Friday, April 16, 2010

Full Sleeves Under White Sleeves.

Our staff, both front and back of house, is heavily inked. Servers with script on their forearms and Celtic style knots on their backs. Bartenders with full Japanese style sleeves of koi fish in water. But the back of house staff? By far the coolest tattoos in the restaurant.

There are dishwashers in snap-front, short-sleeved whites that expose the Virgin Marys, crosses and praying hands on their arms and necks. One particularly handsome dishwasher has a teardrop below his right eye. (I kind of avoid him, occasionally smiling if we make direct eye contact.)

And then there are the line cooks. When they roll up those pristine white sleeves, our cooking crew is anything but bare-skinned. Our Grill Goddess has sleeves that include pin up girls cooking, Lichtenstein-style portraits and cartoon-colored raw steaks. The Sautee Guy (one of the kindest souls off the line and one of the busiest on) has a beautiful, accurately rendered horseshoe above his elbow. One of the hot/cold swings has a cleaver on his forearm. This isn't unique to our kitchen at all. The New York Times ran a slide show of chefly tats that fills my heart with glee.

I'll leave you with this video clip, the stuff that (my) fantasies are made of. I'm not sure who to be more jealous of: Anthony Bourdain, for yet another amazing experience, this time getting a custom piece by rock star tattooer Chris Garver OR Chris Garver, for getting covetable one-on-one time with culinary hero Anthony Bourdain without fearing a battle of ego or epicure.

The beautiful pig tattoo at the top of this post is by Brooklyn's own John Reardon, from Saved Tattoo in Williamsburg.

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