Kitchen Ink

Working in a restaurant will get under your skin.

As if the scarification from working too many hours per day in a bustling kitchen full of sharp objects and fire wasn't rite of passage enough, many cooks in San Francisco have taken to tattoos as enthusiastically as they took to food.

Ask inked chefs what their tats have to do with their profession, and you'll likely get a shrug in response. Some have them because they can — because most customers will walk away satisfied by a delicious meal, no matter what the architect in the kitchen looks like. Some have them because they're rock stars at heart. Some have them to cover the burn marks. Some have them because they really love their mothers.

Whatever the reason, the latest breed of chefs is more likely tatted than not. SF Weekly stepped off the polished restaurant floor and into the heat of the kitchen to capture a slice of this cultural phenomenon in the city.

Photo essay by Joseph Schell and Anna McCarthy.

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