Knives and Needles

Where Chefs can talk tattoos and Tattooers can talk food

Archive for the tag “foodie tattooer”

Mathias Gfroerer


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!



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!!!!















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



Ryan Zale


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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! or @knivesandneedles



Cindy Stroemple


I am honored today to write a post about my friend and foodie tattoo artist, Cindy Stroemple. She is a great person (one of the funniest women I know!), an amazing tattooer, and someone I am always happy to see! Read on and do not forget to check out her mouth-watering recipes!

My name is Cindy and I became a tattoo artist in 1980. I was a regular 18 year old getting tattooed and hanging out at the tattoo shop almost everyday one summer before work…I worked as a waitress. I got tattooed on a regular basis and became good friends with my tattoo artist. Before I new what was happening I was asked if I wanted to learn how to tattoo. I said yes and here I am 32 years later. I had a talent that I didn’t even know existed. I consider myself one of the lucky ones because I got to apprentice under the late Peter Poulos. He was like a second father to me at the time. I had moved to Denver as a young teenager from Miami Florida and that’s where my career started. My first tattoo I did was Woody Woodpecker on an old friend. I was lucky he had a lot of friends that I was able to practice on. There were very few female tattoo artist when I started. It was pretty much a predominantly male profession and was kinda tough in the beginning, but I learned to be tough and learned how to gain respect as a woman in the industry. From there I moved to NY to continue to work for Peter Tat 2. After 15 years I decided to move back home to Miami and ended up working at Tattoos by Lou. I ended up meeting the love of my life there my husband and moved to Cleveland and now I still tattoo and manage Tattoo Faction.


I’ve always loved to cook and do so for my family. I’m not a fancy cook and don’t usually use cook books to cook. I work full time so I generally stick with simple traditional cooking. Simple,quick and easy. I pretty much like to grill all my food but I live where it snows and gets cold so I can’t always use the grill. I cook whatever strikes my fancy at the time. Meatloaf,Ribs,Steaks,Chicken and more in winter Chili,Chicken and Dumplings and so much more.


I’m not into fancy cooking so I don’t follow the food shows or chefs. I learned to cook watching my Mother and Grandmother and they were simple cooks. Not like the chefs today but I do enjoy all the fancy foods when we go out. I leave the fancy cooking for my times out to dinner. I’ve only tattooed a couple of chefs  in my career. But nothing that I really remember as far as food tattoos. I have noticed a lot of chefs are heavily tattooed and probably because they work in an industry that doesn’t shun tattoos. I personally believe more people would be heavily tattooed if their industry allowed it. But that’s just how it goes. Tattoos are still not always excepted in the work

The saying….. A way to a persons heart is through their stomach. What does that make me think of? My Dad. It’s what I always think when I hear that…haha!!



Baby Backs 2-3 slabs

Cut into thirds per rack

Place on a rack inside a heavy duty metal baking pan. Put about 1/2 inch of water in pan or just below the ribs on the rack. Cover with heavy duty aluminum foil. Bake at 350 for 2 1/2 hours or until tender. Can check on them half way through if not sure how long to cook.

Once done in oven put on grill with your favorite BBQ sauce for 5-10 minutes flipping just to get that just grilled taste!!

10 sm-med redskin potatoes washed and diced into cubes. Thin layer olive oil on cookie sheet place potatoes on cookie ah get sprinkle with garlic salt/powder and parsley flakes. Bake at 350 for approximately one hour or to your liking as far as crispness. Flip every 10-15 minutes throughout the hour.


Corned Beef

Place on rack in heavy duty metal baking pan with about 1/2 inch water in bottom of pan….season to your liking. Cover with heavy duty aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 50 min. per pound!!

Cabbage and Noodles

Coat bottom of frying pan that has a lid that fits tight with olive oil. One small head of cabbage or half of larger one chopped. Place in pan with oil and season with salt/pepper crushed red pepper optional for a little kick. Cover and simmer  til cabbage is cooked down browned and stir frequently while cooking. In separate 2qt pot boil 1/2 reg size bag of egg noodles…drain and add to cabbage mix well. Can add a meat to mix optional and make a meal in one…kielbasa, brats etc!!

Thank you , Cindy!!  Your recipes look amazing, definitely gona try them all!

You can catch more of Cindy on IG at @cindystroemple or on, definitely worth a look!

If you are a tattooed chef or foodie tattooer, contact us- we would love to feature you! or @knivesandneedles


Tattoo Tuesday


Looks good enough to eat! Thank you Kyle!!
Send us your food tattoos or recipes, we would love to publish you!

Tattoo Tuesday!!

ImageBy Shane Bellinger, Thanks Shane!!  You can see more of Shane’s stuff at @shaneybell.

Send us your food tattoos, recipes or anything related to



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