Internationally recognised cheesemonger Anthony Femia is building a mecca for people who love cheese and know what to do with it.
Actually, even if you don’t know what to do with it, Femia has you covered. From a newly restored French food cart, his new venture Maker & Monger (which opened this weekend at Prahran Market) kicks off with a grilled cheese and raclette bar. Soon he will set up with a permanent shop.
Femia is internationally recognised in the world of cheese. His exposure to European cheese culture in places such as London and France has been the inspiration behind the specialised focus of Maker & Monger. An accompanying cold bar with eight matching alcohol options will be installed later in the year.
This is a one-stop shop (/cart) for all things melting, from traditional Swiss raclette (a fondue-esque fromage melt) over potatoes with a side of pickles, to an All-American Grilled Cheese. Maker & Monger also offers Mork hot chocolate and hot apple cider. It all emulates the European market stall authenticity Femia is inspired by.
“I want to have fun with cheese again,” says Femia of his Northern Hemisphere inspiration. “Everyone [in Europe] has a complete understanding of cheese: what the farmer is trying to make, the grass, the animal, the season, the milk. I want to change that over here.”
Femia stresses quality and history over quantity – the permanent shop currently in the works will hold a selection of just 25 cheeses from all around the world, The selection will change seasonally to expose customers to new cheeses and to educate them in affinage: a holistic appreciation of cheese.
“They call affinage an understanding of the ‘holy trinity’ of cheese: the milk, the soil and the animal,” says Femia, laughing. “Once you understand those, then you understand cheese.”
We believe, oh guru of the fromagerie.
Maker & Monger
Stall 25, Prahran Market
163 Commerical Road, South Yarra
Thu to Sat 7.30am–5pm