Tales Of The
A note from the Editor Tales of the Artisan... A journey through food in all it's humble glory In this month's issue we delve into; Tales of the craft, Tales of Christmas, and Tales of our favourite things Rifle through the pages and emerge hungry for all things festively artisan. Enjoy!
Page Four; A Christmas Tale The German Christmas Market serves up a plethora of artisan treats.
Page Twenty; A Tale of Three Artisans
Phoebe Day explores the delights the award winning Doncaster Market has to offer.
Page Twenty Eight; The Perfect setting for a feast A few artisan products we love the most.
Page Thirty Four; Wine What more can you say?
A Special Thanks... To all at The Chocolate Deli, Phil and collegues at Plane and Armstrong and all at Topping. All of which made this magazine as mouth watering as possible
Are you sitting comfortably?
Then we shall begin...
A Christmas Tale
Stars Mulled Wine Im dreaming of a white christmas
Rudolph the red nosed reindeer Presents
Christmas Cracker Turkey and all the trimmings Santa
Frohe Weihnachten Ding Dong Merrily on High
Life is like a box of chocolates...
You never know what youâ€™re going to get...
A timid Artisan
...mugs of wine
A Tale of Three Artisans... Phoebe Day explores the delights that the award winning Doncaster Market has to offer and talks to the artisans that produce them.
With the rise in popularity of proper artisan goods I wondered where in my mind, who or what epitomises this ‘trend’. The definition being;
A person or company that makes a high-quality, distinctive product in small quantities, usually by hand and using traditional methods. Much to my surprise the place that stuck out to me was the market I was dragged around as a child, somewhere I have mixed memories of, and somewhere that always smelled like fish, Doncaster Market! As much as I didn’t enjoy my visits, now as a lover of great food from great places, there is no denying that Doncaster Market is home to some of the best produce. It was in fact awarded the title of Britain’s Best Market in 2011. So I thought, where else better to ask Yorkshires artisans their thoughts.
Among the 400 stalls in the indoor Victorian maze, I stumbled upon Janine Paul’s new ‘Chocolate Deli’. As she was having a break from baking with a cup of tea I jumped at the chance of asking her a few questions. What made you decide to open the chocolate deli? The idea came to us in Lanzarote 8 years ago, while trying to order coffee & cake, there was a language barrier between us and the waiter. However, it didn’t matter, because while he was trying to explain what each of the yummy looking cakes were, I said ‘give me any’. That’s when I realised; there isn’t a cake in the world I won’t eat. I’d discovered my calling. What makes you different do you think? The Chocolate Deli is a ‘cakery’ with a difference. We’re not like other cake makers - all our recipes are homemade and have been thoroughly researched and perfected over eight years. It’s been such hard work, as you can imagine. I consider myself a cakey-connoisseur. You haven’t always been in the market, was it a good move? Since I opened the deli the response has been really positive, I have repeat customers like I did when I had a sandwich shop, but now I’m selling something I’m passionate about. Who can complain when they’re doing a job they love? Is it just you in the deli? Yeah, instead of employing staff I choose to commission different people to make things, like the fudges and the cheesecakes, they are all still made locally and it’s more economical really. What do you love about the job? I love just being in the market, there’s such a lovely atmosphere, like a real sense of community. Everyone helps each other out, has a good gossip and I get a few strange requests from the butchers lads on a Saturday that keep me on my toes! Do you supply around the area? I don’t really supply to cafes or restaurants, they tend to buy wholesale, my chocolate fudge cake will cost them £30 to buy but they can get the same thing that doesn’t offend anyone for £15. I only use top quality ingredients, I make everything on site with local products. I don’t see the point in doing it if you don’t give it the love and attention the cakes
deserves. I do parties, weddings and things but that tends to come from people coming in or over Facebook really, social media has been a great help, I suppose that’s something bakers didn’t have back in the day. It was interesting to see Janine’s stall, I loved how she had made it into her own little bakery right there in the market, the smells circulating just added to the experience. She was so passionate about her craft; she worked all day everyday on her own, just with the company of her rolling pin and ‘pinny’. As I continued my quest I discovered one of the most well-known stalls in the whole of the market. Toppings have been around for as long as I can remember, and they have always been the place for pies. They have been artisan pie makers even before people wanted artisan pie makers. They are traditional and local and incredibly popular so they just had to be featured. I asked Anne, with her wonderful gingham bonnet and pinafore combination if she would mind chatting to me about their proper pie stall. How long has Toppings been going? Topping started as a butcher’s 50 years ago and then in 1991 they branched out into pie making, opening this stall in the market. What’s the most popular thing you sell? That’s probably cooked belly pork and ham, and all of the pies really, especially the traditional pork pies, we never have any left past lunch time. Do you have a loyal customer following? We tend to have a variety of customers, not just your stereotypical old person buying pie. We have a lady that comes all the way from Belgium to buy pies for her sons shop over there! We do tend to get the same people in of a weekend though, I think the customers of the market like the traditional things it offers. Plus artisan products have become ‘trendy’ so that’s why we have lots of different people now compared to what we did have.
