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.Jason Gehring [Photo: R. Lopez]
Jason Gehring, of the upcoming Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, didn't catch the tattoo bug until his early 20s. In his teenage years, body piercing was more his thing. He now has six tattoos total, marking the back of his neck, arms, leg and chest.
On his neck is the Chinese character for "universe," which to him evokes the sense that everything is connected. He got it in response to a difficult time in his life that he overcame. "It sounds like I'm a hippie," he said with a laugh.
It took him awhile before he had a job where he could afford to get more tattoos, but once he had a steadier gig, he added more. A colorful Phoenix on his arm reprsents his survival from a brain aneurysm (the bird symbolizes rebirth), and a complementary dragon is on his other arm.
Not long after came the addition of his favorite word in the English language, "esoteric," which runs down his leg. The most recent tattoos he has are the prominent chef's knife and whisk on his chest. The whisk is particularly appropriate since Gehring is a pastry chef.
Gehring imagines he'll add a few more tattoos in the upcoming months. His friends all like his tattoos, but his mother is less of a fan. "I know she's not crazy about them, but she's sort of complaisant," he said. "She was very disturbed by teh body piercings when I was a teenager. I guess that broke her into it."
Astro, which has hit some construction delays, is shooting to open by the end of February.