Knives and Needles

Where Chefs can talk tattoos and Tattooers can talk food

Archive for the tag “pastry chef”

Francios Seurin


It has been a while since I have felt the excitement (and the pain!) of working in hotels. The thing about cooking in hotels is that everything is on a much larger scale than your average sized restaurant. From the amount of food that is produced, to the amount of chefs to confer with for inspiration, and the amount of learning that happens can be awe-inspiring. On the flip-side, hotels can burn you out or frustrate you, and can even make you consider taking a break from cooking in general.


But when you greet a dining room full of happy guests, or receive praise from your superiors or peers, it all becomes worth it again. Your average hotel chef is a slightly different breed; they are sticklers with the classical kitchen brigade system; they think in terms of buffets, guest services, and international cooking conferences. It is all very rousing and I used to love it, the good the bad and the ugly! But again I ramble!


Francios Seurin is one of those inspiring hotel chefs. He is a Facebook friend and I follow his work as close as I can. He is one of those amazing chefs that inspire every chef working under him I’m sure.


Francios is a classically trained French pastry chef, and among the best in the world. I feel lucky to have gotten the opportunity to chat with him the other day about his life, work and most importantly (at least for this blog), his tattoos.


Francios started in cooking in France and has worked at legendary places like Ducasse Savoy Crillon Hotel de Paris in Monaco. He now does catering for M&M Innovative Concepts, a catering and Hospitality Company in Bali, Indonesia.


He loves catering for the freedom it allows to create new and exciting pastries for every event. Not one event is the same as the last! His latest obsessions are baked durian (baking the smelly fruit depletes the death-like aroma) and pandan coconut. Sounds wonderful!


Tattoos are another obsession of his. He has around 15 tattoos so far; his first was 10 years ago. His favorites are his Jimi Hendricks tattoo by Berny Luther of Austria and the couple of Buddhist-themed tattoos he got from a couple local Balinese tattoo artists.

bernie luther

He is a traveler at heart, having worked all over South East Asia armed with just his backpack, guitar and laptop. Talking with Chef Francios was exciting! I seriously want to go back and study pastries with a master chef.


Chef Francios stayed true to his generous and kind nature. He gave me recipes for two of his thousands of amazing creations…

Read on and may mouth-watering commence …



Yellow watermelon sorbet

Watermelon    3500  gr

Sugar                 200 gr

Glucose              1000 gr

Gelatin               12 pcs

Coconut  parsley  gelee

Kara  milk          600 gr

Water                 600 gr

Parsley  [blanched-blend-strain]    100 gr

Sugar                  200 gr

Gelatine          6 pcs

Salt                 1  pinch

Water melon gelee   

Yellow watermelon juice    1000 gr

Lime juice      30 gr

Sugar   80 gr

Gelatin       7pcs

Walnut rice crust

Steam rice  100 gr

Walnut 50 gr

Sticky rice flour  15 gr

Sugar   30 gr

Salt   2 gr


Fresh  watermelon cube




kiwi       250 gr

sugar      50 gr

water     60 gr

nutrijelly  4gr


whipped cream japan  200gr  +  vanilla stick 1.5 pcs   gelatin ½  pcs

PINEAPPLE GELEE                                                                                                                                                           Pineapple local   350gr   pineapple import  300gr    nutrijelly   10gr     10 sugar  ( if need  lemon juice)


Red bean (can) 200gr       steam rice 100gr        sticky rice flour 30gr  salt 2gr


Pineapple juice local  700gr  but good and sweet

Lemon juice                   40gr

Sage                                 30gr

Water                            150gr

Soy  lecithin                     7gr

+  one  pear juice in shoot glass


Merci Beaucoup, Francios!!

Have anything you would like to see up on knivesandneedlesblog?  Email us or tag us!



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.


Ben Spangler


Ben is new to the culinary industry and is heavily tattooed! Read his short interview with K&N and see whats cooking today!

