Atale of inspiration that shows if you’ve the passion and commitment to follow something you love and believe in…you can make it happen. What that a bit cheesy? Not as cheesy as this pair…meet this week’s LDNER who bring their bang on trend expert grilled cheese sandwich making skills to London and BEYOND, it’s Charlie & Jesse.
Tell us where you live in London and what you love about the area?
We live in Hackney, East London in between Victoria Park and London Fields on a road that we love. It’s a little high street full of family-run businesses that date back 25 plus years, including a gorgeous florists and an amazing butcher who we source all our meat from. It’s full of characters who we’ve gotten to know and there’s a proper local, community feel to it. When the crowds of London Fields and Broadway Market get a bit much, it’s a great place to bring you back down to earth.
Tell us what you do for a living and how it came about?
We founded and run Morty and Bob’s- a food business specialising in Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. A long story short.. we met working in food television disgruntled with our jobs looking for a challenge. We bonded over all things cheesy (amongst other things) and got extra nostalgic about the grilled cheese sandwiches we remember from our childhood. We decided to set up a festival food concession because we knew grilled cheese sandwiches would go down well in that environment and no one else was doing it. So over the next month we recipe tested and ate A LOT of grilled cheese. We quit our jobs and started trading at Maltby Street Market and Netil Market until we were offered the last permanent plot at Netil. The Morty and Bob’s Grilled Cheese Shack was born and is open every Saturday. We also built a mobile Grilled Cheese Bar and trained up a team of expert grilled cheese sandwich makers to tackle a summer full of festival bookings.
What are your favourite places to go for Cheese in London and favourite cheeses in general?
There were two places that had an influence on our business in the beginning. The first was Kappacasein in Borough Market who do one of the finest grilled cheese sandwiches out there, and Tow Path Cafe on Regent’s Canal. They have a delicious grilled cheese on their small menu and it made us realise that grilled cheese could work as a concept on it’s own. In terms of cheese shops, La fromagerie has to be the Holy Grail in London. It’s worth the hour long queue on Christmas Eve! We’ve tried a LOT of cheeses, and have a lot of favourites, but if we could only eat three for the rest of our lives it would be a strong tangy cheddar like Montgomery, a rich, creamy goats cheese and a warm from the oven, Mont d’or.
What the plan for the rest of the summer, anything exciting coming up?
We’ve just finished a stint of music festivals and we have one left to close the summer- Festival No 6 in Wales which we’re really looking forward to. Netil Market is open every Saturday and we have some exciting winter events coming up too. Also, a rather more permanent Morty and Bob’s is on the way, but we can’t reveal too much.
What would be your perfect day in London?
Our job involves lots of cooking and working weekends.. so our perfect day in London would be a Sunday off spent with friends and enjoying other people’s food! After a little lie in, we’d head somewhere for brunch- either our local The Well Street Kitchen, or Fingers Crossed in Hackney Downs- both do amazing poached eggs and avocado, which is a firm favourite. Next we’d take a stroll along the canal and then head down to Columbia Road Flower Market ending up in The Royal Oak for a pint or two with some friends. We’d finish off the day eating and drinking some more, probably sharing a beef Wellington and drinking lots of red wine in our local Pub, The Hemmingway.