Among the colour and chaos of South Australia’s gourmet headquarters, bakery businesses are booming. We catch up with the fine food purveyors bringing the art of bread, pastry and chocolate to the people of Adelaide Central Market.
For almost 150 years, the Central Market has been the jewel in the crown of South Australian Tourism; a haven of premium food and wine products, and second home to the city’s celebrated chefs. The largest fresh produce market in the southern hemisphere, this indoor wonderland boasts around 80 specialist stalls and draws in more than a million peole each month.
From Tuesday to Saturday, growers and artisan producers from across the state converge in the heart of the city to sell a mouth-watering array of ingredients, from fresh fruit and vegetables, to oysters, olive oils, cheese and hard-to-find ethnic ingredients.
With many vendors handling goods all the way from the paddock to the plate, it’s also a unique opportunity to tap into specialised knowledge about how best to use individual ingredients.
Home to cooking demonstrations, live music and and plenty of bargain banter, this marketplace is a vibrant and frenzied melting pot of cultural influences – particularly among the bakery contingent.
Adelaide still has the charm of a big country town and, if you’re lucky enough to bump into Mark Gleeson, you’ll feel like a local in no time. With more than 25 years’ experience in the hospitality industry – including as owner of the award-winning Grange Jetty Kiosk Restaurant – Mark has plenty of experience tracking down the state’s best produce. Better still, he’s happy to share Adelaide’s best kept food and wine secrets with locals and travelers through his market tour and tasting business.
The philosophy of Providore is simple: provide the most indulgent gourmet foods available in Adelaide. And, its selection doesn’t disappoint, with giant muffins, sweet and syrupy Greek cakes, gateaux, slices, croissants, doughnuts, biscuits, pies and pasties on high rotation. There’s also a chocolate fountain to be enjoyed with fresh fruit – it’s worth visiting for the spectacle alone.
Our pick: Belgian dark chocolate rocky road
Fanis Katsarelias and his sons James and Emmanuel are the happy faces behind Wild Loaf’s artisan breads, pies and pastries. The products are organic, and give a nostalgic nod to the family’s cultural heritage in the Greek Islands.
As one of the true artisan bakeries working out of the market, Wild Loaf uses its own starter, which originated from the Katsarelias’ own vineyard.
“We used to own a winery, where I built a wood oven simply to bake breads and pizzas for customers visiting the cellar door. But the bread took off in its own right. With business going so well we sold at the weekend farmers’ markets before opening up our own stall here at the Central Market,” Fanis says.
It’s an unusual story, but the enthusiastic bakers must be doing something right because business is booming. In fact, Wild Loaf makes more than 1500 loaves a week, and have opened a second shop outside the market to keep up with demand.
“In the markets we still make some of the baguettes, the pastries and we cook all the pies, pasties and sausage rolls – so it’s all fresh and smells wonderful,” Fanis says.
Although self-taught, baking must be in the blood for the Katsarelias family, with James and Emmanuel the third generation to continue the trade.
“My father was a baker in Greece, on a small island in the ‘40s and ‘50s. Now, my brother and his son run it. Here, James runs our other shop with his partner, while I go between the market stall and our production facility,” Fanis says.
“I couldn’t imagine it any other way. It’s like a little family here in the market. You know everyone and everyone knows what you are doing at every moment of the day because of the sounds and smells coming out of your stalls.”
Our pick: Haloumi and jalapeño sourdough
You simply can’t walk past this stall without stopping – but you’ll have to join the queue. The smells are incredible, and the service exceptionally friendly, with all the girls happy to stop and talk about the artisan products on sale.
Peter Heaney and Dianna Batistella’s specialised range of breads includes sourdough, baguettes, French patisserie delicacies, savoury and sweet muffins, tarts, pretzels, cheese sticks and even gluten-free baked products.
Dough has been supplying market shoppers with fresh baked goods for more than 10 years. While the team has a kitchen adjacent to the market, they endeavour to bake fresh onsite wherever possible.
Our pick: Citrustart
Bakers Delight has been part of the markets for more than 15 years, with breads and sweets baked onsite everyday.
Traditional sourdough breads, continental breads and pana di casa loaves sit alongside family favourites such as traditional block loaves and rolls, cape seed loaves and rolls,and a variety of classic and creatively flavoured scones.
Our pick: Savoury Roll
THE MARKET BREAD BAR
Theo Karamanidis and his team have been familiar faces at the Adelaide Central Market for more than four years, selling sourdough and rye bread from some of the best known bakeries in Adelaide.
Tucked away among the grocery and meat stalls, the business has even introduced a variety of international breads. In fact, it’s one of the places to go for German breads in the city, especially those with no wheat, yeast or preservatives.
Our pick: Glutenfree chocolate brownie
THE BAKERS TRAY
Whether you’re after pies, quiches, cakes, bread rolls, croissants, pastries or even a old-fashioned pavlova, Noel and Bruna Carrodus have you covered.
Collectively, the team boast more than 100 years’ experience in baking. Made the traditional way, you’ll be excused for thinking you’re back in Grandma’s kitchen.
Our pick: Apple custard pie
GOURMET TO GO
A market veteran, Gourmet To Go has been trading at the Central Market for 24 years, with owners Paul and Irene Noakes managing the shop for more than five.
The pair specialises in quality German-style breads, baguettes and fruit loaves, and have gained a strong reputation with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free communities for their sweet and savoury pastries and pies.
Our pick: Pretzel