Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Twin Cities Food Workers Tattoo's

Back in the early 90's, I used to have to do night club shows with a friend of mine named Brutus.

We did this grunge magic show called "Brutus & Nero's Entertainment Empire."

While larger scale "Freak Shows" like Jim Rose toured with La La Palooza, the thing that made my "Grunge Magic Show" unique was....me and Brutus actually had zero talent.

The premise of our show was to sit on top of inverted 5 gallon honey buckets, smoke cigarettes on stage while drinking gin straight from the bottle.

Many nights the show ended with one of us passing out before we reached our grand finale.

Funny......this actually worked to our advantage, crowds and event promoters found our perpetual stage of pathetic but cool.

In 94 we reached our peak, in fact we headlined in the Main Room of First Avenue (The Twin Cities most popular night club for decades - and scene to where Prince shot his film Purple Rain) doing our show. Showing horrible films that we would make in a day. Presenting puppet shows about who was "doing it" with who in the Twin Cities club scene.

Anyways, its a chapter of my life that I am kinda proud of, but at the same time, things occured that may have ruined my chances for a well established political career if you know what I mean.

Anyways, I don't see Brutus all that often anymore. Life changes, pages are turned, but with that said, I value his him above most people I've met.

So this last weekend we decided to go to big Tattoo Convention in Minneapolis, neither of us had been before so we decided it might be fun.

Brutus told me he was going to find somebody to ink a "New School" octopus on his arm, I wasn't sure what that meant, but figured I'd eventually find out.

Brutus family line reigns from Scotland, and my buddy is one of those guys that slides into a kilt and goes to parades and Fairs to march and get loaded with his countrymen.

His mother is actually a professional baker like me, and at the risk of sounding humble....her skillset is stronger than mine.

When I first had the mayor over to my plant, it was her that I hired to baked the featured items.

Recently I have been doing R&D with accelerated alchohol levels in my rye breads, so I figured I pull some aside for Brutus and give it to him on event day.

The longer I find myself baking, the more I enjoy developing items for specific people.

To be honest, I was excited to see his impression.

"This tastes like Shite" my friend announced while rolling down his car window and spitting a mouthful of contents onto the street.

Nothing brutal honesty huh?

Listed below are some of the main attractions that showed up to this big Expo that took place this weekend.

Take a quick look and we'll talk about these guys in a second.



7pm Penguin Boy
8pm The Enigma & Serana Rose
9pm Suspension
10pm Vespertine Tribal
10:30pm Burlesque
11pm Tattoo of the Day

2pm Penguin Boy
3pm The Enigma & Serana Rose
4pm Olde City Sideshow
5pm Tattoo Contests
7pm Penguin Boy
7:45pm Olde City Sideshow
8:30pm The Enigma & Serana Rose
9:30pm Suspension
10:15pm Vespertine Tribal 
10:30pm Burlesque
11pm Tattoo of the Day

1:30pm Olde City Sideshow
2:30pm Penguin Boy
3:30pm The Enigma & Serana Rose
4:30pm Tattoo Contests
7pm Tattoo of the Day

Megan Massacre from NY Ink

The Enigma & Serana Rose

Olde City Sideshow

Crazy Philadelphia Eddie book signing

Penguin Boy from AMC's Freakshow

Vespertine Tribal

MCing by DR. Blasphemy

First off, Megan Massacre is without a doubt this events headliner, she's got a huge reality TV fan base, even my son Tydus has a real thing for her.

But what made her presence interesting was that so many people attending seemed to go out of their way to avoid her, as if walking next to her and grabbing a quick peek-a-boo would damage their street cred.

Now I can say this being that over 2/3's of my body is inked.......

People with ink can really be posers.

Think about it, I was in a room with peeps that had dragons and snakes tattoooed on their faces.

Spiders on top of their skulls.

Portraits of Christ - Mary and not to mention their friend Satan plastered across their back.

The convention floor was littered with people who obviously are geared to change their body, their appearance for who knows what reason.


In my opinion we-they-I do it to be different than you.

To show you we are us, indaviduals unlike the norm.

As Alanis Morissette says.................

"Isn't it Ironic, don't you think? Just a little too ironic, yeah I really do think."

That over a thousand people, many of which pride themselves as being one of a kind end up in a room like this where their "claim to fame" gets deluded.