M: Write a little about yourself, background, work, currently doing what

B: Well I was born a poor black child…? Please be patient as I try to sound out my words and attempt at proper grammar throughout my Q & A. Reading and writing has never been my thing. I cook for a living, don’t think I have earned the title chef yet. Recently changed to the pastry side in the last year. Seems to be going really well. Honestly I think I am better at baking but like the cooking side more. Currently I am the pastry chef at Zelo in downtown Minneapolis. I spend most my time making bread, gelato and all the components to our plated desserts 5-6 days a week. I try to come up with new desserts at least 4-6 times a year. Try to change with the seasons and keep things interesting. Growing up I tried a lot of different career paths. I thought I wanted to be a photographer, professional runner or graphic/clothing designer before all this, but it never really made me as happy as cooking. Still do those as hobbies but my main focus is cooking. I’m glad I explored other career paths before getting into cooking because I know I can dedicate myself to this craft and not second-guess my choice for anyone who doesn’t know cooking full time. It’s a big fucking commitment. While your friends are out partying you will be cooking, while your family celebrates the 4th of July or New Years you will be cooking and when your girlfriend goes out to have drink with her family and friends you will be cooking. I wouldn’t call cooking my passion, passion is too temporary. With cooking its something else that drives me, Its more of a never ending want or desire to better myself everyday, even if just a little with my craft. If that makes any god damn sense?


 M: I hear you on that, I really do! When did you start getting tattooed?

B: October 2005. 2 month after I turned 18. I would of gotten it earlier but it didn’t really dawn on me that I could get tattoos. Apparently it took 2 months for me to recognize that I was old enough to get inked.


M: What was your first tattoo?  Do you still have it?

B: Just a simple 5 pointed star on my hip.  Probably the worst tattoo I have. Regret not going big on my first tattoo. I’m sure anyone with a descent amount of tattoos has a few they regret.


M: Oh yeah, for sure. Who has done some of your work?

B: A lot of artists from the twin cities area, couple in LA, Denver and Missouri. Most of my work has been done by my good friend Daniel Claussens at Beloved Studios in St. Paul. I have on of his first tattoos on my forearms.


M: Who do you admire in the tattoo industry?

B: I really admire Dan for his style and eye to detail. As for national/international artists I really have none. I don’t really follow the tattoo scene that much. Most of them seem pretty full of themselves.


M: Next tattoo?  

B: Working on my new “process of cooking” tattoo on my left leg. All we have so far is an octopus tentacle with some wild mushrooms growing behind it. But in the near future we plan to leave the raw food on the bottom of the leg and as you go further up my leg the food will be come more cooked and at the top of the leg will be fully cooked food. Or that’s the idea anyway. We’ll see how it goes as time progresses.


M: Funny idea! Are there any artists that you want work from that you have never met?

B: No, not really.


M: Do you read any tattoo magazines? If so, which ones?

B: To be honest I don’t really look at them. I will say that it pisses me off that whenever I do stroll by the tattoo magazines it’s always some pretty-titted women with only one stupid small tattoo.  If your gonna have a tattoo magazine that person on the cover better fucking have awesome tattoos. I have no interest in some half-a-tard with a butterfly tribal flower on their ribs.


 Ben was also cool enough to send us a recipe….  Check it out and try it yourself, they look amazing!


Peanut Butter Bars

Yield: one half sheet pan *** be sure to use a half sheet pan when doing this recipe otherwise your quantities will be off when your setting up the bars***

Chocolate crunch

yield: 2 (21oz) layers

7oz 14oz

1. 2. 3.

milk chocolate 42%

melt chocolate completely over a double boiler remove from heat and fold in feuilletine
spread evenly on a greased half sheet pan and slightly smash with your palm so its evenly spreads’

refrigerate, so it sets up (once cool move onto the second recipe)

Peanut Butter Cream

yield: 2 (50oz) layers

7oz sugar 2oz water —
4oz whites 2 sugar —

10oz butter —
25oz p.butter

  1. Carmelize sugar and water, (@ 250) start whipping whites
  2. @ 280 add sugar to whipped egg whites
  3. once cool add room temp butter
  4. add peanut butter whipped until combined
  5. store in plastic piping bag allow to cool to room temp

spread evenly over chocolate crunch and use an offset spatula (make as

even as possible) 6.Refridgerate (so it sets up)

Chocolate Peanut Butter ganache

yield: 2 (13oz) layers

8oz 7oz 8oz 4oz

milk chocolate (42%) bittersweet chocolate (60%) cream
peanut butter

melt chocolate in a double boiler

1.heat milk until steamy and pour over chocolate
2.mix until combined and add peanut butter mix until combined

  1. pour over peanut butter mousse layer in half sheet pan and spread evenly
  2. refrigerate and once it sets up cut to desirable slices


 OMG that sounds so good, thank you Ben!!

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


Thank you and enjoy!


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