A cheesemonger and a vegan chef may seem an unconventional pairing at first, but Maker & Monger’s Anthony Femia and Smith & Daughters’ Shannon Martinez have combined their culinary passions into two salty, cheesy plant-based jaffles, which ooze just like the real thing.
From Friday January 24 until the end of February, swing by Femia’s Prahran Market stall to try a vegan bolognaise and cashew-milk mozzarella jaffle, dubbed the “Little Carmine”; or a mapo tofu and Sichuan pepper version filled with vegan cheddar and parmesan. That one’s called the “Mapo Magic”.
Both will draw on dishes from Martinez’s Italian-style menu at Smith & Daughters, and whichever sells best will become a permanent fixture at Maker & Monger from March.
“It’s all about having fun and evoking childhood memories of the jaffles that mum would make – and those little midnight runs to the fridge after a big night out,” says Femia.
The bolognaise is made with shiitake and enoki mushrooms prepped to mimic mince meat, then doused in a rich, onion-and-garlic-heavy sauce.
Martinez’s mozzarella adds the familiar molten-cheese texture and umami flavour of an old-school jaff, and Femia will be selling it separately in-store.
Jaffle number two gets its molten feel courtesy of the mapo tofu. Plant-based parmesan and cheddar provides the salt for the spicy Sichuan specialty. Martinez is still perfecting the parmesan recipe, and she ordered in the cheddar for the collaboration.
Both will be available on GF Precinct’s sandwich-cut gluten-free bread.
Femia says he expects the new jaffles to “cure a lot of hangovers this summer” but has one word of warning: “As with all freshly cooked jaffles, people have to be careful not to eat them straight away or they’ll burn their tongue.”
The vegan jaffles will be available at Maker & Monger, Prahran Market, Stall 98/163 Commercial Road, South Yarra from Friday January 24 until Saturday February 29 and cost $15 each.