Welcome back to Ink Spotted, a feature in which Eater talks to DC's tattooed chefs and gets the stories behind their most intriguing ink.
"There aren’t too many industries that require you to be as passionate and hard working that are this grimy," says Rogue 24's pastry chef Chris Ford of working in the kitchen. “But you're so dedicated to your craft that you want to brand yourself.” Ford got his first brand — a tattoo of a fork, knife and spoon on the underside of his left wrist — while he was vacationing with his family in Florida. "My mom was a little put off by the idea," he admits. "I had reassure her, 'It’s not going to be obscene; it's going to be nice.' She ended liking it."
The second piece — a vintage metal whisk straight out of your grandmother's kitchen – was inked on his right arm on the eve of participating in last year's First Annual StarChefs.com International Pastry Competition. It was a reminder to stick to his principles during the contest. "I like to do everything the hard way," says Ford. "With a whisk, you can really feel what you're doing; you're at one with the ingredient. You're not walking away and letting some piece of technology do the work for you. Your arm is as tired as shit from whipping, but you can feel the gratification."
Next time he's in the chair, Ford wants to get the phrase "Butter, Love & Hard Work" inked. "Those are the three pillars of my life," he says. It's also the name of his blog, where he posts food porn snapshots of his thoughtfully composed creations and the occasional recipe.