The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry | A Sydney Food Blog

New podcast – Alex Elliott-Howery, Cornersmith

February 25th, 2016  |  Published in Latest, Podcasts  |  1 Comment


This has to be one of my favourite podcast episodes.

Alex Elliott-Howery, who co-owns the Cornersmith Cafe and Picklery in Marrickville, was awesome to talk to.

Her award-winning cafe has a hyper-focus on preservation, fermentation, urban beekeeping, avoiding waste and produce-bartering. As a flipside to the acclaim, she’s also endured pickling disasters that’ve left her crying into her gin and tonic; and she once tried to preserve a summer bounty of tomatoes, only to find herself still up at 3am, waiting for the water to boil (this definitely lead to more tears).


She really lives the sustainability life, carrying around a ladder to salvage mulberries from becoming footpath splatter, and her progressive approach can sometimes have a downside (eg having to combat hardcore pickle nerds).

Despite being besieged by vandalism early on, Cornersmith has built up a strong fanbase that happens to include Jamie Oliver (the back-story to this is great, by the way). And expect Europeans to join the pro-Cornersmith club, given the Cornersmith cookbook will be published in Germany and The Netherlands.

In this interview, Alex also talks about her courtship and wedding to her Cornersmith co-owner, James Grant (one highlight is what their son decides to wear to the ceremony); the hilarious incident she had with the police and how long you can really keep pickled items for (you’ll be surprised).

Plus, what suppliers refuse to bring her; more about her Cornersmith family, reader responses to the book and where she likes to eat and drink in Sydney.

You can listen to this episode on iTunes or download it via RSS or directly. And thanks to everyone who has helped spread the word about this podcast or dropped a mega-nice review in the iTunes store! It makes the long (and late-night) audio-wrangling sessions worth it!

Portrait of Alex Elliott-Howery courtesy of Murdoch Books.

Tags: , , ,

One Comment

  1. Really enjoyed this podcast, Lee Tran! She’s such a terrific example of making real change in the community, and I love how she was door knocking neighbours to make sure of excess fruit from way back. I dropped off some milk kefir grains the other day and scored a jar of preserves in exchange. Such a generous and heartfelt bartering system!

Your Comments



Hi, I'm Lee Tran Lam. When not blogging with my mouth full, I'm usually writing, presenting Local Fidelity on FBi radio, making zines, producing podcasts or continually breaking promises about how I really am gonna get through my book pile one day.

All the good pictures on this blog are by photography ace (and patient boyfriend), Will Reichelt, (all the dodgy ones can be credited to me)!

The lovely banner is by friend and ultra-talented illustrator Grace Lee.

This site redesign was made possible by the next-level generosity and expertise of Daniel Boud, whose code-tinkering ways are only outranked by his seriously inspired way with a camera.

You can read more about my co-conspirators here.

This is a blog I do for pure fun and zero influence – there's no sponsorship, sneaky advertorial or advertising. I pay for all the food mentioned, 'cos it seems the ethical thing to do.


This is a blog about eating and drinking in Sydney, Australia (with the odd cross-border or off-topic detour). BYO appetite.

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.