really want to go to every convention I can go to. Love to get tattooed on conventions, but also hanging out with the artist and making some new friends. Unfortunately I can not go everytime because of my work. The conventions are mostly in the weekend, and I’m working almost every weekend. On top of that I only go to Dutch conventions, and one time went to Antwerp. But I really, really want to go abroad. I would love to go to London, Paris, Rome, Munchen-Gladbach and many more.

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M: Those are some good shows! Who do you admire in the tattooing and/or culinary industries?
W: In the culinary industry I really admire Sergio Herman, Ricardo van Ede, Brandon Baltzley, Heston Blumenthal, Jamie Oliver, Roderick Rijsdam, Jean Beddington and lots more!
In the tattoo industry I really admire Gerrit Termaat, Rob Deut, Maximo Lutz,  Lyz Diephuis, Leslie Reesen, Hankey Jee, Nikko Hurtado, Ade Itameda and many more.
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M: Nice! If you could get tattooed by anyone in the world right now, who would it be and why?

W: If I could get tattooed by any tattooer in the world right now I would probably go for Ade Itameda. I have an elephant tattooed on my back and my shoulder blades and everything around the elephant are still empty. I would love for him to get that covered with his amazing dotwork.

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M: Magazines. Food or tattoos, which ones do you read?
W: I really enjoy reading, or actually just looking at the pictures, food magazines. My absolute favorite is ‘Patisserie&Desserts’. I really just love all the sweetness. Tattoo magazines, same story. Love the pictures. Sometimes I feature in ‘Tattoo Planet’, a Dutch monthly magazine.
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M: Ah so you tattoo model as well, cool! Let’s end with some advice… Any cooking advice for beginners?

W: The only cooking advice I can give is just do your own thing. Go crazy, experimenter and taste. Taste everything. Go to the basis of the food, take a trip to your local farmer. Love your food ❤

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Great advice! I always say cook with feeling too!

As with weekly tradition, Wilhelmina has given us her over-the-top Oreo cheesecake recipe! Check it out….. I promise you wont regret it!

Oreo cheesecake

Oreo Cheesecake

Crust

2 cups Oreo crumbs (from about 20 Oreos)
1/4 cup butter, melted
 Filling
24 oz (three 8-oz packages) cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
8 oz whipped cream
1 1/2 cups Oreo crumbs (from about 16 Oreos)
7-10 Oreos, chopped, optional
Instructions
1. Combine Oreo crumbs (for crust) with melted butter.
2. Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Set in refrigerator to firm.
3. Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together in a large bowl until smooth and well combined.
4. Gently stir in whipped cream.
5. Add Oreo crumbs and chopped Oreos and gently mix until well combined.
6. Pour filling into crust and smooth the top.
7. Top with additional Oreo’s, if desired.
8. Refrigerate for about 4 hours or until firm.

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Thank you Wilhelmina! Your tattoos are amazing and I want to try your cheesecake recipe like yesterday!

You can catch more of Wilhelmina on IG: @WillayWilhelmina

If you are a tattooed chef or foodie tattooer and have any recipes or food tattoos, send them to us at knivesandneedles@gmail.com or tag us on IG: @knivesandneedles – we would love to feature you!

Cheers!

Andrew Parsons

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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……

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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

Coriander

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

@andrewparsonss

www.chefandrewparsons.com

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

Cheers!

Jose Ruiz

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He may be one of the youngest chefs in San Diego, but don’t let his age fool you! Jose Ruiz is one talented chef, and he was nice enough to sit down and let us into his world for a minute! Read on…

Molly: Tell me about yourself, please include what you are doing now

Jose: I am 25 years old, Mexican-American, born and raised in San Diego, California. I am currently the Executive chef at Herringbone La Jolla and have been working in the industry for over 10 years.

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M: How did you get into cooking?

J: My family friends owned a sushi bar where I got my fist job washing dishes, from there I gradually worked my way up to prep cook, then working on the line to eventually becoming a sushi chef at the age of 17. From then on I was hooked.

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M: Who inspires you in the kitchen?

J: Im inspired by all the old grandmothers, butchers, farmers and fishermen that have taken there passion and created old traditions. These are the classic chefs who have paved the way for new innovation. I feel like with out understanding the origins of where it all started its harder to know where its all going.

M: What interested you in getting tattooed?

