MEET MARTA AND RICCARDO
We are always very humbled by the support we receive from Ginger Pig customers. We know that many of you have been stepping through our doors from the very beginning, so we thought we’d share some of the lovely stories we’ve been hearing across our shops.
And whose story could be better to start with than Marta and Riccardo, who live a stone’s throw away from our Hackney shop.
Originally from Italy, the couple have lived in London with their children for many years now, and have been witness to the ‘foodie revolution’ of the capital city. They began their journey with us (and you’ll soon learn why it is indeed a ‘journey’) in Marylebone in 2000, where the concept of ageing meat was a completely new trend at the time, and something that Marta and Riccardo learnt from us. Both from their chats with the butchers in the Moxon Street shop, and attending one of our very first butchery classes, with Borut shutting up the shop for the evening and setting up an ‘after hours’ offering for customers who wanted to learn more about their meat. With that came a love of côte de boeuf from special breeds such as Longhorn, veal, French poultry and many other fine cuts, which the couple would enjoy with a perfectly paired with French pinot noir (Riccardo’s wine expertise is second to none!) When Marta gave birth to their first child, the first gift she received was a fillet from one of the Moxon Street butchers, to enjoy the beef tartare that she had desperately been craving during pregnancy!
They decided to relocate North East in the capital to be closer to work and school. And what was one of the major factors for where to choose a new family home? The meat! It might sound perhaps like we’re adding a little creative ‘flair’ to this story, but availability of good food nearby was especially important to them. Marta describes it as “one of the constants in their lives”. And when they discovered there was a Ginger Pig shop on Lauriston Road near Victoria Park, along with a good fishmonger, the decision was made. And with the move came a discovery of new cuts and new ways of cooking. Different types of steak. Barbecuing in the garden whilst sipping good Tuscan reds. Mastering the art of the Shepherd’s Pie. Always with a glass of fine wine in hand. At this point they started moving towards South African wines, as their food journey progressed.
But while they loved their new life in Hackney, as they watched the sun go down in the garden surrounded by good food, wine and company, there was one thing missing. The sea. They missed being able to look out at the blues and greens, the sounds of the crashing waves. They wondered if their children were becoming disconnected from their roots and heritage. They missed home.
A move back to Italy was on the cards, packing up all of their belongings in London and making the move back to sunnier climes. And while it was lovely to be home, Marta and Riccardo soon became frustrated at the lack of produce they’d become accustomed to and so enjoyed in London. Aged beef was like gold dust and never tasted quite the same. Lamb was nice, but small, and only available in spring and without the same depth of flavour and richness. They searched endlessly for onglet but none of the local butchers understood which cut it was. One year, Marta tried to make a beef wellington (a regular request from their children for special occasions, who had developed an equally fine palate as their parents) but the fillet was not cut properly by the butcher and the dish was a disaster. After just a few years, another big decision was made. The sea wasn’t enough. The meat was more important. Time to go back to London.
And so Marta and Riccardo have kept their beautiful home in Italy but returned to live in Hackney, all whilst gaining a love of new world wines from South Africa thanks to their travels in between the said moves. We are ever so excited to have them back. Lazslo, the manager of our Hackney shop, was delighted to see their faces again.
Stories like this always delight us, we are truly grateful for the support our customers have shown us over the years. We feel very privileged to play a role in all of your families’ lives, from the kitchen to the dinner table. If you have a Ginger Pig story that you’d like to share with us, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org - we would love to have a chat with you!
As a thank you to Marta and Riccardo, we are putting together a new recipe dedicated to them, taking inspiration from their story. Keep your eyes peeled, it will be available on our website and social channels very soon.