FEA­TURE: CHEF INK

SALT Magazine - - Contents - TEXT WEETS GOH PHO­TOS CHOO HAOXIN ART DI­REC­TION BEN­JAMIN SOH

Un­veil­ing the rea­sons be­hind why so many chefs sport tat­toos.

Tat­toos are al­most de reguier in the world of pro­fes­sional cook­ing th­ese days. We speak to five

chefs about the ink on their bod­ies.

Step into any pro­fes­sional kitchen th­ese days, and you're more of­ten than not, greeted with the sight of much inked flesh—on the chefs that is. Tat­toos, once thought to be the mark of bik­ers, gang­sters, and icon­o­clast-types, have en­tered the main­stream, and are nowhere more ev­i­dent in the world of cheff­ing.

Is there some­thing about the job that drives chefs to get inked? For one, chef-types tend to be a spe­cific breed. You need a com­bi­na­tion of un­bri­dled pas­sion, and slight masochism to be able to take the long hours and men­tal stress of work­ing in a bustling kitchen—of­ten­times with lit­tle recognition. It also helps that kitchens are spa­ces where your ap­pear­ance doesn't mat­ter so much. "No one cares what you look like in here, as long as you get the work done. Out there [at the front of house], it's a dif­fer­ent case be­cause you're in­ter­act­ing with guests." shares Sam Ais­bett, chef-owner of Mod­ern Aus­tralian fine din­ing restau­rant White­grass.

Of course, peo­ple get tat­toos for a mul­ti­tude of rea­sons: for sen­ti­men­tal rea­sons (which makes a good story), low im­pulse con­trol while ine­bri­ated (which makes a not-so-good story), artis­tic self-ex­pres­sion (i.e "I like how it looks"), and of course, as a mark of pas­sion.

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