My market: Art Terry

Categories: Reflections and opinions

Helena Smith is a travel writer and photographer, who regularly blogs about food and community. In a new series, she talks to some of Borough’s regular shoppers to find out their favourite Market haunts and ingredients—and what keeps them coming back. This time, Art Terry: a local singer-songwriter with a thirst for all things fresh and healthy

Art Terry is a singer-songwriter who lives on Union Street and hosts a show about alternative black music on Resonance FM, which is located a short stroll from the Market on Borough High Street. Originally from LA, Art was drawn to the UK by a love of English punk and folk music. He is a self-taught cook and has provided us with one of his own fusion recipes, which combines Californian style with some distinctively wild and romantic English ingredients. Art has been shopping at Borough Market for 20 years—here he tells us why.

Since I’ve been shopping here, the Market has got a lot busier and more popular, but the prices are still competitive and I’ve never found a better food market in the UK—or in Europe. I feel really lucky to have it close by.

I mostly go to Chegworth Valley because of their organic ethos, but Ted’s Veg is great too. I’m a super-healthy guy—I do qi gong exercise and cycle everywhere, and fresh food is really important to me. I listen to a lot of progressive radio shows about wellbeing and fitness, and I’m really into learning about the specific qualities of different ingredients.

Mood enhancers
Taking my millet, squash and nettle stir-up recipe, I find that garlic, onions and ginger are amazing for my immune system and keeping colds away, and turmeric is said to be anti-inflammatory. I’ve heard that its qualities come alive when it’s combined with garlic, ginger and black pepper. And for me black pepper is a mood enhancer, like chocolate—it makes you feel good! You can get turmeric, oregano and black pepper from the Spice Mountain stall at the Market. I don’t remember nettles in LA—they seem so English, like something from a fairy tale. I’ve used millet in this recipe because it’s much lighter than rice.

I often include liquid aminos in my cooking for the tangy soy flavour and because amino acid is lacking in the vegetarian diet. I haven’t eaten meat for 15 years, which is not for moral reasons, but for health. I eat fish, and you can often find me hanging out at seafood stalls Sussex Fish, Shellseekers and Furness Fish at the end of the day, looking for their half-price bargains.

Jam sessions
I love cooking for family and for other musicians at jam sessions and parties. My goal is to surprise people with healthy food, and to try to make it taste better than fried and fatty stuff. I’m big on flavour and use generous quantities of the things I like. And I’m a lazy cook, not much into chopping, so you get big chunks of garlic and ginger in my dishes.

Over the years I’ve fed so many friends and family members with ingredients from the Market. It’s part of what makes London home for me.