Images from The English Can Cook
The days of setting up a stall at a little market and selling your cakes or knitted scarves are almost over--everything has gotten too big and commercial and obsessed with health and safety. So here's a new alternative that just might catch on. It's a Do It Yourself market; held in your own home or apartment and advertised underground and by Twitter.
The first Underground Farmers & Craft Market in the UK was held this weekend, all set up in a house and the garden. It was a roaring success with 38 artisanal stalls and 200 people attending, Organized by a woman who is already famous for her underground restaurant, this was a chance for keen amateurs, bakers and artisans to show their wares in a friendly and hip atmosphere.
What is so wonderful about an event like this is the chance it gives to aspiring and amateur cooks and crafts people. Many, many folks make delicious things at home but don't have a proper commercial kitchen or don't know how to get started at a market, or are just too nervous. Plus it takes a real investment to get into weekly selling at a place. This event is a chance for them to test the waters, get people's reactions and see if they can give it a try.
In Ms Marmite Lover's model, the stall holders get in free and the visitors pay. This encourages people to have a go and allows lots of new ideas to flourish: once anyways. Visitors paid £5.50 ($8.00 US) to get in.
The organizer, known only as Ms Marmite Lover, said "I want to encourage first timers, locavores and quirky Londoners to come and sell their wares (free for stallholders)...it's gonna be a mashup between an edgy cool entrepreneurial anti-establishment anarchist fair, Borough market and...a school fete!"
Vendors came from all over; Wales, Belgium and Poland, as well as the local area. They sold cupcakes, drinks, cheese, knitted goods, jewelery, cupcakes and pies from a farm shop in Norfolk. The list goes on and on and each is yummier sounding than the next.
There were demonstrations of porridge making by the Porridge Lady, (only in England), with tasting all around. There was basket making, and demo's in cheese making (haloumi), cosmetics, chinese dumplings, and wine tasting.
She set up tents in the back garden in case of rain, but amazingly the sun shone on the event. There was even a bonfire. An astrologer talked about the links between astrology and food. He ran through the charts of some of the top chefs: Gordon Ramsay, a Scorpio; and Jamie Oliver: a Gemini, with great communication skills.
The idea originated in San Francisco for the same reasons: a chance for foodies to show their stuff and get their products out there and tasted by a wider community. What city will be next.