Next month, Adrews McMeel Publishing is releasing Steak with Friends, a new cookbook from Rick Tramonto, a celebrated Chicago chef and cookbook author. The cover of that book isn't of Tramonto decked out in his starched whites, nor is it a choreographed studio shot of embellished plates from his Chicago restaurant, Tru. Instead, Tramanto is clothed in a short sleeve shirt with his elbows resting on the table, strategically angled so that you have a full, frontal view of his tatted forearms, stylishly inked in medieval script with two words: "Faith" and "Chef."
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With the onslaught of restaurant reality shows like Top Chef parading more and more contestants needled with ink, getting tatted has become, like professional cooking, a badge of honor, a revealing map into the head of a chef. For the most part, tattoos no longer elicit gasps of shock and horror from your aging parents, unless, that is, you've inked your flesh with the words, "Eat more pussy." That's exactly what's inscribed on the body of at least one local restaurant industry lord, who's invited, as is anyone else working in a restaurant, to email us photos of their tatt, along with a short explanation detailing its significance to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The most snap-worthy tattoos will end up in an art-driven photo essay, although we'll also post some of our favorites right here on the Cafe Society blog.