Edible Ink: Six Penn Kitchen Executive Chef Brian Little
When Brian Little moved from Northern New Hampshire to Pittsburgh, the city welcomed him — and his tattoos! — with open arms. The feeling was new and refreshing, as his hometown had not been as accepting of his incredible ink. “I was viewed as a degenerate or something, just for having tattoos,” Little says. “Moving to Pittsburgh, I saw other tattooed chefs for the first time. They’re all very reputable, and I haven’t been stared at or judged here.”
The judgement he faced in his early career has shaped his work ethic tremendously, pushing him to excel at his craft and let his plates speak for themselves. “Eighty percent of the time, really tattooed chefs are really hard workers,” Little explains. “Some people may judge you because of your tattoos, so it makes you work harder to prove them wrong. Then, they won’t see your tattoos; they’ll see how you are as a worker.”
As the new executive chef at Six Penn Kitchen, Little continues to build his stellar reputation and express his creativity in full force — through his body of work in the kitchen and works of art on his body.
Do you know a local chef with great tattoos?
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When I was 18, I got an angel on my arm. It was the worst tattoo I’ve ever seen.
I recently did the back of my neck. I had some empty spots between my lower neck and the top of my head, so I got some roses and peonies to fill it in.
My back — it’s the first tattoo my fiancé [Kati Zmenkowski of Armature Tattoo Co. in Bloomfield] did.
PITTSBURGH’S TATTOO SCENE:
The tattoo scene in Northern New Hampshire is much different than Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is on point with some of the best in the country. If I would’ve moved here earlier, I could’ve saved myself a lot of money and a lot of bad tattoos!