Knives & Ink: Chefs and the Stories Behind Their Tattoos

Author(s): Isaac Fitzgerald


Chefs take their tattoos almost as seriously as their knives. From gritty grill cooks in backwoods diners to the executive chefs at the world's most popular restaurants, it's hard to find a cook who doesn't sport some ink. Knives & Ink features the tattoos of more than sixty-five chefs from all walks of life and every kind of kitchen, including 2014 James Beard Award-winner Jamie Bissonnette, Alaska-fishing-boat cook Mandy Lamb, Toro Bravo's John Gorham, and many more. Each tattoo has a rich, personal story behind it: Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese Food remembers his mother with fiery angel wings on his forearms, and Dominique Crenn of Michelin two-starred Atelier Crenn bears ink that reminds her to do "anything in life that you put your heart into." Like the dishes these chefs have crafted over the years, these tattoos are beautiful works of art. Knives & Ink delves into the wide and wonderful world of chef tattoos and shares their fascinating backstories, along with personal recipes from many of the chefs.


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From the authors of Pen & Ink--New York Times bestselling illustrator Wendy MacNaughton and BuzzFeed books editor Isaac Fitzgerald--the stories behind the tattoos that chefs proudly wear, with their signature recipes.

A gorgeous and illuminating glimpse into whole worlds: meals cooked, loves lost, and lives lived. -- Rachel Khong, Executive Editor Lucky Peach In this lovely, funny, occasionally absurd, frequently very moving book, the figure of the tattooed chef -- so often reduced to a cliched pork-belly punchline -- takes on a beautiful humanity. Its pages prove that it's no surprise that the men and women who work in kitchens are often drawn to the indelibility of tattoos; their stories of both food and ink are told in languages of passion, art, memory, and identity. -- Helen Rosner, Executive Editor Eater Through its sheer variety of tattoos, stories, and recipes, Knives & Ink celebrates the incredible creativity, passion, and inspiration to be found in the culinary community. A fantastic book. -- Jamie Bissonnette, Best Chef Northeast, James Beard Foundation Awards Every tattoo, like every dish, has a distinct personality. These portraits, both lighthearted and complex, will make you see chefs in a whole new way. Plus, it's so much fun! -- John Gorham, four-time James Beard Awards nominee Absolutely delightful from cover to cover. -- Maria Popova Brainpickings, "The Best Art, Design, and Photography Books of 2014," on PEN & INK The revelations in this remarkable collection are, in turns, poignant, charming, heartbreaking, and honest. Like tattoos, these stories leave an impression that will linger. -- Roxane Gay, on PEN & INK Each ink drawing is a secret story. What I love most about this book is that it doesn't cover just huge sleeves and complicated tattoos, it also honors the newly popular (again) art of poke-and-stick tattoos. Design*Sponge, "Best Illustrated Books," on PEN & INK Oh my god, this gorgeous, gorgeous book. It will, like its subject, alter you permanently. We sometimes forget: each tattoo has its story. Many are lovingly recorded here--from the wicked to the profound to the ridiculous. This gorgeous, gorgeous book perfectly chronicles the stories that we wear on our skin. -- Colin Meloy, lead singer of The Decemberists, on PEN & INK For anybody who ever looked at a stranger's tattoo and wondered why?, Pen & Ink offers a gorgeous, hilarious, and moving Because. In its pages, the most amateurish, outlandish, and bizarre tattoos become portals into their owners' lives and dreams. In the process, they become beautiful. -- Peter Trachtenberg, author of SEVEN TATTOOS, on PEN & INK Inspired ... Drawn in a whimsical, tender style, MacNaughton's portraits are captivating in their intimacy ... Without judgment or regret, this emotionally raw collection, featuring an introduction by Cheryl Strayed, explores how we find permanence in an impermanent world. Publishers Weekly, on PEN & INK [One of] the best art books of 2014. The Huffington Post, on PEN & INK

Isaac Fitzgerald has been a firefighter, worked on a boat, and was once given a sword by a king, thereby accomplishing three out of five of his childhood goals. He is the editor of BuzzFeed Books and co-author of Pen & Ink. He lives in New York City. Wendy MacNaughton is a New York Times bestselling illustrator whose books include Pen & Ink, Lost Cat, The Essential Scratch-and-Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert, and Meanwhile in San Francisco. Her work has appeared in places such as the New York Times, Bon Appetit, Lucky Peach, and elsewhere. She lives in San Francisco.

General Fields

  • : 9781632861214
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Academic USA
  • : 0.668
  • : December 2016
  • : 222mm X 165mm
  • : United States
  • : November 2016
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Isaac Fitzgerald
  • : Hardback
  • : 1612
  • : 391.65088641
  • : 208
  • : 4-color art throughout