Knives and Needles

Where Chefs can talk tattoos and Tattooers can talk food

Archive for the tag “tattooer”

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!

 

 

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!!

LIzette Gonzalez

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 : ) !!

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

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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

Baguettes

Poolish

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

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

IG: @l1zzyg03

FB: http://www.facebook.com/lizette.gonzales.311

If you have a food tattoo or recipe you would like to share, please contact us at either

knivesandneedles@gmail.com or @knivesandneedles on IG.

Cheers!!

Dominic Ramos!

Today we have the talented Dominic Ramos…

So read on!!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

knivesandneedles@gmail.com

Luke Wessman

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Growing up in a rough part Oceanside, California, Luke Wessman had a hard road to travel to get where he’s at today. Years of hard work, and artistic talent, have built him and his “traditional gangster” style of tattooing quite a reputation in the tattoo and art communities from coast to coast. Now a fixture at Wooster Street Social Club in New York City, Luke stays humble and sticks to the work ethic that got him to where he is today.

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I was so stoked to hear that this self made gentleman wanted to share some of his experiences and tattoos with our readers. Thanks, Luke!

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Brynne Palmer- How long have you been tattooing, and how did you get into it?
Luke Wessman-I’ve been tattooing almost 15 years now. My older brother’s friend Jason was tattooing everybody in the neighborhood out of his home, and I started getting tattooed by him at 16. He eventually got a job at a newly opened tattoo shop in our city and it was there that I met some other artist and friends that eventually brought me into the life, forever changing it.

BP- What was your first tattoo, when did you get it and do you still have it?
LW- My first tattoo was “Wessman” in Old English across my shoulder blades 18 or so years ago, unfortunately it was covered years back when I started a full back piece. I say unfortunately because the older I get the more I cherish the old ones, but the memories are still there.

BP- What is your fondest food related memory?
LW-Getting the desserts at this homeless shelter we used to eat at as a kid “Brother Benos” That and the donut plate that was out before church started on sundays when I was little.

BP- Your career takes you all over the world, do you have any standout culinary experiences or funny stories from your travels?
LW- I was with some dear friends in Milano, Italy for a tattoo convention, we all went to eat at this little restaurant (Italian of course) and this rude server could not grasp that my friend Manako was vegan and what that meant, we literally almost got into a fist fight with this guy in this crowded restaurant because my friend Manako wanted to send back the cheese filled french onion soup. Another memorable food moment, and more positive, was watching my dear friend at the Aspen food and wine festival do sushi at a SWS party and later hearing Chef Nobu Matsuhisa say to him “I hope we can work together one day” which ment a lot to my friend, which means a lot to me.

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BP- Now living in New York, what are a few of your favorite places to eat? Any good go to date spots?
LW- I have a few spots I frequent often, one is called ‘Sons Of Essex” the other is “Schiller’s Liquor Bar” both in the Lower East Side where I live. I get treated very well at both and only a very special lady will I bring to either.

BP- Are there any restaurants in your hometown you really look forward to when you get back?
LW- Yes, one of my oldest friends Rob Ruiz is head chef at a sushi spot called “Harney”, It’s the best sushi I have ever eaten, served by one of my dearest friends, in the city I grew up in, win win.

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BP- Do you have any chef clients, and if so what have you tattooed on them?
LW- I do, I suppose the most notable are, my friends Rob Ruiz whom I have done a lot of work on, and Chef Rick Tramonto I did a big Hammer Stahl knife on his forearm. There is a cool video of me tattooing it on Rick on my site.

BP- Have you noticed a correlation between the tattoo and culinary industries?
LW- Oh yeah big time, it seems to go hand in hand. Most chefs I have come across have many tattoos, it seems to be a big part of the chef culture. A lot of passion and struggle in the kitchen. The average people have now idea how hard those guys work back there.

BP- What is your favorite thing to cook at home, and could you share the recipe with our readers?
LW- Well now being a bachelor these days, I’m not really cooking too much in my little NY kitchen, I think the most elaborate meal is like a peanut butter and jelly on a toasted bread, and a wide verity of cereals. For dessert I like to eat a Hershey’s chocolate bar with Nilla wafers and some milk.

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For more of Luke’s work, check out lukewessman.com!

Daniel Albrigo

Daniel Albrigo is quite a force to be reckoned with! Not only is he an accomplished tattooer, his artistry has gained him notoriety in both the fine art and tattoo world. He started his tattoo career in Southern California, and now finds himself working at Three Kings Tattoo in Brooklyn, NYC. Daniel is one of those people who is incredibly enthusiastic about anything he is involved with, and I knew that he would be excited to share his artistry and culinary prowess with us!

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“I’m very happy to contribute to The Knives and Needles blog, it’s a cool experience to have a different platform on the internet than usual.”

