From East Timor to Turkey. One Market. One Community.

We are proud of our Market’s multi-cultural community; it means the produce is inspired by the whole of Australia and countries around the world.  Our ‘One Market. One Community.’ campaign reflects all our traders and customers and embraces all of their differences.

Below, some of our traders share their stories and their fondest food memories.

Gary, Lee’s Asian Grocery

Though born and raised in Australia, Gary’s family originates from East Timor, where they were forced to flee during the 1975 Indonesian conflict. Gary’s aunt and uncle started Lee’s Asian Grocery at Prahran Market over 35 years ago and in recent times Gary has taken responsibility running the stall.

East Timorese cuisine has influences from Southeast Asian Foods and Portuguese dishes (from its colonisation by Portugal).

The staple item is rice, along with sweet potatoes, maize, cassava and taro. Many homes raise their own animals for meat – mainly poultry, pigs and goats. Fish is also a source of protein found in many East Timorese dishes.

Growing up, Gary’s remembers eating lots of water spinach. His family did not have access to much food and water spinach became an everyday dish. It’s best cooked quickly in a piping hot wok with garlic and a pinch of salt. The family often ate it on its own and Lee’s Asian Grocery still sells it now.

With hundreds of products from all over Asia, Gary’s customers are eager to learn more about exotic cuisines, where they’re from and how best to use them. Gary also spends his time sourcing local products where possible, with the latest hot item being fresh Tasmanian wasabi root.


Jenny, Anatolia Gozleme Kitchen

Jenny grew up in a small village called Banaz in the Anatolian Region of Turkey. She moved to Australia in 1969 at the age of 19 with her husband and first child.  You’ll often see Jenny here at the Market (we also call her ‘mum’), rolling out her dough and making fresh gozleme, right in front of you.

Turkish cuisine is often described as a fusion of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. The cuisines vary across the country, creating a vast array of specialities.

Turkish Bread is eaten every day by Turkish people and Lahmacun (Turkish lamb pizza, served with fresh parsley and lemon) is a popular dish.

Growing up, Jenny ate only what was grown and raised in the area, as there were no shops to go and buy food.

“We grew tomato, capsicum, parsley, onion and eggplants, along with other seasonal items. You will find that most Turkish cuisine includes these as well as yoghurt, cheese and lamb,” said Jenny.

“My fondest memories are of all the older ladies coming together to make Gozleme. Making Gozleme is a huge affair in the village and we would all get together for the day and enjoy making and eating them.”

Jenny advises making your food with love as cooking and eating are some of life’s great pleasures. Turkish dips are simple and easy to prepare and perfect for sharing.

Jenny’s Carrot Dip

  • Grate 3 carrots
  • Cook the carrots in olive oil in a frying pan with a little salt
  • When the carrots are soft, out them in a mixing bowl and allow to cool
  • Add 2 cloves of freshly crushed garlic and a little more salt
  • Mix in 500g of think plain yoghurt
  • Transfer into a serving bowl and serve with fresh Turkish bread

Get to the Market at the right time, and you’ll even be able to pick up some of Jenny’s fresh Turkish Bread, straight out of the oven and still warm.


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