Now for the record, I am not dogging these people.

People of Ink are my family and I love them, if nothing else....I'm laughing at myself the hardest.

My boy jason Walstrom and his good friend "J" worked the convention together.

It was in many ways the media debut for my friends from Sea Wolf.

While Brutus sat in the chair, I filled requests to show my King Kong back piece, and even dropped my trousers several times to show my newest work of art....The 2 foot tall Organ Grinders monkey on my thigh.

I'll bet there was over 100 tattoo booths, but I'm not kidding......the talk of the town was those crazy kids at Sea Wolf.

My boy Jason has finally found his element, people were tossing him all kinds of arrow up love.

With that said L.A.B. Rats.....thanks for playing along today, and listed below is a special piece that was done featuring some of the Twin Cities best Restaurant tattoo's.....ENJOY.

Suspenion TBA

Kitchen Ink: Tattooed chefs in the Twin Cities

Skin art for local foodies

"EVERYONE HAS TO have a vice."
Emily Moore Harris, Cake Eater Bakery
Kate N. G. Sommers

Emily Moore Harris, Cake Eater Bakery
Scott Pampuch, The Corner Table
Kate N. G. Sommers
Scott Pampuch, The Corner Table

 For Geoff Hausmann, the lauded chef now at Travail in Robbinsdale, the vice he refers to is getting tattoos. Hausmann has turned his love of Star Wars into a full arm sleeve of illustrations of Jedi knights, Sith lords, and strange beings from alien worlds.

You'll find plenty more tattoos in the kitchen and the front of the house at restaurants these days than you did even 20 years ago. And not surprisingly, food, cooking, and baking images are often the subject.
"After I got my first one, I found it to be so addictive," says Sheela Namakkal, one of the owners of Minneapolis's Cake Eater Bakery. Many of her tattoos are food related. "I've got a full sleeve of pastries and a whisk on my right leg," Namakkal says. "I like to decorate myself."

Hell's Kitchen's Mitch Omer has taken his cues from a favorite artist, Ralph Steadman, famed for his illustrations of Hunter S. Thompson stories and books.
"The first tattoo I got was the Steadman on my right upper arm, 'Wild in the Bathtub' from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. This is my first tattoo and my favorite ink. If you look at that crazed bastard, hair akimbo, wild-assed eyes, and flaying the knife...that's what it feels like to be a bipolar chef."
Omer went one step further with this tattoo—he had Steadman autograph his arm, which he then had permanently tattooed.

Tattoos and baking have long gone together, notes Dan "Klecko" McGleno, the master baker at the Saint Agnes Baking Company in St. Paul. One forearm has a tattoo of Ronald Reagan to commemorate the wild rice loaf he made for a summit between the former president and Mikhail Gorbachev in June 1990. His other forearm has the ISDN number for a book he wrote, K-9 Nation Biscuit Book. McGleno's other tattoos honor his family, friends, and special occasions. If someone asks, he's likely to add it, McGleno says.

Scott Pampuch, owner of the Corner Table and founder of Tour de Farm, has honored both businesses with a tattoo on each arm—one of a "farm to table" series of images, the other a set of knives and kitchen tools. The images are reminders of Pampuch's approach to cooking and food. They also are placed very deliberately.
"All of my tattoos are in places I can see," he says.
At Kings in south Minneapolis, chef Chad Rielander sports plenty of tattoos, including a full sleeve on his left arm that runs all the way to his neck, featuring a spiraling cast of spooky characters leading up to a "big explosion of chaos on the shoulder," he says. "It really celebrates all that is dark and evil."
Top chefs know all about dedication, and many bring the same commitment to their body art. Rielander's tat has taken nearly 30 hours of work—and it's only half done. But he says it's all worth the effort.
"Tattoos are definitely part of the Generation X thing," Rielander says. "I just love to think about having tattoos done."

The Corner Table
Scott Pampuch is serious about food, which is clear by the meals at the much-lauded Corner Table, his restaurant in the Kingfield neighborhood, and with Tour de Farm, which brings diners to local farms—the source of their food—for a four- or five-course, family-style meal. He has honored both of these businesses with his tattoos: a set of knives and other kitchen tools after Corner Table became a Twin Cities fixture, and, once Tour de Farm was up and running, a farmer's table covered with several highly decorated pieces of essential equipment.