J: Both my father and my uncle are heavily tattooed, and I have been surrounded by that kind of lifestyle since I can remember. From cars and tattoos, to art and everything that goes along with it.

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M: What was your first tattoo?

J: My “Ditch”, a red rose with music notes and spider webs.

M: Who do you admire in the tattoo industry?

J: There are a lot of artists that I admire but someone who stands out to me is Sergio Hernandez ‘Surge’ at 7 Seas, San Diego. He is an innovator when it comes to Mexican-American art in San Diego and is one of the most all around talented people I know. Along with being an artiest he is a Jiu-jitsu champion, successful musician, amazing family man, all the while staying humble.

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M: If you could get tattooed right now, what would it be and who would do it?

J: Besides finishing a very large piece I have on my stomach, I want to get a traditional Aztec serpent and black panther on me back. Right now my main artiest is Dan Pryor at 7 Seas, we have built a great friendship and he’s an amazing artiest.

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M: Do you own any tattoo magazines and which ones?

J: No, but I flip through some while I get my hair cut.

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M: Why do you think so many chefs are heavily tattooed?

J: I think it has become less of a taboo now for chefs to be heavily tattooed, and regardless of how odd some of us might look it doesn’t say any less about our craft and what we are doing. Every one of us has a story to tell and some like myself have chosen to express that on our bodies and through our food.

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M: Do you have any cooking advice for those who don’t cook much?

J: Dont over think it!! Its just food, and its all about trial and error.

Jose also sent us one of his specialties, try it out!

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Chicken fried sweetbreads with tabasco caviar, pickled mustard seeds and whipped blue cheese.

For sweetbreads:

1 -2 veal sweetbreads

2 cup flour ap flour (dredge mix)

1 cup corn starch

1 cup corn meal

Salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder to taste ( for fry flour)

1.5 qt butter milk ( for soaking and frying)

For mustard seeds:

2 tablespoons brown mustard seeds

1 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

For Tabasco caviar:

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup Tabasco sauce

1 tablespoon agar agar

7 sheets gelatin, bloomed (softened in ice water)

1 pint very cold canola oil ( chilled in freezer for 4 hours)

For Blue cheese whipped cream:

3 cups heavy whipping cream

1 cup blue cheese crumbles

5 sheets gelatin, bloomed ( softened in ice water)

1 bowl of ice

Pickled mustard seeds:

Combine sugar, red wine vinegar and mustard seeds in a sauce pot with a pinch of salt and simmer slow until mustard seeds are tender, about 20 – 30 minutes reserve in liquid.

2 Making tabasco caviar:

Put the water and Tabasco into a sauce pot with agar agar and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in bloomed gelatin sheets. Take an eye dropper and drop Tabasco mix into the cold oil, when all Tabasco is in the oil, strain away the remain oil and you will have the caviar.

3 Blue cheese whipped cream:

Slowly heat up heavy whipping cream in a sauce pot, little by little whisk in blue cheese crumbles as soon as all the blue cheese is incorporated whisk in bloomed gelatin sheets. Remove from heat and chill in the refrigerator. As soon as it’s cooled place blue cheese heavy cream liquid into a table top mixer with whisk attachment put bowl of ice underneath the bowl to keep the bowl as cold as possible. Whisk at medium speed until it looks like whipped cream season with a pinch of salt and some cracked black pepper to taste-be careful not to over whip.

4 Veal Sweetbreads:

Take 1 quart of buttermilk and brine (soak) sweetbreads for 24 hours in refrigerator, remove from butter milk and wash off remaining butter milk under cold water. Heat up a pot of heavily salted water ( for poaching ) as soon as the pot is boiling place sweetbreads into the water and lower heat to a simmer. Depending on the size of the sweetbreads let them simmer about 15-20 minutes or until the sweetbreads have firmed up, remove from water and place into ice bath to cool (shock). Once cooled clean membrane(outer skin)and cut into large pieces and place into remaining 1/2 quart of buttermilk with a couple dashes of Tabasco and marinade.

5 Flour mixture ( dredge )

Combine flour, corn starch, corn meal, a pinch of salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and onion powder in a bowl and mix.

To assemble and serve:

Heat fryer to 325 or a large pot with oil, dredge sweetbreads in flour mixture and redredge In buttermilk then flour mixture. Carefully place pieces in fryer. Fry until golden brown about 3-4 minutes. Carefully remove and place on paper towel. On plate place on a light bed of greens (arugula, mizuna, frisée, etc. so they don’t roll around ) with whipped blue cheese, and garnish with caviar,mustard seeds with liquid and Micros or chopped parsley.

