For 18 years, it has been a monthly gathering of fabulous producers, dedicated food enthusiasts and celebrity Chefs showing their skills in well orchestrated demos. It has been a great help in my food blogger journey as it has given me casual access to the crème de la crème of famous Chefs from around Australia and sometime from further afield. Some of them have become good friends in the process. Also true of dozen of suppliers whose products I have bought, revised and promote (for free...) because they were outstanding and made with love and dedication.
Jill Duplex and Terry Durak, just landed from Melbourne at the time, started this venture in 1998, as they could not find in Sydney the equivalent of the Melbourne markets (and still can't, as there are no city based permanent daily markets in Sydney...) For many years, Joanna Savill relentlessly organised it, cajoling Chefs into spending their Saturday mornings entertaining and educating a smallish group of dedicated followers. I personally started reporting on these events in 2010. More recently, Joanna was replaced by the flamboyant Myffy Rigby, with the occasional help of the elegant Ardyn Bernoth. I was not going to miss out the last edition yesterday. Here is a series of photos and videos taken before and during the panel which was assembled to discuss the future of the food markets in Sydney. It was an interesting discussion curated by Myffy and Ardyn who gently grilled (!) the panelists: Josephine Perry (missy French) and dad Neil Perry (Rockpool), Jill Duplex (SMH), Ronni Kahn of OzHarvest fame and Somer Sivrioglu of Efendy Balmain and now at Barangaroo.
There were some interesting points raised and some proposals made as well as a quick appearance from Pepe Saya aka Pierre Issa.
The best story , I think, was when Somer recounted a conversation with his Dad about visiting the Growers Market, and his Dad asking "are they any other types of markets?. Precious!
I grew up in a culture and at a time where daily markets were the rule, and Mum was shopping almost daily for fresh food. We would then go to the butcher or the fishmonger, and the boulanger, bien sûr...
There is a petition running to open a permanent market somewhere in the City - Haymarket, Surry Hills and Barangaroo were mentioned. There were some "out of place " comments, I thought about the lockout laws and the cost of labour, but overall, it was all very civilised.
You will hear in one of the videos a talk about "imperfect vegetables and fruits" but nobody mentioned the good work done in that sphere by Harris Farm Markets. Nobody either acknowledged the great work done by Joanna Savill over the years, and she was visiting the market. I thought it would have been polite to invite her even briefly...
The quality of these videos is not perfect, but consider them as a record of an interesting way of sending off this 18 year old institution.
Neil Perry of Rockpool fame talks about imperfect vegetables.
Ronni Khan, the founder of OzHarvest talks about imperfect vegetables and fruits as well as food waste.
Somer Sivrioglu does a demo of how to open a pomegranate with his bare hands and remove the pearls without losing all the precious juice...
Joke of the day: What is stronger than a Turk? Two Turks... Sorry Somer!
Pepe Saya was invited to talk about all things butter and how this market (and Qantas...) helped him growing his business against European Community subsidised Lurpak. Neil Perry also managed to plug a ranting about lock out laws in Sydney, whether or not it was the right audience is debatable, but I like a man with a cause, and in this case two men!
We will miss this view forever...Good bye the SMH Growers Market
We are lucky to have somebody like Pepe Saya (and a few others...) who makes cultured butter, the way it is done in Normandy or Echiré.
I use very little butter these days, but when I do I want the best and 225 grams of butter last me a long time, if I can conserve it that is...
Pierre Issa, the real human behind Pepe Saya, told me I could freeze and keep for longer that way. But then, it is still too big to unfreeze in one go...
So here is my solution: you will need a knife, a ring, a half cup, a spoon and some glad wrap... By the way I am not sponsored by Pepe Saya!
I came across Lisa Goldberg listening to one the famous interviews that Margaret Throsby conducts every day now around lunch time on ABC Classic FM, my favourite radio station.
So, when I heard that she and all the other members of the MMCC would be at the Pyrmont Market, I jumped at the chance to meet them, even though the meteo forecast was pretty bleak...
But, as serendipity has it, it ended up being a nice morning with barely a few drops of rain!
And meet, we did and had a great chat and even got a slice of their beautiful cake to take home!
They have been at it since 2006 and their main objective is to collate the best recipes from the Australian Jewish Community and beyond. They have published 2 books and rumour has it that a third one is in the making...Stay tuned!
But for today second cooking show (yes, I know, i never make it to the first one...), we were treated to a beautiful zucchini salad, an eggplant and Israeli couscous salad and the grand finale, fig bread and butter pudding. Enjoy the story through these photos before and during the presentation.
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.
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