One of the most expensive pieces of art in Salt Lake City’s new AC Hotel by Marriott is not a statue or a painting.

It’s the $10,000 prosciutto slicer used to carve paper-thin slices of cured meats for the hotel’s self-serve breakfast.

“When it is set correctly it slices the prosciutto so thin, it almost melts in your mouth,” said Jared Steere, general manager of the hotel at 255 W. 200 South.

The gourmet piece of kitchen equipment, made by Berkel, is fire-engine red, has 200 handcrafted parts and glides effortlessly with a manual flywheel.

According to the company website, W.A. Van Berkel, a butcher in Rotterdam of the Netherlands, invented this new way to slice meat for his customers in 1898. His method led to the world’s first meat-slicing machine, changing the way slicing was done.

At the hotel, the slicer is typically handled by the breakfast hosts, who also set out cheese, yogurt, quiche, fresh fruits, croissants and other items for the $14 continental breakfast available in the dining area near the lobby.

“But if someone wants to turn the wheel, we will definitely show them,” said Steere, who acknowledged that a $10,000 piece of equipment “that only does one thing” is a bit extravagant.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Hannah Mohler, breakfast host at the new AC Hotel in Salt Lake City, uses the $10,000 Berkel prosciutto slicer to cut paper-thin slices of cured meat.

But Antonio Catalan, the Spanish founder and CEO, insists on having one in every location. It’s one of several ways he adds a European touch to his sleek, minimalist designs.

Catalan’s family ran a small inn and “he grew up running up and down the halls,” Steere explained.

Today there are more than 80 AC Hotels around the globe, including 40 in North America. It’s one of Marriott’s moderate-to-upper-priced brands and is targeted at design-conscious travelers.

The Salt Lake City hotel is the first in Utah.

While the AC Hotel may have a pricey piece of kitchen equipment, there are many things it doesn’t offer — such as valet or room service, a large conference space, a swimming pool or a full-service restaurant, said Steere.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The new AC Hotel in Salt Lake City has a $10,000 Berkel prosciutto slicer. Fire-engine red with chrome trim and a flywheel that turns manually, it cuts prosciutto paper thin for the hotel's daily continental breakfast.

The company motto, he said, “is everything you need, but nothing you don’t.”