Photos by Dhanraj Emanuel
Jared Van Camp
Executive chef at Quality SocialA new transplant from the Windy City, Van Camp is charcuterie-crazy, house-making a load of sausages and salumi for his craft-food-oriented menu, including a non-mystery-meat version of an authentic Chicago dog. He basically bartered his cured meat for his tattoo, an old English illustration of a pig. When his tattoo artist told him she was entering a bacon contest, Van Camp offered her his homemade stuff. She won, and he got himself a sweet tattoo.
Doug Thompson X
Mixologist at Riviera Supper Club Thompson, an artist and the longtime bartender at the original Turf Club, now presides over the bar in the Turquoise Room at Riviera. He's never been one to follow trends, so at a time when all his friends were getting horseshoe tattoos for good luck, he chose a double-yolked egg, a rare sighting that's supposed to bring good fortune. He stopped getting tattooed 15 years ago, when too many people started getting on the tattoo bandwagon, but he'd already amassed a sort of breakfast of champions on his skin. On the opposite arm from the egg sit tattoos of a cup of coffee and a martini with an olive.
Chef de cuisine at Stone Brewing Co.The former chef proprietor of Downtown's Cafe Cerise, Seibert is finally back in a local kitchen after taking a break from the San Diego food scene. He's inked on most of his body, but food-inspired tattoos get the prime real estate. A beautifully rendered fork and spoon run the length of his forearms, and he's building a sleeve comprising the foodstuff in a Spanish paella—checked off the list so far is a giant shrimp and a collection of mussels.
Sous chef at Blind Lady Ale HouseReluctant pinup Morstad wavered between a burrito and pizza tattoo to commemorate one of his most beloved foods, but he settled on the more aesthetically pleasing slice of pizza, which he got years before he fortuitously ended up in the kitchen at BLAH. Beneath his inked homage to his North Park roots sits a version of a sacred-heart tattoo, re-imagined as a flaming slice of pie that, instead of dripping blood, bleeds grease.
Mixologist at Whisknladle, co-founder of Snake Oil Cocktail Co.As one of the foremost innovators within the local craft-cocktail culture, it's only fitting that Ward would have the molecular formula for alcohol tattooed on his arm. After all, it's the basic element from which all his creations derive. But he wasn't on the sauce when he thought up the idea; it came to him in a dream, and when he woke up the next morning, he promptly went down to the corner tattoo shop in his Ocean Beach neighborhood to make it a reality.
Chef de cuisine at Barrio StarShe isn't a vegetarian, but her tattoo, a trio of vegetables encircled by a pea tendril, was inspired by her first kitchen experience at UCSD's Che Cafe. From there, she moved on to Ocean Beach's People's Co-op, where the delicious roasted root vegetables served in the deli cured her childhood aversion to beets. The carrot represents her transformation from novice cook to skilled chef, and the artichoke is for her love of local produce, which she plans to bring to the menu of the new Bankers Hill restaurant.