Being suckers for branding and names we LOVE yours! How long have you been blogging and what is it about local markets and produce that started you on this journey
Thanks very much! The City Gourmand started back in July 2011, so it's had a few birthdays already, which is difficult to believe. Being one of those annoying Asian girls that takes photos of nearly everything they eat, it was almost a natural progression into the blogging world. It's essentially a visual diary of the food that I love to eat. Don't be fooled by the blog title. Yes, I love fine dining in the iconic cities (Barcelona, London and Sydney of course) but sometimes the best food comes from your own kitchen.
One of the best things about the food scene is the emergence of farmer's markets that have sprouted up in the most convenient locations. Kings Cross Organic Food Markets just so happens to be my local.
It harks back to the days of our parents who would visit the markets several times a day, being without modern refrigeration. Today, food travels halfway around across the world to reach our shores (the concept of "food miles") and defying nature's seasons. Yes, you can have pomegranate any time of the year, except it is flown all the way from Afghanistan.
So the philosophy of Buy & Eat Local is actually a compelling one. What's more, we can support Australian farmers directly, cutting out the middleman. There is something special about forging a relationship with local producers or farmers. This is something that I am passionate about and write about regularly (see "here").
What is it in particular about markets, such as ours that need to be embraced and nurtured from your point of view
Well first of all, we need to spread the word about organic farmers markets! They may not be as convenient as big chain supermarkets, but your shop will certainly be fresher and of higher quality.
Organic fruits & vegetables have a certain stigma attached to them, namely the price tag. The important thing to remember is you don't have to try and shift mountains. One or two organic items per week and you're well on the way to improve your well being.
Another thing is to be adventurous! Don't be intimidated by weird or wacky ingredients. Though Sydneysider food vernacular is rather impressive, there are things that we tend to steer clear of. Try your hand at cooking offal or a new heirloom vegetable like kohlrabi!
And if in doubt, ask the stallholder - their passion for their product is infectious!
Through your writings and observations, have you noticed a trend in the way people are now shopping, where perhaps they are making their weekly market shopping an outing rather than a dash in and dash out type of experience
It is true that people are ridiculously time poor these days. Life often tends to get ahead of us. An early morning visit to the local markets can be such an enjoyable experience and it's a great way to catch a few rays.
Indeed, I have noticed that the markets have become a bit of a forum for families, pets and farmers alike....it's incredibly social.
So the new routine is this: arrive and make a beeline for a coffee, grab a brekkie egg & bacon roll and then peruse at your leisure. Or maybe a few quick fire rounds of "Guess Who" if you are Kings Cross! I tend to buy as much as I can, be it fruits or veg from organic producers and supplement my shop at a grocer only if I have to.
The farmers markets are a wonderful way to slow down, if only for an hour so, and I think that many are now starting to realising this.
What is one of your more favoured meals to prepare using fresh produce bought at market
On a lazy weekend, stay true to the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid!). With minimal interference to such lovely ingredients, you can make an amazing spread for lunch or dinner.
In the same vein, I love making "Market Bruschette" with bits and pieces I've bought from the market.
Anything goes really... a few slices of sourdough, proscuitto, buffalo mozarella, heirloom tomatoes, fresh herbs, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil et voila! I'm making myself hungry just talking about this!
If you had to sum up the "vibe" of shopping at Kings Cross Markets in 5 words......
These aren't necessarily "vibe" specific but:
Insightful, articulated, absolutely what we strive to aim towards and humbled by The City Gourmand's words. We thank her for such an inspiring interview and are certain that everyone who reads not only these words but also her own musings (which can be found "here") will gain a deeper understanding as to why buying local, buying fresh and keeping it real is so important these days of hustle and bustle.