The international street food at Camden Market keeps on going from strength to strength and with some new kids on the block in the West Yard’s Global Kitchen we are in for some tasty treats this summer


It’s approaching a year since Chia first appeared like a beacon in Camden Market. I can’t quite work out how to summarise its quality output – health food or a wrap paradise? – but their cooking certainly leaves you feeling happy, full and more than content. ‘We didn’t want to be limited with what we offered,’ says Chia co-founder George Alexander Zhuralov. ‘Personally, I don’t like being preached to when I eat.’

George typifies what Camden Market is all about. Cool, laid-back and hugely ambitious, he’s a great interviewee. ‘My dad taught me to cook,’ he looks back, ‘but my cooking now is inspired a lot by my girlfriend, who is gluten- and diary-free. The way I cook is a compromise between what I like and what she likes. I can’t stop eating everything!’ he laughs. ‘It’s all about eating in moderation. People have strange ideas about what healthy food is these days, but it’s all about having a balanced diet.’

The business he founded with a close friend recently grew with the opening of juice bar Hatch, also in Camden Market but this time down Camden Lock Place and the long-term plan is bring the two together to form what sounds like a rather cool café. The surroundings are clearly important to George, talking at first about his desire to use local suppliers, but also the market itself. ‘This is a very unique place,’ he says warmly. ‘It doesn’t feel like a stale environment here, there are things happening. And it feels like a community, everyone helps each other out when needed.’ It’s not only Camden Market visitors who are feeling content.



George Alexander Zhuralov is ready to serve you at Hatch Juicery

There are lots of curious people huddling around La Patate’s stall in the heart of Camden Market. Specialising in a solitary dish that gives the customer the chance to choose their own cheese to create the finished result, it’s a unique concept and one visitors appear to be lapping up. As I grab a few minutes with co-founder Martin Le Boulc’h, he explains that the potato-based dish originates from Haute-Sauvoie in France, but has been given a UK twist. ‘We used meat from The Ginger Pig,’ Martin points out by way of explanation, with the dish topped up with freshly made cheese and, today, smoked duck. I can’t get enough of it.

At a time when everyone seems to point to France as the gastronomic innovators, it’s refreshing to hear about where we lead the way. ‘In France we don’t have a lot of markets like this or street food,’ Martin explains what brought him to Camden Market. ‘London offers a really nice opportunity to create something new. The people here have an open mind too. It’s a famous dish in France, but not here – yet people seem really excited about it.’

Martin opened his stall only a month ago and describes Camden Market as ‘the first step’ in what he hopes will be a long, exciting journey for La Patate. For now, he is more than happy with his current location. ‘There’s a real mix of customers, and it’s great to have different food all around you,’ he smiles. ‘There’s a real eclectic feel.’



Martin Le Boulc’h proudly shows off his foodie invention

From the name to their ingenious stall, there’s a lovely quirky nature about Cupcake and Shhht. This is probably the first time I have conducted an interview in a shed, for a start. ‘When we started at the market we used to have to keep pushing a trolley around as we had lots of stuff, and then had to take it down every day,’ Caitlyn Nadham-Thornhill remembers. ‘We wanted something that could stay here forever.’

A shed was the answer and Caitlyn and her business partner, Sophie Beale, quickly became a prime attraction at on the West Yard. No wonder, too, looking at what they produce: homemade tablet fudge, baked oatmeal cookies, amazing cupcakes, and even a whole range of raw, vegan and gluten-free cakes, cupcakes and brownies. Our interview is punctuated by a steady flow of custom, showing how business is booming – amazing considering how much of a gamble Cupcakes and Shhht was.

‘We knew each other for about a month,’ Caitlyn laughs when I ask if the two have been lifelong friends before launching the business. ‘We just had the same goals, so decided on going on this adventure together.’ Camden Market, too, was the ideal starting point. ‘It wasn’t his cool three years ago,’ Caitlyn looks back to the early days. ‘When we started there were about four other stalls. Now the food is better and there is so much choice. We have been to a few markets in our time, but Camden always feels like a family. It’s our little home.’



A stall to be proud of: Sophie Beale and Cupcake and Shhht’s wonderful creations

It’s difficult not to get excited when talking to Marisa Capaldi, co-founder of Ghetto Grillz, about what the future holds. I mean, we already love their take on New York bagels, which we have savoured today in Camden Market, but it’s just the start for what’s to come. ‘We will have a diner opening in the Stables Market for Lock Live on 10 July,’ Marisa enthuses, ‘which will be an incredibly exciting space. It’s an American diner with a British twist.’

It’s probably not a surprise that Ghetto Grillz has worked given the backgrounds of Marisa and co-owner, and brother, Phil Capaldi. The latter has been involved in the opening of restaurants all over the world, whereas Marisa has come from an entirely different background. ‘I did a degree in fashion and started working for Agent Provocateur when it was a really small company,’ she explains. ‘I saw it grow into the big company it is today, and then I went on to work for Net a Porter. But I am a real foodie, and my brother and I come from an hospitality background – we worked in our parents’ pub as children.’

After testing the water with pop-ups, which saw Marisa’s grilled sandwiches fly out of the door, the two combined to create something a little sexier. ‘We had the idea of Ghetto Grillz as a diner, but we wanted to start as street food,’ Marisa explains why Camden Market was perfect for them. ‘We want to break the mould a little bit. We want to create something cool in Camden.’ That idea is already toast as mission has been accomplished.

It’s not all about the food at Camden Market this summer…


It’s an exciting time for Marisa Capaldi and Ghetto Grillz

All four of our foodie interviewees had something in common, other than a love for their home at Camden Market – they will all be a part of the returning Summer Night Markets. Starting from 30 July for six weeks, every Thursday night the market will be home to stylish cocktail bars, the best in global street food, fantastic music and beautifully curated arts and crafts stalls.

If that’s not enough, Backyard Cinema has teamed up with Camden Market to bring the most exciting outdoor cinema experience of the summer to the area from 29 July-4 September. Set on the iconic cobbles of Camden Market, they will be screening a selection of new releases, all time classics and exciting sing-and-dance numbers. You can choose your screen too: the Main screen on Camden Lock Place will showing current hits like Whiplash and Birdman, through to fancy dress Fridays when they show the likes of Grease and The Rocky Horror Picture Show; or perhaps the Cuban Screen rocks your boat, hidden within the alleys of the Stables Market, for a choice of documentaries, unusual indie flicks and foreign films. It will be a summer to remember.


Backyard Cinema will offer an eclectic way to view movie classics

Words: Mark Kebble / Stall Photos: Kay Lockett

For details of everything covered in this feature, please visit

Most Read