Way back in the ancient age of 2005, the New York Times ran a slideshow of chefs’ food-centric tattoos starting with Nino Mancari’s ink of Alice Waters. Since then, our strange new world of reality TV cooking and food-obsessed media has leaned heavily on this very same theme to showcase the edgy breed of rising star chefs who wear their passions on their sleeves in the form of pigs, apples, and cutlery. From stories in Slashfood and The Huffington Post last year to previous works in S.F. Weekly, O.C. Weekly, L.A. Weekly, and The Village Voice, the idea stopped feeling trendy by the time one stogy Food & Wine reader tried to turn a magazine cover into controversy in 2009.
If that’s not enough, there are even caterers named after inked up chefs with defunct MySpace pages and yes, a whole book coming out on the subject. We even recall an editor rejecting the idea as being about as tired as a “hot chef” feature back in a 2009 pitch meeting.
All of which is to say, sorry L.A. Times, but covering chefs who are overflowing with food and cooking tattoos as “new” feels a little behind the curve, as this “trend” has had its edges severely dulled over the last seven years of annual slideshows, round-ups, and editorials. Even Orange County got in there before you! Can’t we move on to exhausting the theme of restaurants and their embrace of “edgy” graffiti already?