The first time I encountered a MrDuk stand was at the Belgrave South Community Christmas Market on the 7th of December 2014. What impressed me was the presentation of the food, the service, and how gorgeous and rustic the tarts looked with its promise of deliciousness. It didn't disappoint and tasted as good as it looked.
I'm definitely checking them out again at the next upcoming Belgrave South Community Market on the 1st of March 2015 when the MrDuk stand will be there. Make sure you make note of the date (this coming Sunday) to visit the market and MrDuk, both worthwhile pursuits.
MrDuk's owner, David, is hardworking and passionate about his businesses (yep, he has more than one) and about providing a good service to his customers. Here are a few more markets he's going to be at in early March 2015. On Wednesday 4 March he will be at the brand new weekday farmer's market at University Square (Union Lawn, Parkville).
On the 7th, 8th and 9th of March (Sat, Sun, Mon) you'll find him at the Ballarat Begonia Festival. He'll be promoting his new line of delicious dumplings at both events. Can't wait to try them. He also supports the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation, donating 25% of the sales of his dumplings to the foundation.
On the 7th of March MrDuk will be at the Kingston Farmers Market and on the 8th of March at the Bon Beach Farmers Market. If you're wondering how he's able to be everywhere at the same time, it's because he has 4 teams to send to the markets and the team umbrella has 12 team players.
The 3 different businesses listed in the main poster all belong to MrDuk. He's a young entrepreneurial man who likes to challenge himself. The youngest of 7 siblings, all brothers and all chefs, David decided to branch out and forge his own path and started MrDuk a mere 13 months ago. So called and named after his best friend, his older brother whom he used to call MrDuk. Next came Mrs Pork Online 8 months ago which is purely an online business, and Eat my Tarts, the newbie of the businesses, just 3 months ago. The name came to him when he was sitting and feeding his children pies and he thought the name pretty cool and catchy.
All this, while he still currently works as an executive chef at the Blue Dish restaurant in the capacity of a consultant in the promotion of their growth. He is also the founder and executive chef of Kiss Pty Ltd again in the capacity of a consultant in hospitality. He also personally updates all of his Facebook pages, does the accounts and takes all the delicious looking food shots (which is pure food porn) on his webpages. He's a real dynamo!
David has been in the food industry since the age of 16 when he started his apprenticeship. Though he's been in Australia since he was 6 (has only lived in Melbourne 8 years), he went away to Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong for 6 years to learn authentic asian hawker style food. His past is littered with jobs as head chef at Mr Foxx, executive chef at Jimmy Jams Elwood and East Brunswick and head chef at both Banff Cafe and Tyranny of Distance.
His drive has by no stretch of the imagination, waned. He's associated with 20 farmers markets in Victoria, as well as craft markets. He's been accredited by The Victorian Farmers Market's Association and the Victorian Craft Market's Association. The markets you will find MrDuk, Mrs Pork and Eat My Tarts at are as follows: -
When asked how he would describe himself, David answers, a bit like his food, rustic, clever and full of surprises. His passion are the old fashioned traditional meals, served as they are with a touch of his own personal flair. As he put it, simple food that says 'more is less' and best. Having initially trained under his father who is also a chef, and among his brothers for the initial year; subject to his mum's great cooking, he says he naturally has elements and touches of their style and methods. A lot of his recipes are handed down from his mum.
His focus is to offer fresh and new ideas for your table and to see happy people with happy smiling faces when they see a MrDuk stand at the markets. He likes to keep things simple and wants to share great no fuss food with the locals in Victoria. His vision is to have everything under one umbrella and to concentrate on good food at boutique value but without the cost; to keep it affordable for every customer. He believes sharing is caring and repeats he's proud to be sharing and fundraising for the ovarian cancer group. He's now added their logo to all his banners, flyers and promotional paperwork. When next you see him, don't forget to 'dumpling up'. That's his new line of offering and it's the one that's fundraising for the cancer group, so eat up people.
Check out his websites which are full of beautiful pictures that'll have you salivating. He is also set up to cater for large events with experienced chefs and professional front of house staff to take care of your needs. You can also order from his MrDuk website where you'll find mouth-watering dishes like duck rolls, duck tart, duck risotto and duck salad to name a few. His ducks are prepared daily and cryovac-ed for shelf life advantage.
Mrs Pork (online) has the highest quality locally sourced free-range and organic pork with ready to eat dishes like super slow roasted pulled pork slider and mouthwatering American style sticky ribs. There's also a selection of ready to cook pork marinated in delicious mixes that you can buy by the kilo in the cryovac section. The menu is made up of meals costing between $6 and $10.
Eat My Tarts only has a Facebook page and has started selling their freshly baked tarts to cafes and restaurants. They have flavours like slow cooked free range pulled pork with onion jam and savoy cabbage; roasted pumpkin, pine nuts, baby spinach and goats cheese; wild mushrooms, 3 cheese, caramelised onions and baby spinach to name a few. The pies come in a range of grass fed beef with sage and red wine; chunky free range chicken, braised leek and white cream; and slow cooked free range pork, smoked paprika, dutch carrots with split pea and more. They are also happy to make flavours you need to suit your menu.
Bon appétit and catch the next MrDuk stand with their new dumplings range early March on the 1st, 4th, 7th, 8th and 9th at the markets as listed above. You might just meet David who is hands-on in his business, at one of the markets, but which one? You'll recognise him by his charm and his love of communicating with his customers as he markets his produce. His stands also sell pastries and drinks, making it a complete stop for a yummy bite to eat, have a drink and a little something sweet for afters.