Two of a kind: Enrico and Paolo

Categories: Behind the stalls

Good friends Paolo and Enrico talk about their shared love of music, food and the Borough Market community

Paolo on Enrico
Me and Enrico have known each other for years, having met through friends we had in common who worked here at the Market. That was long before either of us worked here.

Though we don’t work on the same stall here, we ran a music rehearsal and recording space together for a while. We did everything from setting up the spaces to running the business. I was more involved in promoting the business and Enrico dealt with customers.

It was fun and there was always a good atmosphere. We are still friends after running a business together, which is a definite test of your friendship. We passed. So it was nice to find ourselves both working in the Market.

Enrico definitely likes the human side of working here. I think what gives him the most satisfaction is the relationship he develops with customers and friends he has made among the other traders. The Market is like a small village and he enjoys that.

But he also loves the products he sells. We are from Italy and loving your food just seems to be something inside us—I think there is no escape—and Enrico definitely loves all things related to food.

Enrico is a good cook. He loves cooking lobster; in fact, I think it is his favourite food. Other than that he loves cooking things like pasta with bottarga, which is cured fish roe. He comes from the north of Sardinia where they make their bottarga from two different fish, so it is more delicate than bottarga from the south, which people are more familiar with.

Usually if we're cooking at his place we go for fish, but he loves meat as well and if he was going to choose something from this stall, he would go for bresaola. It is a dry cured beef, which you slice very thinly and serve like any other charcuterie.

Enrico loves all types of food. At the moment, we both have an interest in Japanese food, so if I was going to choose a really good restaurant for a celebration it would be Japanese. We both really love fish and dishes like sushi, sashimi—that type of food cooked really well in a Japanese restaurant is something I think he would enjoy.

Enrico on Paolo
We first met through mutual friends and got on quite well. He then disappeared off to India for a while. We met again after he came back and have been great friends ever since. I would say the main thing our friendship is based on is a shared love of music and food.

We both come from Sardinia: he is from the south and I am from the north. Food has always been very important in our lives as a whole, not just our work, so it is not surprising that food is a central part of our friendship. We are always talking about food or music.

Paolo is one of my closest friends and definitely counts as my family here in England. Especially as he now has a family with a little boy, we spend a lot of time together as a group; his child is like my nephew.

Our friends definitely call us both foodies. At least once a week, sometimes more, we will have a look at the Market, pick an ingredient that we both like the look of and cook a dish around it, either at his home or mine.

Paolo loves cooking. He is extremely good and has worked in restaurant kitchens in the past. He would never call himself a chef, but he has great cooking skills and can easily cook for a large group of people and make them happy.

At home he cooks a lot of pasta and risotto dishes which can be either meat, fish or vegetable based. Paolo is also very good at making cakes and desserts—he's a very good baker. He’s definitely a good man to know.

I think his favourite type of food is Mediterranean: food from places like Turkey, Spain and of course southern Italy, though recently we have both been interested in Japanese style cooking. If I was going to pick a really good restaurant for him to eat in, it would be an Italian, but one that specialises more in food from the south of the country.

From my stall he really loves the truffle brie cheese. I gave him some a few months ago and he fell in love with it. He used it in a creamy mushroom risotto and said it was one of the best things he has cooked with. But I if was going to give him something from my stall today, it would be the Mayfield cheese. His son loves it.