Adelaide Central Market – Book Launch

South Australia’s most iconic market has documented its history combining multiple stories and capturing the sights, sounds, smells and flavours of the market in a 500 page hardcover book to help celebrate its 150th anniversary.

The Adelaide Central Market has been a major culinary influence since it first began operating in 1869, and has now become one of the largest undercover fresh produce markets in the Southern Hemisphere.

The book tells the fascinating tale of the Central Markets’ history through seasonal recipes and anecdotes, as well as capturing the memories of previous traders and sharing stories from some of the Market’s most familiar faces today.

The Adelaide Central Market: Stories, People & Recipes is split into three main chapters: The Stories, which takes readers back in time, explaining the history of the markets; The People, giving a virtual walk through of the market floor, interacting with those special people who make the market what it is today; and The Recipes, which sees 136 stunning recipe pages come to life which are sourced from stallholder’s families, as well as traders, producers and chefs around South Australia such as Maggie Beer, Adam Liaw and Simon Bryant.

We were lucky enough to celebrate the launch of the new book last week, getting a private talk with the authors Fiona Roberts and Katie Spain in the iconic Central Market Tower, while Adelaide Central Market Authority Chair Dr Nick Begakis welcomed us.

“The book is 150 years in the making and [Fiona and Katie] have put the last 18 months of their lives, their heart and soul into it, and it’s a fabulous book.”

“It appeals to a wide market, both young and old, and gives people a piece of the market to take home and enjoy with friends and family,” Dr Begakis said.

Both Fiona Roberts and Katie Spain hold a special place in their hearts for the Adelaide Central Markets, and so for them the book wasn’t just to celebrate the 150th milestone, it was to also show the people of Adelaide and South Australia what a special place the markets can be.

“For me the market is kind of the pinnacle of food culture in South Australia and I always think that people have such amazing stories to tell so I actually proposed the idea of doing a pinnacle celebration piece for the market’s 150th and I’m very grateful that the market trusted me to make it happen.” Fiona Roberts said.

“There was so much work put into this book. Each story is like putting a jigsaw together, so taking all the information to make it into a lovely heart-warming, tear-inducing, book.”

“It’s so overwhelming because everybody that was involved in the market when it was a humble little shed 150 years ago, have passed away, you can’t actually talk to the people who were there, so it was a matter of reaching and finding information and spending a lot of time approaching locals and traders. […] I just couldn’t stop, there was so much to find.” Katie Spain said.

We then were taken on a tour around the market floor, visiting stalls such as; O’Connell’s Butcher, Central Organic, Asian Cuisine, Con’s Fine Food and many more, meeting the wonderful traders and store owners who have made the market what it is today.

Through our tour, we were also luckily enough to taste some of the recipes straight out of the new book and we just couldn’t wait to take a copy of the book and try making some delicious food for ourselves.

The Adelaide Central Market: Stories, People and Recipes, is as much of a celebration of the city’s history and cultural evolution as it is of the food that makes the market the city’s premier destination for multicultural cuisine and fresh produce.

It is a wonderful showcase of just how far the Central Markets have come since first opening in January 1869 to now, where it has grown into a world-renowned cultural and culinary experience.

The book goes for a retail price of $79.95 but there are limited books available so make sure to get yours today at or at the Central Market office.

Words by Cyndal King



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