Article originally published in Edible Rhody.
For the Love of Grub
BY LIZA BURKIN
PHOTOS BY CHIP RIEGEL
From tribal tradition to seaman’s badge to lovers’ promise to drunken impulse, tattoo motivations are as varied as their designs. In ink’s current incarnation as a culturally accepted form of selfexpression, however, most choose them to showcase meaning, memory or passion. The tattoos on these pages adorn the bodies of Rhode Island’s farmers, chefs, mariners, coffee roasters, servers and farmers’ market vendors with artful images of food and drink. Because for them, it’s simply not enough to carry the joy of food inside them—they wear their passion on their skin. Permanently.
Jake Rojas (chef): I live and breathe the ink I wear on my arms … the desire and commitment to being a chef inspired my tattoos.
Jordan Goldsmith (chef): It’s my homage to being a chef, and being a female in an extremely male environment. It’s my chef’s tool.
Jim Buckle (farmer): This garlic is textbook—it’s perfect. I try to grow things perfectly but it never works out. I like that people eat the odd-looking ones because if I threw away every veggie that looked odd, I wouldn’t have much of a crop left.
Becca Buckler (agricultural conservationist/mariner): Life is complicated and convoluted, like a squid tangled in beets.
Osbert ‘gonna cheat on me!’ Duoa (farmers’ market vendor and expert canner): I got it because I love what I do.
Ana Mallozzi (coffee educator): I get tattoos of things I really like, and with coffee, I’m in it for the long haul.
Aly Rego (artist/mariner): It’s not like getting your partner’s name on there— my pineapple’s never gonna cheat on me!
Julie Casino (server): Funny thing is, before I got this sleeve I had never tried a radish—I just thought they were really beautiful.
Matt Jennings (chef): I got these words in NYC before a Beard House dinner I did with Jamie Bissonnette. We had been drinking Lambrusco. A lot. He dared me. I went first. He got a matching tattoo on his arm.