SMOKE BREAK #1029: A Tasty Look Inside Batali’s New L.A. Butcher Shop, Chi Spacca

April 5, 2013.

Mmm…if this meaty Nowness film by Alison Chernick was salted and stored for two years, we’d slice it paper thin, pair it with melon (and a dry Muscat) and eat the hell out of it. It was shot at the new Chi Spacca (“The Cleaver”) in Los Angeles…

The intimate meat emporium is the latest addition to an epicurean empire that includes Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca in New York and Carnevino Italian Steakhouse in Las Vegas. Having just opened its doors this February — helmed by the indefatigable Mozza restaurant trio made up of Nancy Silverton, Joseph Bastianich and Batali himself — Chi Spacca showcases the charcuterie talents of Head Chef and Batali disciple Chad Colby, whose philosophy concerning the preparation of meat chimes with his mentor’s own. Colby became so entranced by Italian salami culture that he developed the first authorized “dry cure” program in LA, a lengthy process involving the addition of salts and other ingredients that can take months or even years, but which results in an array of pungent meats made in house. “What isn’t captured in the video is the wild smells,” recalls Chernick of her experience filming. “I have been enlightened by the science of a good salami, and we can thank Mario for capturing Italian culture and bringing it to us on a platter.”

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