By David Jefferys. Photos: Courtesy Thompson Seattle.
According to a recent Harris Poll, "about three in ten Americans (29 percent) have at least one tattoo, up from roughly two in ten (21 percent) just six years ago. What’s more, few inked Americans stop at one." Among the inked, seven in ten (69 percent) have two or more, and the numbers only go up as the average age goes down. Nearly half of millennials (47 percent) and more than a third of Gen Xers (36 percent) polled say they have at least one, compared to 13 percent of Baby Boomers and "one in ten Matures."
That's no surprise if you live in Seattle. It seems a rite of passage to either get a tattoo, grow a beard, or add a dog to the family on arrival. (You also learn to appreciate really great food, beer, and coffee—things that keep the Northwest gloom at bay.) Count Derek Simcik, executive chef at Thompson Seattle's Scout PNW restaurant, as one of those tattooed millennials. Not only is he covered nearly head-to-toe in ink, but he has created a so-Seattle event that celebrates some of his favorite things: a tattoo-themed dinner. Not only will guests experience the thrill of getting a new, or first, inking, but they'll dine on a special menu including squid ink-tattooed pork.
They're in good hands: Voted winner of the Goleta Goes Hipster Award by the Santa Barbara Independent while chef at The Goodland hotel in Southern California, Simcik celebrates his eighth restaurant opening with Scout PNW, and a fine one at that. The restaurant, inhabiting Thompson's ground floor and combining playful decor and a Pacific Northwest ingredient-centric menu, was recently named one of Seattle's 10 Best New Restaurants by The Seattle Times. Born of American parents in Greece, Simcik lived in Germany, Tunisia, France, Hong Kong, Japan, and Austria, all before turning 20. He is featured in Eat Ink: Recipes. Stories. Tattoos, published by Adams Media. The notion of a tattoo-themed dinner is certainly a first, and has been appropriately named: Ink'd.
The event takes place on Tuesday, March 7. Tickets ($220 per person, dinner-only option sold out) can be purchased here, with $20 from each sale going to Adopt the Arts, a nonprofit organization funding arts programs in public elementary schools. Pre-dinner tattoos will be handled by a highly curated roster of artists including Amanda Riner, Tascar Wise, Kenny Brown, and Derek Noble between noon and 5 p.m. in a pop-up shop. At six, Simcik will serve the following menu, including hyper-locally sourced ingredients:
STAINED GLASS herring | beets | pickled green berry | lychee
1/8th parsley-lemon buttermilk ‘nugs’ | marbled foie
INK scallop | parsley root | citrus ash | squid ink beurre blanc
PAPER squab | celery root “paper” | squab jus
TATTOOED pork | root vegetables | potato glass | whole grain mustard
PARTY pineapple ‘snow’ on a mirror
LEGEND caramelized banana | gianduja nest | rice paper | sailor jerry pearls
This story originally appeared on Conde Nast Traveler.
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