30 Under 30: Match the Tats

By Sarah Freeman  |  April 2, 2014
Credit: Philip Montgomery

This week, we announced the 2014 Chicago 30 Under 30 list. Each year we like to play a little game with the honorees called “Match the Tat.” This is the culinary industry after all, where a bit of ink is a basic requirement. Scroll through the slideshow to see the tattoos from eight of our honorees. See if you can guess which honoree is the owner of each tat. We reveal which tattoo belongs to which chef/bartender/barista in the final slide. Have fun!

  • Mystery Tattoo #1 

    Before this pastry chef was a chef, she was an art student. During art school, she made a series of drawing and paintings inspired by the Dadaist movement. The tattoo is not meant to be taken seriously, but represents the significance of art in her life.

  • Mystery Tattoo #2

    The pineapple is the symbol of the hospitality industry – it dates back to early American colonies when sea captains would post pineapples outside of their homes to symbolize a safe return and that their home was open to visitors. This bartender got the tattoo in 2012; each of the stars represents a year that the wearer has participated in the Tales of the Cocktail apprentice program.

  • Mystery Tattoo #3

    Obviously, this is the logo for the Boston Red Sox. The owner of this tattoo got inked last September when the Red Sox won the World Series for the third time in 10 years after an 86-year hiatus. The baseball team’s underdog story, as well as the tattoo, acts as a reminder for this pastry chef to push himself every day to achieve his goals.

  • Mystery Tattoo #4

    The tattoo is the signature of this pastry chef’s grandmother Genyle. Genyle passed away before Christmas in 2010, and the signature was taken from the last Christmas card she sent her granddaughter. The card was waiting in the mailbox after her funeral and was inked permanently on this chef’s wrist two months later.

  • Mystery Tattoo #5

    This 12-by-12-inch tattoo takes up a good portion of this chef’s back. He got it when he was 18 years old and about to start working as an extern at Moto. It acts as a reminder to never take shortcuts. He kept it a secret from his fellow chefs for six months.

  • Mystery Tattoo #6 

    This tattoo came to its owner in a dream. She was going through a punk rock phase at the time – she had just turned 18 years old – and got the tattoo as a reminder to live with integrity and heart. The blurred edges were designed that way on purpose, but are also a result of age.

  • Mystery Tattoo #7 

    This pastry chef got inked right before she graduated culinary school. They are matryoshka dolls, and similar to a set her mother has on her dresser. These dolls are dressed as chefs. She decided to get the tattoo on a whim with her roommate, but she has never had any regrets about the permanent body art.

  • Mystery Tattoo #8 

    This one is pretty much a dead giveaway. Of course, this bread baker has the entire life cycle of bread on his arm - from the sun on his shoulder to stalks of wheat running up his bicep to wood grain overlaid with the honeycomb crumb pattern from finished bread on this forearm.

  • The Answers

    1. Anna Shovers, Pastry Chef at The Publican
    2. Alex Renshaw, Bar Manager at Drumbar
    3. Chris Teixeira, Pastry Chef for West Town Bakery & Diner
    4. Courtney Joseph, Pastry Chef at Takashi
    5. Tim Havidick, Executive Chef at iNG
    6. Zaida Dedolph, Manager at Intelligentsia Coffee in Old Town
    7. Kelly Helgesen, Pastry Chef at Lula Cafe
    8. Greg Wade, Bead Baker at Little Goat