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Daniel Albrigo-
As a Chef and food lover I’ve always said that if i wasn’t tattooing I’d probably be a chef or cooking somewhere. There is something very calming and satisfying about cooking a meal with fresh ingredients and enjoying the gifts of your labor along with the fruits of this beautiful earth. My wife Brook and I are food connoisseur by nature, we are always chasing a good meal or a new ingredient that we haven’t used before. One of the things that fuels our love for traveling is the access to trying foods from all over the world. after the trip we bring back those flavors and try our own version of what we tried.

My mother and father were always cooking and encouraging us to help in the kitchen, cooking, prepping etc. whether it be a family recipe from my Italian Grandmother Alma, BBQing in the back yard or even my Mom’s famous seafood surprise soup haha, Ive always been cooking even if just making a home made grilled cheese. its just what i know, we didnt ever really order out growing up but rather cooked most meals together as a family. But, after moving to NYC from California my Wife Brook and I try to cook more at home and take advantage of the produce market across the street from our house instead of ordering thai food every night.

Because NYC gets so insanely hot and humid in the summer time there isnt much cooking going on, that is officially when the oven is turned off for the season. i get excited in the cooler months here mainly for the kitchen use and making new meals. This is one of my favorite spring/fall meals, A whole roasted chicken with roasted veg. something that warms the soul and something that is very easy to prep. a meal that the next day you can make a soup or a sandwich out of. (but thats a different post all together)

All hail the ONE POT MEAL

Chef Albrigo

Ingredients

1 six-pound roasting chicken
Olive Oil
Cummin
tumeric
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 carrots
10 small golden potatoes
1 whole bulb of garlic, peeled but left whole.
1 hour and 30 mins cook time
30 min prep time.
A Cast Iron Pan is my personal recommendation for roasting chicken and/or Vegetables
Directions-

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Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove and discard the plastic pop-up timer from chicken if there is one. Remove the giblets and excess fat from the chicken cavity. Rinse chicken inside and out under cold running water. Dry chicken thoroughly with paper towels. Tuck the wing tips under the body. its best to use the chicken at or near room temperature. season with salt, pepper, cummin and turmeric to your likings
Heat cast iron pan on stove untill hot, add olive oil and begin to caramelize the potatoes, garlic and carrots for 10-15 mins. remove vegetables from pan and set aside. add seasoned chicken to the hot frying pan breast side up. Once the chicken is centered in the cast iron pan add vegetables around the chicken and put into the 450 degree pre heated oven.
Bake the chicken at 450 degrees for 30 mins to achieve and nice golden brown color on the chicken. Take the chicken out of the oven and cover the chicken/pan with a foil top which will prevent the chicken from getting too dry and prevent the skin from getting burnt. Lower the oven temperature to 425 degrees and continue baking for an hour or until the internal temperature has reached 180 degrees.
let the chicken rest for 10-15 before cutting or serving. and Enjoy 🙂

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For more of Daniel’s work, please check out DanielAlbrigo.com and DanielAlbrigoTattoo.com
Thanks, Dad! 😉

Tattoo Tuesday!

For today’s edition of Tattoo Tuesday, artist Jimmy Lazer of Up in Flames Tattoo in Fall River, Mass. gave us this awesome slice of pizza he did on Philip Shive!

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Philip is a butcher by trade, and used to host a public television show called “Pizza Time” in his hometown in North Carolina. He got the tattoo from Jimmy while on tour playing bass with the David Liebe Hearts Band. For more of Jimmy’s work, check out lazerslaboratory.com!

If you’d like us to feature your food tattoo or a piece you’ve done on Tattoo Tuesday, please email your photo, a little backstory, and artist credit to knivesandneedles@gmail.com. Thanks!

Christian Dolias

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Christian Dolias

Christian Dolias of CutThroat Culinary is a force to be reckoned with. He is an innovator in the culinary world, taking kitchens by storm leaving no pot unstirred! He runs an ever-expanding social club for chefs called CutThroat Culinary with members all over the States, Europe and South America.

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Their mission is to bring cutting edge chefs together and push gastronomic envelopes. Basically cause a culinary ruckus by creating the new and recreating the old. They specialize in pop-up dinners, kitchen takeovers to invent unique and exciting dining experiences for all to enjoy. Crazy stuff!

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Christian is 34 and graduated from California Culinary Academy in 1997. He eventually left the professional kitchen to start CutThroat Culinary. When he is not tearing up the restaurant scene, he spends time with his wife and kids, and one new one on the way!

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He got his first tattoo in 1994, age 16. It was a bad copy of a signature of Jimi Hendrix and he has since covered it up. Christian is a take-life-by-the-balls kinda guy, so its not a surprise his favorite tattoo is one of his wife by Nate Esteras. Its done cartoon-style and got it after dating for only two weeks!

