"The short and obvious answer is that I have the tat because I was born there, but really it's much more. My father is a chef, and I grew up at his side working in restaurants wherever his career took our family: Maine, Virginia, New York, among others. My first job in a kitchen began at the age of 6 at my father's restaurant, Stripes, in Norfolk, Virginia, where, standing atop a milk crate, I was given a paper bag of live softshell crabs and told to 'cut off the face and rip out the lungs.' Since then I have barely left the kitchen. I continued to work in restaurants, eventually went to culinary school, after which I spent the next eight years cooking in New York City. Easily bored, I left it all behind and am now working on an organic sheep farm in the mountains of Italy's west coast.
"I moved the star (capital) from Augusta to Portland -- the city of my birth. I was born three months early, and had a tough time making it through the first few months, having to have open heart surgery at two weeks old. This tattoo serves as a reminder of the fortune I have to be around, and my affinity for the ocean and its contents which were my first foray into the world of the kitchen."
-- Michael Marcelli
Florence, Italy (via Brooklyn, New York)
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