When Marco Marinelli was 15, he thought the Central Market’s hyper-specialised mushroom shop was “the most ridiculous stall ever”.
In 2003, he bought it. Marinelli has been the Mushroom Man ever since. The tiny stall – little more than a fridge piled high with mushrooms and some shelves laden with decadent truffle oils, salts and pastes – offers more than 50 varieties of mushroom, garlic and condiments.
Exotic choices include truffles and, on special occasions, the rare Adelaide Hills porcini, which was discovered for the first time in 2011 by one of Marinelli’s local suppliers.
The Mushroom Man’s network of local growers and foragers is impressive, and this network allows Marinelli to stock local, organic mushrooms and their imported cousins. Marinelli has supplied top chefs Simon Bryant, Cheong Liew and Duncan Welgemoed, but he likes to see home cooks tackling the tricky varieties, too. He regularly hosts cooking demonstrations to help home cooks master the mushroom.