Damn! Thank you Jose, you went all out!

Send us your food or tattoo photos, we would love to feature you!

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knivesandneedles@gmail.com

Cheers!

Sean Yanagi

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Sean Yanagi is a talented chef who gets tattooed by my friend Jill Bonny aka Horiyuki of State of Grace Tattoo Studio. I met him the other day and we got talking about restaurants and cooking. So it was only natural to interview him for this blog!! Read on and find out Sean’s thoughts on food and tattoos! Cheers!

Molly: Tell me a bit about yourself, please include what you are doing now

Sean: My name is Sean Yanagi and currently a line cook. At an early age I’ve always been enriched in food and the culture through family and just a natural curiosity but never really started to cook myself besides a microwave and late night top ramen till my late 20’s. Unwittingly I found cooking as a new hobby, Since then I’ve been hooked. School was really never meant for me so I spent most my career in the bleak hole of retail. After a long and an impassionate day of work I’d come home to cook off works stress and found cooking calming and therapeutic. Cooking a satisfying meal would simmer away all the loathing I had in the day’s work of retail. I decided I wanted to cook as a profession and once I started I felt right at home, working with people that actually had passion for what they do and worked to at least their best abilities. These eccentric, oddball misfits was an environment of people I felt at ease with where I can speak my mind and keep it real no bullshit aside. “By the ticket, take the ride” so to speak

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M: I always loved that about cooking, every kitchen is a motley crew! What is your favorite thing to cook?

S: My favorite thing to cook is anything low and slow to some good music, like cooking up some Gumbo to the sounds of Sidney Bechet or a nice Bolognese relaxing to some Pavarotti.

M: Woah, cool!  When did you get your first tattoo?

S: i got my first tattoo when i was 21, i wanted something i would not regret so i got my last name

M: Nice! Who do you admire in the tattoo industry?

S: The work that really caught my eye was from Jill Horiyuki Bonny. When looking for Japanese style tattooing I really appreciated her attention to detail, her work with color and classic style in her art. I also admire Takahiro Horitaka Kitamura, Luke Stewart for Japanese art and Jun Cha for black and grey all artist I’d like to get work from done.

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M: Thos are all really great artists and people! Do you go to any convention, if so which ones?

S: None

M: Why do you think so many chefs are heavily tattooed?

S: I feel cooking and the art of tattooing come together well because each has its creativity, freedom, culture, history and boldness, all ingredients that on the  palate bind well together naturally.

M:  What is your next tattoo gona be?

S: I’m in the progress for getting a 3 quarter sleeve Japanese cherry Blossoms in the wind

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M: What cooking magazines do you read?

S: Bon Appetit and Food and Wine

M: Love those! Do you own any tattoo magazines?

S: None

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M: Any cooking advice for a novice?

S: Always prep ingredients ahead of time before you start cooking called “Mise en Place” you’ll find the cooking experience more enjoyable and learn more from it. Also use your instincts, if you feel something is not right change it remember its just cooking have some fun with it.

Sean gave us an amazing recipe for beef yakiniku! Yakiniku is grilled beef Korean style and its one of my personal favorites! Thank you Sean!!

*Sorry I measure my ingredients by eye  so if you don’t feel comfortable you can buy pre made Yakiniku sauce at the Japanese market

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Yanagi’s Beef Yakiniku With Shishito Peppers

  • Flank Steak (or sliced Flat meat specifically for Yakiniku at the Japanese market) Preferred

Yakiniku Glaze and marinade

  • Japanese Soy Sauce
  • Sesame Oil
  • Sake
  • Mirin
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Minced Ginger
  • Minced Garlic
  • Brown Sugar
  • Honey
  • Japanese Spices(Shichimi Togarashi)
  • Scallions
  • Hondashi
  • Black n White Sesame(for garnish)

1.               mix all ingredients and steak into zip locked bag and marinade for at least 4 hours

2.               mix another batch of Yakiniku sauce and cook to reduce in a sauce pot to make a nice glaze(add corn starch mixed with cold water if sauce hasn’t thicken enough)*make sure there are no m

lumps in corn starch mixture

3.               Grill beef to your liking.

4.               lay beef over a bed of Japanese rice and drizzle with Yakiniku Glaze then add a layer of sautéed Shishito Pepper and zest Yuzu on top

