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Holiday read: Eat Ink reveals the "rebel art" of tatted chefs, including several in Colorado

My Christmas wish list, not surprisingly, lends itself to all things culinary -- including cookbooks, of which I already have hundreds. But there were a few cookbooks that I treated myself to early: Pok Pok, by Andy Ricker, which is one of the most detailed (some might say daunting) explorations of Thai cooking that I've ever seen; and Eat Ink, a recipe-intensive cookbook that doubles as an homage to what author Birk O'Halloran and local photographer Daniel Luke Holton describe as "rebel art."

See also: Food Ink: Tattoos of Denver Restaurant Employees

The 300-page cookbook, "dedicated to those crazy souls who sacrifice their blood, sweat and flesh to keep us full of fine food and art," showcases tattoos, all of them of the food variety, from national star chefs like Marc Forgione, Rick Tramonto, Gabriel Rucker, Jesse Schenker and even Andy Ricker -- plus a slew of Colorado chefs, including Jonathan Power (the Populist); Matt Selby (former exec chef of the Corner House); Brandon Biederman (Steuben's and Ace); Mark DeNittis (Center of the plate specialist, Sysco); and Aaron Bennett (Chef's Club By F&W Magazine).

Each full-page photo of the tatted chef is accompanied by a career bio, along with personalized reasons behind the ink. "Most of my tattoos are food-related and/or family-related, so it's easy to say that they are things close to my heart," reveals Biederman, who credits most of his tattoos to local ink artist Josh Ford.

The recipes, most of which are friendly toward home cooks, are relatively basic and easy to follow, but the real reason to stuff this book into someone's stocking is the ink photography, which is just plain fun to peruse. And just looking at all that intricate ink makes me want one more thing for Christmas: a tattoo.

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Eat Ink, priced at $22, is available on Amazon.com, and at Super Ordinary at the Source.


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