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.
- "I got this when I got promoted to executive pastry chef at Restaurant Eve. It’s inspired by a picture I took of one of my cupcakes, my favorite pair of Betsey Johnson earrings, and a Mexican Day of the Dead sugar skull."
- "In another life, I was a gypsy. I really like to travel, so that’s the one thing I don’t like about the kitchen: you don’t get to go out anywhere too much. With this swallow tattoo at least part of me can fly away."
- "I was having a really bad day at work, so I left. I went straight to the tattoo place down the street where I told them to make my day better. It was probably not the best day to get a spontaneous tattoo. I should have gone to a better place, because it’
- "It’s the Tibetan ohm symbol, which stands for unity of heart and mind."
- "I’m a huge Bob Marley fan. Once I got into the kitchen after culinary school I was so stressed out all of the time, because I’m a perfectionist. I wanted something I could look at to calm myself down."
Virtue Feed & Grain's pastry chef Bekka Baltzell didn’t get any tattoos as a young teenager, because she was afraid her mother would kick her out of the house. When she turned 18 though, she rebelled against her mom — sort of. She got inked with a cluster of stars, but they're not usually visible. "They're hidden below the belt and covered by a bathing suit," is all she'll say about their location.
A year later she added a tattoo when she and her best friend at culinary school got matching ohm symbols. "It's the only art that we could agree on that we both really liked," says Baltzell.
The pastry chef already has plans for her next two pieces. The first will be of "the perfect strawberry" and the seeds on its surface will be arranged to spell "epic." The second will be of a mermaid on her shoulder blade, which will spill across her back and down to her elbow. "It's going to be done in the style of Alphonse Mucha," says Baltzell. "She'll have flowing hair and a gorgeous pin-up face."
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