Gallery: Top local chefs share the stories behind their tattoosFrom gritty line cooks in greasy-spoon diners to the executive chefs at the world’s most popular restaurants, it’s hard to find a cook who doesn’t sport some ink.
Branden Bentley, chef de cuisine at SMOKE Woodfire Grill, 201 S. Main St., in Owasso, was recently featured among 13 of the area’s most-decorated chefs by Tulsa World Magazine to tell the tales behind their tattoos.
The first tattoo Bentley got was a picture of the guitar he “cut his teeth on,” a Gibson ES135.
“I learned how to play and pick on this guitar, and it also looked pretty badass,” he joked.
His dad taught him to play many different instruments and gave him his love of music, leaving the chef with many memories of their relationship.
“My tattoos are a photo album of my life – mostly good memories that I wanted to hold on to which have made me who I am today,” Bentley said. “I feel like I’m letting my family and memories live on just a little longer than they would without them.”
Bentley’s right arm, chest and torso tattoos are dedications to family, with photos of his parents, grandpa, uncle and a beautiful old hotrod car that he built with his “Pop” in high school. His family artwork also includes portraits of his two dogs, Haily and Bocephus.
“Haily is my cow dog that is almost 20 years old. This is without a doubt my favorite tattoo,” Bentley said.
His left arm is a harvest of corn, beets, carrots, tomatoes and the “high and mighty swine,” his favorite protein with which to work.