The Underground Farmers Market, @MsMarmitelover’s, featuring Greenwich Smokery, Reiner’s & E5 Bakehouse.

Going to MsMarmitelover’s is an absolute treat. Kerstin Rodgers, the woman behind the name (and the fascinators), is responsible for bringing supper clubs to the capital and continues to throw a fabulous mix of demonstrative food events in her Kilburn home. I recently attended the Underground Farmers Market, a candlelit mix of street food stalls, cocktail bars and vintage crafts tucked into every nook & cranny of her abode (even the bath was put to good use as the ‘honesty’ bar).

Even sitting and soaking up the atmosphere at this event would have sent me home with a smile (bunting, fairy lights, a sneaky bonfire, live acoustic music all for £5 a ticket), but of course I was there to try the food. From Mauritian street food to the arancini brothers to oysters to speciality hot chocolate, there was so much to chose from. Below is a summary of what I munched on.

Greenwich Smokery

Visiting the Greenwich Smokery stall was one of the most charming experiences of the night. Chris Box runs an urban micro-smokery where he smokes Loch-Dart Salmon, Cornish Mackerel or MSC-certified herring from the Thames  Estuary and flogs them, sometimes for a pay what you think its worth prices, at both Greenwich & Leadenhall Markets. Wearing his head-torch (I think he must have missed the memo about the lighting) he prepped a freshly smoked mackerel and stuffed it with fresh herbs, smoked garlic and smoked lemons. Sealed with cocktail sticks, shoved onto a soaked bamboo stick and placed on the open bonfire to crisp up, it was utterly delicious. We ate it with our fingers by the bonfire whilst sipping dirty martinis.

Reiner’s Austrian Fine Foods

Reiner’s had me hooked when I heard the words hot pumpkin soup – perfect by the bonfire food. It got ten times better when Marco topped it with Pumpkin Seed oil, one of the specialist products Reiner’s import from Austria. Rich and intensely nutty, it really bought the soup to life and made it something special. I look forward to trying some of their other gourmet vinegars, cheeses and charcuteries down in Maltby Street Market, Bermondsey, where Marco Reiner trades from an archway with chef Franz Schinagl. Franz did a brilliantly fun and informative session at the market, during which he cooked two types of traditional Austrian dumplings – one spinach and one grilled cheese. Both were totally delicious but the spinach ones had me hooked. Boiled gently and served steaming with hot brown butter and grated alpine cheese, I could have eaten the entire plate. Kindly, the team have passed on the recipe, see below for full details.

E5 Bakehouse

E5 Bakehouse are an artisan sourdough bakery located in a railway arch in Hackney. I watched Ben, one of the head bakers, give such an interesting demo about sourdough that I left wanting to eat nothing but E5’s natural, tasty, locally nurtured loaves. The bakery uses a 200 year old rye sourdough culture which began life in Lapland, travelling via Sweden, and passed through 3 generations before being handed onto Ben. He kindly gave some of the ‘mother’ to those who watched; mine’s sitting in my fridge waiting eagerly for its feed of a mix of water and flour. I hope one day I open the fridge and it’s magically turned into a sourdough loaf. They do some great looking courses on Saturday’s where you can learn much much more than me, click here for details.

The full list of stall holders is shown on MsMarmitelover’s website. Thanks to the venue, and the host of course, this was unlike any other food market I have ever attended. The warmth, camaraderie, fab, varied food and generally brilliant atmosphere created by those who took part and attended will have me back next year.

Dumpling Recipe, provided by Marco & Franz
Base mix
800 gr stale white bread (best are bloomers or rolls) cut into cubes size of a fingernail
3 eggs
0.5 white onion
About 250-350ml milk
1tbl butter
Salt pepper nutmeg
Sauté the onions in the butter till soft add milk and seasoning. Warm milk to body temp and poor over the stale bread. Let sit for a few minutes for the bread to be able to soak up the milk then add the eggs. Mix thoroughly with your hands checking on the consistency of the bread. The bread should just about be soaked all the way through but there should not be any excess liquid in the bowl. If it feels too soft add some extra bread, if it’s to hard, add milk.
For spinach dumplings
Sauté around 300gr of washed spinach in butter until soft, use a bar lender or stick blender to puree the spinach until it is as smooth as possible. Add spinach into the dumpling mix (as the spinach will add extra moisture put a little less milk initially), then form the mix into dumpling and put them into salted boiling water and let simmer for around 20 min. These are best served with some brown butter on top and grated cheese (alpine cheese is perfect but other hard cheeses like compte or parmesan would do just fine as well)
For the grilled cheese dumplings
Add around 300gr of fine cubed cheese  ( Alpine cheese would be best but compte or emmenthal would work as well) into the base mix and some chopped parsley. Shape dumpling and flatten them and grill them in a non stick pan on medium heat with a little oil until fully cooked throughout and crispy on the outside. Serve with some sour cream with salad or inside a beef or veg bouillon

5 thoughts on “The Underground Farmers Market, @MsMarmitelover’s, featuring Greenwich Smokery, Reiner’s & E5 Bakehouse.

  1. Sounds like such a fun event – wish I could have gone. I’ve never tried the bread from E5 bakehouse but have heard very good things about it – lucky you to have a bit of the ‘mother’ in your fridge!

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