Maker & Monger
Stall 25, Prahran Market, 163 Commercial Rd, South Yarra
0413 900 490
If there’s anything better than gooey, flame-grilled cheese, we haven’t heard of it. Smack bang in the middle of Prahran Market lies a food cart that has perfected just that.
Owner, Anthony Femia, knows a thing or two about cheese. He’s an internationally recognised cheesemonger, having come fourth in the 2013 Mondial du Fromage in France. He was also the mastermind behind Australia’s first underground cheese maturation cellar and retail space at Spring Street Grocer, responsible for Melburnians buying up criminal quantities of delicious dairy product.
Annual trips to France, Switzerland, the US and the UK allow Anthony to bring the best quality product and unique varieties to Australian cheese fans. And as the recipient of a 2015 Churchill Fellowship Anthony spent three months exploring the globe working with the best cheesemakers – a dream job if you ask us.
Passionate about sharing his love and knowledge of farmhouse and artisanal cheeses, Anthony bought and restored an antique French food cart and set up shop in Prahran’s historic markets. When settling on a name Anthony went with something simple; a reflection of the holy union of the cheesemaker and cheesemonger, and the process of producing, maturing and selling fine cheeses.
Since then he’s attracted cheese fanatics and casual foodies alike with a rotating selection of everything from Comte to Tunworth. He’s always willing to share his expertise about affinage – the complex art of maturing cheeses to achieve the perfect texture and flavour.
Luckily, the best way to further your cheese appreciation is a taste test. Maker & Monger’s oozy grilled cheeses are matched with local produce, such as heritage potatoes grown in Victoria, St. David’s Dairy cultured butter, grass-fed beef from Robbin’s Island, Melbourne-made sourdough, and vegetables from the neighbourly vendors of Prahran Market.
Head down to Anthony’s self-proclaimed Chariot of Cheese and tuck into a plate of the original Swiss Raclette, melted over heritage pink fir potatoes and cornichons. Taking cues from the other side of the Atlantic, the All-American sandwich combines two American cheeses, onions, parsley and grilled sourdough.
Keen on spice? Try the Southern-style pimento and cayenne grilled cheese sandwich, sure to set fire to the tastebuds. The Flaming Reuben is also a crowd favourite – rye bread packed with mustard, Anthony’s own sauerkraut, grass-fed Wagyu pastrami and of course, luscious melted cheese.
The latest addition to the cheesy menu is the mouth-watering Cacio e Pepe con Tartufo. The name translates to pasta with pepper but when it’s cooked on top of a wheel of Parmesan cheese it becomes so much more than that. As the hot pasta is twirled around the huge wheel it obtains a rich, cheesy flavour – the perfect comfort food for winter.
Head down to Maker & Monger and educate yourself on the fine art of affinage while consuming some of the world’s tastiest cheeses.