Photo courtesy of Allen Salkin
Chuck Hughes, a Montreal chef who network executives are touting as the next big thing, attended the party at the rooftop bar of the Empire Hotel in Manhattan along with a bevy of hosts from new shows on the Cooking Channel.
The hammy Mr. Hughes, host of "Chuck's Day Off," displayed his inkwork for a photographer: On the inside of his left bicep is a mermaid, her nakedness barely covered with two small shells. On his left forearm is a giant shrimp. Inside his right bicep is a pomegranate. He then he rolled up his sleeve to show a heart with the word "Oysters" and a pearl over it.
Chuck said he has been unable to get much fresh ink in the past few years because the producers of his show have said it would make for continuity problems, confusing viewers if on a new show he has more body art than on a rerun. But now that his show has run for three seasons in Canada already, the producers are easing up.
Hughes had some food-tattoo competition when Michael Symon arrived, fresh from the taping of his new Cooking Channel show "Cook Like an Iron Chef."
Among Symon's many tattoos are three on the back of his right calf, images of livestock taken from a 19th century cookbook: "Mutton" stands on top of "Veal" which stands on top of "Pork." And the brown t-shirt he was sporting had the same Mutton image that was on his calf.
Most of his inkwork was done about a decade ago by two Cleveland-based tattoo artists, Symon said.
Also at the party and posing for group shots were Cooking Channel hosts Bal Arneson, David Rocco, Aida Mollenkamp, Roger Mooking and Daryl Robinson.