Sautéed Shishito Peppers

  • Shishito Peppers( Sliced)
  • Kumquat(Thinly sliced)
  • Oil
  • Yuzu zest
  • Ponzu sauce
  • Shichimi Togarashi
  • Scallions

1.     Heat oil in sauté pan on medium high heat, add peppers, scallions and Shichimi Togarashi spice when oil is hot.

2.     cook until peppers are slightly still crunchy to the bit

3.     add kumquat, yuzu and ponzu sauce to mix in and turn off heat and set aside

 

sean tokyo

Thank you Sean!!!!

Send us your tattoo photos or recipes, we want to feature you!

http://www.knivesandneedlesblog.com

@knivesandneedles

Cheers!!

Tattoo Tuesday

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Tattoo Tuesday by Chris Mercer!!  Thank you Chris!!

Send us your tattoos and recipes, we want to feature you!

knivesandneedles@gmail.com

@knivesandneedles

Cheers!

Tomatoes

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Well October has arrived and what better way to start the scariest month of the year than to bring up the creepy, scary tomato. What do you mean the scary tomato, you ask? Well for over 200 hundred years the tomato was considered an inedible and poisonous plant. The tomato was dangerous food to eat as many people wound up sick after eating the fruit. This was because at that time aristocrats ate off of mostly pewter plates with pewter utensils. Lead in the pewter broke down and leeched into the highly acidic tomatoes.  This obviously led to lead poisoning (ba da bum ching!). The tomato was considered a Solanceae plant in Europe, the same category as the mandrake or the deadly nightshade (deadly and ominous plants). Tomatoes did not shed its infamous rep until around the 1800’s around the time the pizza was invented in Italy.

The plump veggie/fruit had a much better reputation in Mesoamerica, where they originated. Ironically, Tomatoes were brought to Europe by early explorers and brought back to the Americas with the Italians who paid little attention to their reputation and regularly enjoyed eating them. Thus the pizza, thank you Italy!

The name, tomato, comes from the Aztec word, tomatl. And In German history, the tomato was thought to conjure werewolves and was integral in lycanology. Creepy!

Nutritionally tomatoes are the ‘renaissance man’ of nutrition. Tomatoes are jam-packed with Vitamins A, C, K, B6, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and potassium. They help fight sun damage to your hair, skin, improve bone mass, and are a natural cancer fighter.  The tomato also regulates blood sugar and is an anti-inflammatory. What a talented food!

Lastly, there are many varieties of tomatoes. Many, many, many, many varieties. There are literally too many to name! Here is a good resource to read up on the different varieites, http://njaes.rutgers.edu/tomato-varieties/.  You will be surprised on how many there actually are! Choosing ripe tomatoes is not that difficult. Make sure the skin is unbroken and intact and the tomato should be plump yet firm not squishy or too juicy. The squishy ones will be good for cooking sauces or soups with, however.

One more note: the acid from tomatoes and the lining of cans (BPA or Bisphenal-A ) are not a good mix. It is more of a health risk with fetuses, infants and small children. So buy glass canned tomatoes whenever possible!!

Her is my recipe for basic tomato sauce, it never fails to impress people! And you can freeze it!

1- 1 1/4c olive oil

10 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

4 yellow onions, roughly chopped

4-6 fresh Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped

4 TBLS dried oregano

1 tsp dried chili flakes

1/4c red wine

4 16oz jars of glass jarred tomatoes (I found them at Costco of all places!)

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat 1/2c of the olive oil in a large sauce pan on medium-high. Add the garlic, onions, fresh tomatoes, and chili flakes. Let the onions sweat until they are starting to turn translucent and become soft. Add the wine and cook off the alcohol, about 2-3 minutes. When the alcohol is cooked off, add the jarred tomatoes and bring the sauce to a very slow simmer. It should bubble every 2-3 seconds, not a full rolling simmer. Turn the heat down and let slowly simmer for about 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, transfer to a blender or use a hand blender and puree the sauce smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Now let the sauce cool and then divide it into plastic containers in portions you will eat later and place in the freezer. Enjoy!!

Get out and buys some tomatoes today and enoy this amazing food!!

Cheers!

Photo by the lovely Michelle Roberts!!

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