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One of his more memorable tattoo stories happened a few years back. He was in town (here in San Jose) for a speaking engagement with the celebrity-chef Anthony Bourdain. Christian has a portrait of Anthony Bourdain (done by Ben Corn) on his thigh and somehow ended up getting on stage and showing it to Mr. Bourdain and the rest of the crowd. I asked him if the chef was flattered or creeped out. He was flattered!

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Christian names Mike Ferguson as a tattoo hero and his advice on dealing with a healing tattoo in the kitchen is just deal with it. Rightfully said, sir!

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Here is a Christian recipe, you gotta try it!

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Foie gras and Waffles with Vanilla and Riesling Grape Comfiture 

Waffle

2 c cake flour

1/2 c sugar

1/4 c brown sugar

3 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 eggs separated

1 c milk

1/2 c buttermilk

1 c melted butter

1 tsp pure vanilla ext

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine dry ingredients

Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks

Beat yolks, add milk,butter and vanilla

Stir into dry ingredients until moist then fold in whites

Foie Gras

Cut a nice uniform slice of Foie gras approximately 3oz (1 serving) score the foie gras and place scorn side down in a ripping hot sauté pan and allow to caramelize, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Flip and sear for another minute

(Hold all Foie gras rendering, this shit is good on everything!)

White grape / vanilla comfiture

Add to med saucepan

1/2 # whole white grapes

2 c clover honey

1/4 # white raisins

1/4 # white raisins (for finishing)

1/2 bottle Muscat wine

1/4 gal apple juice

Bring to med boil

And reduce by 1/2

Remove from heat and pulse with submission blender until smooth

Pour through chinios

Return liquid to med heat and whole white raisins, split and scrap one vanilla bean and vanilla and bean to liquid, reduce again approximately by 1/2 allowing the raisins to plump.

That sounds incredibly mouth-watering!

Thank you Christian, YOU ROCK!!

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You can check out more on CutThroat Culinary at www.cuthroatculinary.com.

photos compliments of Christian

Debra Yarian

I have been so fortunate to meet some amazing people in the tattoo industry, and one of them I really look up to is Debra. She’s been tattooing for longer than I’ve been alive, and her accomplishments in her work and family life are truly impressive. Her demeanor is so sweet and comforting, when she tattooed me at the last SFO convention I felt like we were just old friends having a lunch date! When she told me she would like to contribute to our blog, I was so excited to get more of a glimpse into her life and family, and how she seamlessly balances the two. Deb, thank you for sharing with us; and for doing all you do as a tattooer, wife, mother and grandmother!

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Brynne- How long have you been tattooing?
Debra Yarian- I’ve been tattooing for 34 years.

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B-You have beautiful large family, with a few of your kids tattooing now! Can you tell us a bit about your family dynamic, and how tattooing has played a role in it?
DY-I love my family and I love tattooing -So my life revolves around the two.
My oldest son was practically born in a tattoo shop and when my second one was born my boss let me bring both of them with me to work. Prior to opening our own shop, Don and I worked opposing shifts at the same shop, six nights a week. We still had four children at home so that way either Don or I , was there to have dinner with them and usually we’d all go out to dinner on our day off.
We’ve owned our own shop for almost five years and that’s really a family affair. Both my husband and I and two of our sons tattoo there and another son has worked the floor, throughout highschool. Initially we had a small “family” room set up for our younger children to come to after school, a place for them to do homework, watch tv and play. We’ve since changed that to a third station for my older son. Now though, with the extra responsibilities of owning our shop and additional time spent there , we wind up either having to prepare meals ahead of time or going out to dinner. Often a few nights a week.

