Local produce cooked perfectly in front of your eyes at the Central Market

By David Russell

Adelaide Central Market regulars would be well aware of the transformation the Market has undergone in the past year.

New Chair Nick Begakis has shaken things up, bringing diverse new cuisines and shops into the fold – an approach that has increased foot traffic by 25% in the past 12 months.

Another person helping change the image of the market is Mark Gleeson from Central Market Tours. Mark is bringing a range of experiences to the historic and newly activated Market Kitchen (formally a pool hall), located on the first floor, above the stalls.

One of those events is the monthly Butcher’s Block, where Central Market stallholders are invited to share what is special about their produce, and cook it up for guests.

“Butcher’s Block gives Central Market stallholders an opportunity to share (their) knowledge via a hands on experience, directly to an appreciative audience,” Mark told Inside South Australia.

“There are over 80 people in the Adelaide Central Market that have some history as a professional in the food industry.”

This month’s Butcher’s Block will be held on Friday 16 October from 5.30pm. It will feature long-term Central Market stallholder Tony O’Connell from O’Connell’s Meats, who will be carving up three whole Beachport spring lambs in front of guests and cooking the various cuts to perfection.

According to Tony, the quality of meat is essential to making a successful dish.

“I will be breaking down the lamb into major and minor cuts and cooking seven different dishes,” he said. “The dishes will include cutlets, back straps, shoulder, sausages and a few other surprises.

“This will give the audience a chance to see where the cuts they normally buy are from on the lamb.”

Friday’s event is the fourth Butcher’s Block held in the Market Kitchen. Other stallholders featured so far include Samtass, Island Pure and Barossa Fine Foods. Each event is paired with a local craft beer tastings, which Mark sees as a perfect accompaniment to the food stories being shared by producers.

“We intend to work with as many local brewers as possible,” said Mark.

“Butcher’s Block is an opportunity for start up small-to-medium food and beer producers to make contact directly with customers. People have become more interested in flavor profiles, in product origin, and in the people behind the scenes who manufacture and create great food, wine and beer.”

Tickets are $40 and still available (for now). Don’t miss out!

Central Market Tours is a Brand South Australia member.