Sausage-Maker Scott Bridi Found the Cure for the Common Career

Growing up in an Italian family in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, he always felt “the spirit of charcuterie.” But eight years ago he was working at a desk job in publishing.

Photo credit: Michael Harlan Turkell

Photo credit: Michael Harlan Turkell

Growing up in an Italian family in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, Scott Bridi always felt “the spirit of charcuterie.” But eight years ago he was working a desk job in publishing.

“It wasn’t exactly fulfilling,” he recalls, so he quit to find a career in food, despite zero experience.

Starting from a nonpaying job in the Lower East Side kitchens of ’inoteca, he worked his way up to sous-chef, then scored a gig at Gramercy Tavern. Two years later, when the restaurant started its in-house butchery program, Bridi volunteered for sausage duty.

“We didn’t really know what we were doing,” he says modestly of their first few attempts, but if the glowing reviews for Gramercy’s succulent brats, spicy merguez and house-smoked bacon are any indication, the crew learned fast.  For Bridi, it was an epiphany: “Every chef is naturally given to some activity.” Until that moment, “I hadn’t really found mine.”

Now he has: Bridi launched his own charcuterie line last year: selling delectable sausages, smoked pork rillettes and country pâtés sold under the brand Brooklyn Cured, despite the fact that he makes everything in Hell’s Kitchen, at Piccinini Bros., an 89-year-old butcher shop. (They’re hoping to start a sausage program, so Bridi is swapping expertise for working space.)

Bridi transforms local meats into impressive offerings: chicken and garlic sausages as full of flavor as a roast bird; slender links of lamb and black olive that conjure up the Mediterranean; rustic pâtés that melt in your mouth the way only pork fat can. He sells through and outdoor markets like New Amsterdam.

In addition to fantastic fresh sausages (as well as pickles, “because that’s what you want to eat with sausage,”) he’s got plans for aged and dry-cured products in the near future.





Rachel Wharton is the former deputy editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She won a 2010 James Beard food journalism award, holds a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University, and has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and reporter. A North Carolina native and a former features food reporter for the New York Daily News, she edited the Edible Brooklyn cookbook and was the co-author of both Handheld Pies and DiPalo's Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy. Her work also appears in publications such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Saveur.