I was invited to a Supper-club style evening meal recently at Market Porter’s new and shiny HQ in the newly developing “Embassy Quarter” near the iconic Battersea power station building famous for its use by Pink Floyd for their album artwork for “Animals”
Market Porter is a new online marketplace that is the logical progression of its former identity of Meat Porter. Having made a great success of its meat delivery service, Stefan Porter and Nick Ford decided to branch out and continue their ethos of trackable, ethically produced British meats into other products, starting with Cheese, Charcuterie and closely followed by Chocolate.
Here in the UK, we are blessed with cheese in abundance. But it wouldn’t appear that way if you just quickly scanned the shelves at your typical supermarket. Yes, there are now lots of different Cheddars thankfully, but here in the UK, there is so much more to be had. Charles De Gaulle famously said, “How can you govern a nation that has 246 varieties of cheese?” Well……. “Pah!” The UK currently has more than 700 varieties, far exceeding the French offering! There is really no need to look beyond our own shores for excellent cheese if one is willing to spend just a touch more than usual.
Regarding chocolate, Britain is currently in the midst of an explosion of local chocolate making, with small producers importing their own cocoa beans and blending and tempering their own very fine chocolates. In a way, it is akin to the recent expansion of craft brewing in the UK, where enthusiasts have suddenly realised they can make a product that’s as good as anything out there commercially and have taken the plunge and gone into artisanal production.
Charcuterie is another small but growing business in the UK. Britain is ideally placed to be amongst the best in the world of Charcuterie, our old and rare breeds and climate could not be better suited really. Forget limp looking Parma ham! Once you’ve tasted what the UK has to offer you won’t want to go back!
Market Porter is also able to offer next day delivery across most of the UK on meat, and the cheese and charcuterie are available on set days during the month at the moment.
Founder Stefan Porter gave us a quick talk on the company and fielded questions from the audience. His background is in mainstream supermarkets, and he left to setup Meat Porter as he felt that there was a disconnect between the farmer or producer and the customer, that both parties wanted back. We want to know where our food comes from, and the producers want to know that people are enjoying it rather than just waving goodbye to it as it disappears into the grinder. The large supermarkets just cannot do this, despite transparent efforts to make people believe they can so there is definitely a growing space in the market for companies like Market Porter. Their products are distributed through hubs currently, and as time passes Market Porter intends to increase the number of hubs around the country, which means that food miles travelled decreases as well. It’s a great business plan with quality and ethics at its heart. Although and online business at heart, Stefan and Nick also felt that a physical presence was important so our meal was served up at their new headquarters
Our meal was cooked for us by Katherine Frelon, who runs a cookery school and is also a private chef, and has cooked in a 3 Michelin star restaurant, and showcased some of Market Porter’s lovely produce. We started with a green salad with British spicy Chorizo. Chorizo comes in many styles and spicy and peppery is one that can be a little lacking in subtlety. Not in this case, though, it was beautifully balanced and the chilli kick was very nicely done, being more of a subtly nuanced aftertaste that lingered pleasantly.
The main course was a 3 bird roast, consisting of a Gressingham Duck, containing a Turkey Breast and a Guinea Fowl with a pork, apricot and orange stuffing. This large roast was beautifully cooked, moist and flavourful and the stuffing was wonderful.
Pudding was a lemon posset with chocolate from Amelia Rope. Again, this was beautifully presented and the quality of the ingredients shone through.
The meal was finished off with a selection of British cheeses , a Cheddar, and blue cheese and a Goats cheese. Market Porter offers several choices of cheese box, a traditional selection, and a discovery box. The discovery box has slightly more unusual selections within it and is a great way to expand your horizons a little in the wonderful world of cheese.
Market Porter has a great website, and I’d suggest a peruse through it. It’s easy to use and simple to navigate. It’s an organisation I believe deserves to go far in this expanding market. With products this good, it’s hard to see how they won’t! Or visit the shop
7 New Union Square,
Embassy Gardens, SW8 5DN