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Matchbox Food Group's Jacob Hunter Shares His Ink

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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.

[Photos: Nevin Martell/]

"People who work in restaurants are a little off-kilter," says Matchbox Food Group's executive chef Jacob Hunter. "They have to be, so they can cope with the hours, deal with customers and handle the intensity of it." To celebrate that lunatic lifestyle, Hunter likes to treat himself to food-related tattoos every other paycheck. His left forearm already hosts a set of silverware, a ramen bowl with chopsticks, a pair of sunny side up eggs, a beet and the cuts of a pig with a knife jabbed through its head. "I've never killed a pig," he admits. "And I don't know if I could actually do it."

Next up? A bunch of baby carrots. "Then I'm filling in the rest of the space with pots, pans, wooden spoons, whisks, and maybe a saltshaker or a chef's knife," he says. "Tattoos are addicting and I don't foresee myself doing anything else, so I'm going to keep going."

Over the last five years, he's seen a marked rise in the number of tatted up chefs. "People are proud of what they do, so they want to showcase it outside of the kitchen," says Hunter. For him, there's only one problem with his newfound ink infatuation. "My mom's going to kill me," he says. "Because she hasn't seen half of these."

—Nevin Martell

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