314 Illawarra Road, Marrickville
02 8065 0844
The terms ‘seasonal’ and ‘local’ are thrown around a lot these days, but at Cornersmith in Marrickville, it’s as true and wholesome as their food.
Husband and wife team, James Grant and Alex Elliot-Howery, established the Marrickville cafe in 2011. After many years in the coffee industry and cafe scene, James wanted to be able to start up on their own, while Alex pulled out her love of pickling and preserving to add to the menu.
Quickly becoming a Sydney institution, Cornersmith has grown to two cafes in the inner-west, a picklery and a cooking school. The ethos is a simple one. The couple believes in ethical food production, sustainable business practices and community engagement. Through the cafes and cooking schools, the couple strives to reduce food wastage, eat with the seasons, all using locally sourced produce from local suppliers.
Their Backyard Trading concept sees small scale growers delivering home grown produce to be used in the kitchen. The couple love meeting traders, having a chat and swapping their plentiful produce for a coffee or a jar of pickles.
This attitude to food has seen the cafe gain a loyal following of regulars who visit the cafe to try items from the ever-changing menu, curated by Head Chef, Sabine Spindler. Try the breakfast bowl – fig leaf syrup yoghurt, plums, figs, lime juice, shiso syrup with bok and buckwheat crunch. Gracing their summer menu, you might find oxheart tomatoes, smokey eggplant, confit garlic, bocconcini on Dust Bakery scacciata, while a whole roasted cauliflower with almonds, herbs and tahini warms their winter menu.
The cafe’s interior is low fuss, with the backboard behind the counter taking pride of place and keeping customers well informed of where their food is coming from. Warm timber features, white tiles, beautiful lighting and a yellow roof give the cafe a cosy and ‘home away from home’ vibe.
Whilst typically Cornersmith’s doors close at night, the team has been working on putting together community dinners, inspired by friendly neighbourhood dining. The set menu showcases seasonal flavours that are enjoyed alongside local beers and natural wines.
A visit to the Marrickville cafe will enlighten you to where the Cornersmith revolution all began. Grab a coffee and a menu and watch some home grown produce arrive, delivered by a friendly neighbour or local small farmer – this is cooking back at its homey roots.