Contributors to The Greenwich Market Cookbook, Italian husband and wife team Matteo and Marzia of No57A share the inspiration behind the street food business – and why people keep can’t get enough of their famous pulled pork.
How did No57A begin?
Marzia: When we were employed our dream was always to open a small business, something to be proud of! We have always been enthusiastic food-lovers and passionate of markets and street food. One day we decided that it was time to try and we both dropped our jobs and we started this adventure. Matteo was a chef and I was assistant manager of a branded restaurant.
Why did you choose Greenwich Market and how long have you been there?
Marzia: We went to visit many markets before applying. I remember it was a very busy Sunday two years ago and some stalls had long queues. Straight away Matteo said, “I want a business like this, with the queue all day ’til we sold out”. I still can’t believe this is really happening!
What does your name refer to?
Marzia: No57A was the door number of our first flat together. That place has many important memories for us. The first place where we were trying recipes for the business, where the business actually started but more importantly our first place together as a couple. I am sorry we had to leave our home, but the business is growing and we need more space.
Where do you get your recipe inspiration from?
Marzia: As Italians we are very proud of our cuisine (as cooks and as eaters). Everything we cook will always have some Italian inspiration, but as adopted Londoners, we have learnt how a fusion of different cultures can produce something amazing.
Why did you decide to use Indian chapati flour in your flatbreads?
Marzia: We have spent many months finding the perfect flatbread and we have tried every possible flour on the market. Of the chapati flour, we loved the texture and the wholewheat flavour. It is healthy but very tasty. But the recipe is Italian, of course!
In The Greenwich Market Cookbook you offer a pulled pork recipe – how did this idea come about?
Marzia: When Matteo was working in the kitchen he was specialising in meat recipes so he knew that he could use his knowledge to make a special dish.
Matteo: I wanted the wow effect, a dish that you can smell from far and than when you see it you could dream of the taste of it. I know I chose well when customers come back more than once in the same day!
Do you think it’s important to create fusion dishes from different cultures, rather than stick to tradition?
Marzia: Many traditional recipes are amazing but the possibility of using creativity is what makes food so special, making something new original.
What’s your favourite wrap?
Marzia: Matteo of course loves the pulled pork but I adore our vegetarian wrap. Is made with cheddar cheese, mixed leaves salad, fresh tomato and chives, creamy Brie cheese, salsa rosa dressing and a sprinkle of crispy onion. For me is to die for. I can eat it every day!
Why do you roll out the bread dough onto a marble slab?
Marzia: It is traditional in Italy and it is also very beautiful and decorative. Even at home we use it to knead the dough. We don’t use any dough mixer, it is all handmade. A little extra work but it’s all worth it.
What’s the best thing about being a street food trader?
Marzia: Firstly being your own boss is priceless. It’s true that you never stop working, there is always something to do but you do it for yourself. You also have the freedom of choosing where to trade, to move your business potentially everywhere, but still enjoying the opportunity of having regular customers like a “real” shop.
I’m sure your flatbread recipe is top secret, so what would you recommend as the best alternative if we’re making a pulled pork wrap at home?
Marzia: Our suggestion is more about the quality of the bread rather than the type. Choose the bread you like but it has to be good quality!
What’s your top tip for making BBQ pulled pork?
Matteo: Patience! Slow and low is the secret.
No57A | Greenwich Market, Greenwich, London SE10 9HZ | Friday to Sunday