Thursday, October 26, 2006

Markets Tour With Giovanni Pilu

The last of my Good Food Month activities, this morning's tour of the Sydney Fish Markets and Flemington Markets with Sardinian two-hat chef, Giovanni Pilu, was a definite highlight. The 5.30am start wasn't too bad and after a tea and warm pastry we toured the fish market auction floor and checked out the behind-the-scenes action. It was a privilege to see such stunning shiny clear-eyed fish and seafood, including 70kg yellowfin tuna with gem-like ruby flesh, and to hear Giovanni's simple ideas on how to cook them. The auction floor is a hive of activity and it's interesting to hear about food trends at that level: school prawns which used to be a sign of a shoddy establishment and were cheap as chips are now really popular, flash-fried with the shell on in flour, salt and chili and served as bar snacks, and now are about double in price.

Then we hopped on a coach and went out to the Sydney Markets, touring the fruit and vegetables sections, popping into Giovanni's preferred tomato providore (Love Bite tomatoes - oh!), having a laugh with the cheeky sellers, sampling new season cherries, crisp apples, huge meaty olives, and being loaded up with freebies. Each seller would pop in whatever we came by to try or hear about, and our bags by the end were heavy with fresh zucchinis, kipfler potatoes, cucumbers, Roma beans, and wonderful new ideas on what to do with such amazing produce. We finished with a coffee, my espresso so good I happily had another.

We're now planning on heading to the markets fortnightly for our fresh produce shopping. The quality and prices are reason enough to avoid the supermarkets, but I also love the ambiance, the banter with the sellers (and the money going to them), the senses awoken.

And we've decided my birthday will be at Pilu, so really looking forward to that.

Fresh vongole

Crayola-coloured Blue Swimmer crabs

Boxes of goodness

The most vibrant red cabbages

Lemons and oranges

Baby beetroot - many ideas for these little gems

Here comes summer: Tahitian limes

Two coffees are better than one

Tagged with: gfm06


Blogger Jules said...

Firstly, good to see that you've got the tagging thing going on!! :-)

Secondly, those baby beetroot and limes look divine!

12:38 AM  

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