“I love just being in the market, there’s such a lovely atmosphere, like a real sense of community.”
Has the recession had an impact on the business? It doesn’t seem to have impacted that much; we’ve just opened a new shop in Sheffield which is doing really well, and a factory where we make the products for clients. I think the fact that we are really well known around the Doncaster area for our traditional quality stuff helps a lot, I think a good reputation gets you everywhere. Do you supply to a few places then? We supply all over, Belgium like I said and Greece, we also supply to supermarkets like Asda, and more surprisingly Harrods and Selfridges. It’s funny that you can go all the way to London and pay a lot of money for something that was made in Donny Market! Do you get everything from local suppliers? We source everything locally and all our pies are made here in the kitchen, there isn’t much travel involved! That just adds to the charm of the tradition I think. And the best part about the job? Well recently our new trend is wedding cakes! We’ve just done a tiered cake for a couple, it was three tiers of different pies with ribbons and a little pastry bride and groom. People are asking for customised pies for birthdays, Christmas etc. Not your average 18th party that, a meat and potato pie cake! It was so enlightening talking to Anne; I strangely felt a sense of pride, who knew that something from Doncaster Market, that’s been a part of my life forever, is sold in some of the most prestigious stores in the world. They also supply to Fortnum and Mason, whose food hall is basically a shrine for foodies of today. It’s a credit to them as artisan producers that their much loved pies can now be enjoyed nationwide. My final port of call was to our friend Phil the butcher. When you think of artisan you think of beautiful breads or the pies and cake delights of the other two stalls, but I believe that butchers in their own right deserve a little artisan status. When did Plane and Armstrong open? I think about 25 years ago, we are classed as master butchers, we do it all, from hoof to pie! It’s quite the accolade actually; we are one of three master butchers in the area. Do you source everything locally? Everything, always have done, even before doing that was all the rage! It’s always been important for us to use what’s available locally.
“It’s a little nod to the past, I love a bit of nostalgia”
“A good reputation gets you everwhere”
Has the recession hit you at all? A little, but people still want top quality meat, which is usually the same price as the rubbish you tend to get at the supermarket. Coming to the market is a more enjoyable shopping experience I think, the hustle and bustle and shouting. You don’t get that anywhere else, it’s a little nod to the past, I love a bit of nostalgia. What is your most popular product? We’ve opened a few stalls in the market not just the butchers so our cooked meat stall is popular at the minute, we also do our own pies, sausages, black pudding, the most popular one is generally pork sausages and pork pies. Can’t argue with tradition. Best part of the job? I love the diversity, no two days are ever the same, love the banter with our customers, we have a lot of return customers so you get to know them, you don’t get that with supermarkets, if their latest batch of sausages were sh*t they’ll come and tell you to sort it out. Just as if they loved it, you get to know that, job satisfaction! And the worst? 3 days a week we’ll get no break, start at half 5 and finish at 5, that has to be a down side. We’ve got a few 16 year old lads helping out; they’re not allowed to touch anything! They can’t prep the meat, handle the knives, anything. So the worst part of the job has to be health and safety gone mad, either that or cleaning out at the end of the day. Phil raises many points that I believe sums up why artisan products and craftsmanship has become so popular recently. People love feeling nostalgic; a visit to a farmers market or a butcher’s that has been in your family for generations isn’t just for the practicality of getting your meat and cheese. It’s all about the experience, the tradition. People have less money to spend, so are opting for quality produce, a little luxury that goes a long way. It feels good to know that you are supporting a local business, rather than your local Asda, that all adds to the charm. And for me, a day around your local high-street gets a little boring. It’s refreshing to immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of a busy market with the plethora of people that shop there. If anything, it’s a cheap day out full of culture, cakes and other culinary delights that you can take home and share it with your family and friends, that’s something you don’t get with a new pair of shoes.
The perfect setting for a...
The ‘Northern Snack’
Pork and Stuffing pie
There aren’t many bad days that can’t be put straight with a fine bottle of wine. Be it a stressful day at the office, a bad hair day, a milestone birthday, or simply an ‘I need wine day’ One of life’s simple pleasures is that first sip, the sip that turns into a sigh of relief... Good wine, good company and a hint of winter sunshine. The ingredients to a happier place.
ine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized.” Andre Simon