B- What is your fondest food related memory?
DY-All of my food related memories are fond ones, ha ha! I love to eat!
Really though, I grew up in NYC and neither of my parent’s were great cooks, just simple meal preparers. But fortunately we had so many great restaurants in our neighborhood. On our one city block there was an Italian restaurant, a Chinese take out, a pizza place, a German Deli, A confectionary, 4 candy stores w soda fountains , a bakery, a fruit and vegetable store , a butcher shop, a small supermarket as well as two bar and grills. One of the bars was a stereotypical NY Neighborhood bar, and at the time The legal drinking age was still 18. I looked older than my age and I hate to say it but by the time I was 16-17 I had a tab at the bar. As I said it was just a typical neighborhood bar , tile floors, long wooden bar , a juke box- but at the back there were swinging doors, and through the doors there was a beautiful and charming little gourmet restaurant. The owner was a classically trained chef and had worked as a pastry chef at the Waldorf Astoria. I remember it was very small with mismatched antique furniture, with white linen table cloths, with candles and fresh flowers on each table. So, I had left school early and was working two jobs, as a waitress and coffee wagon lady during the week and as a cocktail waitress on the weekends. I was probably making more money then than I do now! Anyway, a girlfriend and I would have dinner there every week . It was my first solo dining experiences, without my parents and remember feeling grown up and sophisticated.
The menu would change, but I remember their chilled cream of cucumber soup, simple salad – dressed w Green Goddess ; parsley, tarragon, chives and sour cream, Quiche Lorraine, Coq au vin. The dinner would typically cost us about $50 , which in retrospect seems astronomical- but it was the whole experience. The setting, the candle light, the aroma. And the chef would come out of the kitchen and visit with each table. Every week he’d bring something special from the kitchen for us to try. Each fall, the restaurant would close for one night a week and for four or five weeks they would have cooking classes- where they would teach you how to prepare a five course meal and then you got to sit down and eat it.My friend and I took the course-figuring it would save us money and we’d learn how to prepare some of the dishes we love. I learned how to make delicious desserts, my favorites being Trifle Chantilly- multiple thin layers of sponge cake sprnkled with Grand Marnier, apricot preserves, toasted almonds and fresh whipped cream , and Pears Celestine – a fresh pear stuffed with a mixture of whipped cream cheese and walnuts in syrup ,then dipped in dark chocolate and chilled. The best!
Unfortunately, I no longer have the exact recipes because I lent them to a chef , that I was tattooing, in Florida about 25 yrs ago and have since lost touch .
As an adult, of course, some of my fondest food memories are eating with Don. I had spent the decade, previous to our marriage -dieting and when we first fell in love ,we ate!
The first dinner I made for Don was linguine with broccoli and walnuts, Don hates walnuts – but I wouldn’t have known. And I love when my whole family is together for a meal- any meal that includes Don and our 5 children, our daughter in law , and now our any 4 grandchildren!

B- How do you and your husband, Don, balance work and cooking at home?
DY-Don is a much better cook and baker than I am, mainly because he’s more organized than I am. However, he works at the shop more than I do – so most nights , I cook.

B- Do you have a favorite restaurant, and what makes it stand out for you?
DY-We live in a small town with only a few restaurants. My favorite is Haute Quarter Grill. It’s about a block from our shop.
The menu always includes Alaskan Halibut or Salmon as well as vegetables, locally grown. I enjoy foods simply prepared and have a fairly unsophisticated palette , so whether or not I enjoy a meal is often dependent on the quality of the ingredients.

B- Do you have any chef clients?
DY-Actually, the first shop I worked in was Upstate New York , a town or two over from Poughkeepsie, where the Culinary Institute of America is -and a few of my first tattoos were of chef hats. I have had a few chefs for clients as well as cooks ( military, commercial fishing boat and NorthSlope./ Oil rig cooks.)

B- Have you noticed any correlation between the tattoo and culinary industry?
DY- What I think is that the dedicated chef is passionate about food and cooking and loves what they do- so often it becomes their life vs their job. Not unlike the dedicated tattooist.

B- Living in Alaska, do you have any unique experience with hunting or preparing food?
DY-A lot of our clients hunt and fish and bring us gifts. Right now in my freezer I have the bounty from my hunter and fishermen clients. There’s probably some salmon, halibut, bear, moose and possibly reindeer in there.

B- How important a role does food play in your family life?
DY- Food is love!!! Ha ha, or at least that’s what I was taught.
When we are happy we eat, when we celebrate we eat , and even when we are sad we eat. I remember when I was grieving over a loss, well meaning friends brought food – especially pastries to try to make me feel better. I gained 15 lbs.

B- Do you have a recipe you’d like to share with our readers?
DY- No one would consider me a great cook. But over the years, all of my children and friends have loved my meatballs. That’s their request for a birthday meal or for me to bring to a party.

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Simple meatballs

Ingredients

*2.5-3 lbs of ground meat; beef, moose or elk, or a mix
( if using moose, elk or bear, they are a leaner meat and you may want to add some ground pork to supplement the fat)
*2 eggs
*1 cup dry seasoned bread crumbs
(Progresso Panko works well)
*tsp garlic powder or finely minced garlic clove
*kosher or sea salt

Mix all ingredients in large mixing bowl

Hand form meat in to golf ball size balls

Sprinkle small amount of olive oil to coat bottom of large saute pan or skillet

Heat oil at med- high and add meatballs

Brown evenly turning with tongs

When brown all around turn to low and cover, till cooked through, about 10-15 minutes

While meatballs are cooking I slice up a bell pepper, a small onion, a tomato and some mushrooms

Saute all ( except tomato) in pan with small amount of olive oil till onions are brown and carmelized.

Using pan lid , drain liquid from around meatballs and return to burner for 5 minutes at low.

Finish with kosher or sea salt and pepper to taste

I serve without sauce
With fresh bread and the sauteed vegetable and top with fresh mozzarella cheese

Enjoy!

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xoxo

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