St. Agnes Bakery
Dan "Klecko" McGleno has the story of his life tattooed on his body, from highlighting special events in his culinary and personal life to work added at the request of friends. For example, his forearms are tattooed with two pieces of Soviet-era bakery propaganda, commemorating a trip to the former Soviet Union. The master baker at Saint Agnes Baking Company—which offers high-quality breads to wholesale and retail customers—notes that the tradition of tattoos in the kitchen started with ex-military and convicts who, when they got done with their service or sentence, would bring their illustrated bodies with them to the kitchen.

Hell's Kitchen
Mitch Omer, owner of Hell's Kitchen in downtown Minneapolis, isn't someone to do something halfway. That dedication has made the restaurant, famed for its well-made but unfussy dishes and an epic weekend brunch, a top eatery in the city. It also means he—and many on the staff—have taken to decorating their bodies with tattoos. Omer's work includes a pair of Ralph Steadman pieces (including an ink blotch he added to cover a less-successful, earlier tattoo) and others. The dedication to tattoos runs deeper than Omer at Hell's Kitchen. "Tattoos are actually a prerequisite for working here," he says, noting that employees' tattoos include a hot dish, a Land O'Lakes butter container, and one that reads "mis en place," a French phrase for having a kitchen ready for any of the orders on the menu.

Having a giant tattoo of C-3PO from Star Wars on your arm is certainly going to get attention, especially when it's joined by a bevy of other images from the original trilogy of films (Jar Jar Binks need not apply). So Geoff Hausmann is used to being stopped by curious patrons whenever he walks through the dining room at Travail, the recently opened restaurant that has quickly become one of the best in the north metro. While Hausmann's images from a "galaxy far, far away" draw the most attention, chef Kale Thome also sports several designs, from a tiny piece of cash by his thumb to a flying eyeball around the crook of his elbow.
Scott Pampuch, The Corner Table
Kate N. G. Sommers
Scott Pampuch, The Corner Table
Dan McGleno, St. Agnes Bakery
Kate N. G. Sommers
Dan McGleno, St. Agnes Bakery
Dan McGleno, St. Agnes Bakery
Kate N. G. Sommers
Dan McGleno, St. Agnes Bakery
Mitch Omer, Hell's Kitchen
Kate N. G. Sommers
Mitch Omer, Hell's Kitchen
Ruth Menard, Hell's Kitchen
Kate N. G. Sommers
Ruth Menard, Hell's Kitchen
Maurice Evans, Hell's Kitchen
Kate N. G. Sommers
Maurice Evans, Hell's Kitchen
Pizza Luce
When you say "restaurant" and "tattoo," the various Pizza Luce locations jump immediately to mind. It's another venue where tattoos—and piercings—seem to be a prerequisite for the job. Still, you won't find all that many food-related tattoos among the staff. And much of the work is extensive, featuring full sleeves, intricate designs, and images that range from dark to playful.

Chef Chad Rielander of Kings spends his days preparing potato gnocchi, pot roast, and other delights at his south Minneapolis wine bar and restaurant, but his tattoos are another passion. He has started work on an impressive but still-unfinished full-sleeve tattoo, sporting coils of barbed wire from his wrist through his arm and around his neck.

Cake Eater Bakery
Sheela Namakkal loves to bake, which is a great thing for the patrons at Cake Eater Bakery, where you can choose from dozens of kinds of cupcakes, cookies, muffins, and other goodies. It's also a love she shows on her body, from the "Live by the Whisk, Die by the Whisk" tattoo to a full sleeve of baked goods and equipment (highlighted by a giant mixing bowl). She's not alone in her decorations, however. Emily Moore Harris also showcases plenty of ink, highlighting a love of sewing and a fez-wearing bird.

Grand Café
At this south Minneapolis restaurant, where the brunch landed on Bon Appetit's Top 10 list in 2009, head chef Ben Pichler doesn't necessarily have food-related tattoos, though he does have several saffron lily flowers—a classic addition to many dishes—tattooed on the inside of one arm. Others are dedicated to his wife and kids. Sous chef Jim McIntosh goes for a more whimsical look for one of his tattoos: a coffee pot fully percolating.

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