Saturday, May 30, 2015

There's a mortadella in the bathtub

Brad Spence and his sous chef wanted to do something special for the Great Chefs Event.

There's a mortadella in the bathtub

Getting the mortadella together.
Getting the mortadella together.

Brad Spence, chef at Amis, wanted to do something novel to impress the collection of chefs coming to town for the Great Chefs Event, the fundraiser that boss Marc Vetri will oversee Tuesday, June 14 for Alex's Lemonade Stand.

"Can't have a party without a giant mortadella," Spence reasoned.

And giant, it is.

Spence and sous chef Walter Balkiewicz obtained a sewn, natural casing. They ground up pork butt and fat back, six times, mixed in spices, and added in cubed fat back and pistachios.

All set.

Except they had nothing large enough to cook it in.

Balkiewicz first considered a baby pool, but found a damaged bathtub at the Lowe's store for 50 bucks. Michael Solomonov lent them Zahav's heat circulator, ordinarily used for sous-vide. The chefs added scalding water and cooked the bologna overnight.

It was finished Sunday -- 54 inches long, 60 pounds.

Spence plans to cut it up for Monday's chefs' dinner at Amis, with the remainder to be sliced up for sandwiches at the Great Chefs after-party.
About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

Michael Klein
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