Eat & Ink

Forget wearing your heart on your sleeve—these Brooklynites are what they eat.

“I got it because I genuinely love salt. I don’t taste the food—first thing I do is ask for the salt.” While waitressing through college, Alicia Tate took a salt shaker from the restaurant to a tattoo parlor. “People always ask if I have a pepper grinder hidden somewhere else.”

This inked cook posed for our photographer but spoke not a word.

Meaty, mysterious!

Adam Schere, a Greenpoint cook, is a recovering vegetarian. While browsing through old French advertisements online, he and former kitchenmate Kyle Bochart were so taken with a vintage ad for a butcher in Avignon that Kyle tattooed it on Adam himself. “It’s a happy pig, he’s smiling,” explains Adam. “Pigs are made of 90 percent candy!”

“I got it when I first got the job at Fette Sau. I’ve always been into pork. The image is from a really old butcher’s diagram in a book from the early 1900s that I checked out of the library.” —Matt Lang

“It says ‘Opa.’ My grandfather was Greek and a chef. He taught me how to cook. My next tattoo will be a cilantro plant with its roots and ‘coriandrum,’ latin for cilantro.” —Allison Plummer

“It’s a Henkels Four Star. It was the last present I ever got from my father. I’ve had it for seven years and still use it almost every day at work. Once during dinner service I got stabbed in the calf by that knife. It was a freak accident.” —Adam Volk

John McSwain wanted “a phrase that would reference heart attacks. I love cheeseburgers—I’ll just keep eating them until I die.” He’s still waiting for the day a restaurant will feed him a free burger inspired by the ink spot. “I’ll get the name of the restaurant inked on the ketchup.”

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Michael Harlan Turkell

Michael Harlan Turkell is a former photo editor of Edible Brooklyn, who walked the borough in sights of cultural cuisine at its best. Now he travels the world doing the same, bringing these ideas and foods to light as a photographer.