Chef Batali Gets Serious About Butchery For His Latest Venture Chi Spacca
Celebrity gourmand Mario Batali explores the sensory frontiers of the nose-to-tail cooking he popularized in the States in today’s film by Alison Chernick, shot on site at Chi Spacca (“cleaver” in Italian) 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.”
New York Artist Aïda Ruilova Heads West for a Provocative New Exhibition
Vintage erotica and voyeurism are on display in I’m So Wild About Your Strawberry Mouth, an exhibition of multidisciplinary works from acclaimed West Virginia-born, New York-based artist Aïda Ruilova in her West Coast debut at LA’s Kayne Griffin Corcoran Gallery. From the pages of the intense Werner Herzog-associated actor Klaus Kinski’s notoriously fictionalized autobiography, the exhibition’s title acts as visceral kindling to Ruilova’s themes of self-caricature, desire, intoxication and escape. Posters advertizing the classic 1970s French erotica film series Emmanuelle and the soft-focus fantasy knock-offs it inspired are inscribed with black paint from which leer cartoon eyes. The images’ allure lies in their “exploitation of the figure to propagate the identity of the franchise film,” explains Ruilova, whose works have shown in the Venice and Whitney Biennales. The pools of black are her way of “adding another narrative that is like a void.” Also on view is a 45-minute video work in which celebrated grindhouse director Abel Ferrara discusses how he would direct his own death scene in relation to that of the late Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italian radical and gruesomely murdered director of incendiary 1975 film Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom.
I’m So Wild About Your Strawberry Mouth runs from today March 23 through May 4 at the Kayne Griffin Corcoran Gallery, Santa Monica.
The Michelin-Starred Bo Innovation Chef Takes Us to the “X-treme” Edge of Cooking