Blogs from Prahran

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  • china4 China: The Cookbook – Yum Cha & Book Signing We have a very special event on November 26 when chefs and authors Kei Lum Chan and Diora Fong Chan will be in our Prahran store to celebrate their book –  China: The Cookbook - and create a yum cha brunch including demonstrations of...
  • Marshmallow1-350 #EssentialKnowledge: Gelatine & Agar Agar Our Prahran Cooking School Coordinator Zoi Condos sets you straight on the differences and similarities between gelatine and agar agar, including what to use and when.
  • Zoi's Toffee Popcorn #EssentialKnowledge: Caramel & Butterscotch Our Cooking School Coordinator Zoi Condos shares the fundamentals of caramels, butterscotches & all things sweet… Caramel The primary ingredient in caramel is white granular sugar. • Caramel is as much a product, as it is a process. It...
  • Image_Kitchenaid_Shortbread #MyFavouriteThings A lot of us here at the Prahran store are chefs. Or knowledgeable & inspired home cooks. We’re food-enthusiasts who love the kitchen and who, at this time of year, are already excited for Christmas & the excuse to...
  • IMG_2142 #MyFavouriteThings – Canele #MyFavouriteThings continues this week, prompted by our colleague Christina’s beautiful home-made canele. Christina is a central part of our retail team & she recently treated us to a round of these beauties- caramelised and dark on the outside, custardy...
  • coriander-and-more-350 #Recipe: Garen Maskal’s Green Mole Garen Maskal, of Black Toro & Sezar, believes simplicity & respect for great produce can showcase the quality & flavour in any ingredient, ultimately creating something amazing, effortlessly. A favourite recipe from Garen’s class this year was this flavour-packed mole....
  • Roses 10 Ways to use our Turkish dried roses These new fragrant rose petals and buds have just hit our shelves from Turkey. They can add a subtle fragrance to savoury dishes, or they can feature as the hero in sweet sensations. Take a look here at how...
  • The popl_25 years (95) 25 Years – The Right People Our team is driven by a love of cooking. What we do each day is shaped by respect for time-honoured traditions as well as a constant curiosity for quality ingredients, new trends, new techniques & new ways to enjoy...
  • The Essential Ingredient now, taken 2015 25 years of The Essential Ingredient in Melbourne We are proud to be celebrating 25 years of The Essential Ingredient this year. At the end of August in 1990, Syd & Susan Weddell opened The Vital Ingredient, a food emporium of quality ingredients & excellent cookware &...
  • Barley Salad A Market Week recipe: Black Barley Salad with Spiced Lamb Yesterday we joined in the Eat Well/Live Well/Shop Well celebrations of Market Week, sharing in a philosophy that always drives what we do. We focussed on a nutritious grain & seed salad based on our Black Barley, Quinoa &...
  • butchers-pig-cut-diagram-l-78b1f7aa8ead2f68 A Swine Tale with chef Daniel Wilson     Most of our cooking classes are held over the weekends, during the day, but did you know we sometimes offer night classes with dinner (that you’ve learned to cook!). On Saturday October 22 A Swine Tale is...
  • Tagine Figs & Spices A tagine to warm your table this winter… Today we’re sharing a braised lamb, fig & clove tagine as Melbourne’s cold weather kicks in.  It’s a throwback to one of our classes with chef Dylan Roberts.  It’s packed with flavour & ready to warm your table. Dylan...
  • ShopwithBiss A winner’s experience… Taste the Rockstar Lifestyle! #shopwithBiss Last Thursday night was not like any other night in our store. Our staff were full of excitement about meeting Boston chef & charcuterie expert Jamie Bissonnette and we had been guessing all week what #shopwithBiss winner Karen Pekelman...
  • goan cuisine 001 Australian Made Goan Cuisine Goan Cuisine represents everything that is important to us here at The Essential Ingredient Prahran:  their family-run business focuses on quality ingredients, traditional & authentic methods & care at each step in order to ensure the end result is...
  • p1010455 Baking Starts Now: Glace Fruit Glace – or crystallised fruit – is such a delightful, delicious and pretty addition to Christmas baking. The fruit adds colour, chewy, soft texture and an intense sweetness that can be spread throughout whatever it is that you’re creating....
  • bread-baking26 Baking Starts Now: raising agents The joy and satisfaction of baking, combining quality ingredients and letting them work their magic together to produce a beautiful cake, a sweet biscuit, the perfect shortcrust or a fluffy bread. At The Essential Ingredient we know baking takes...
  • What we are baking_JULY 059 Baking with honey: a Walnut Honey Tart by Loretta Sartori Loretta Sartori’s Walnut Honey Tart This week at the Prahran store we’re sharing #whatwearebaking & we’re featuring citrus, honeys & nuts. This tart has long been a favourite – it is based on traditional technique, enclosing caramel, honey &...
  • Bison Ceramics Bison Australian Designed Ceramics    Brian Tunks, the creative director behind the Bison range, draws on inspiration from around the world and across time to create his striking range of Bison tableware. After attending school in Scandinavia and training in ancient history and...
  • Bomba: the best rice for Paella Paella is a perfect dish to create for entertaining and celebrations. The visual drama of the Paella pan abundant with rice, meats, seafoods and vegetables; the crunchy crust that forms on the base of the pan to add to...
  • Cedro upside down Candied fruits – cedro, cherries & more There’s candied fruit and there’s candied fruit. Our range is carefully sourced from Italy & Australia, made with fine fruits that have been carefully & slowly candied to preserve their natural characteristics.  Our range includes our prized candied cedro, candied...
  • Mr Carsisi-1-3 Change the date to join Mr Carsisi    Our dinner with chef Matt Fegan of Mr Carsisi has     had a date  change.  Kyneton is now coming to Prahran on Monday September 12 when Matt will cook and serve a five-course dinner upstairs in our...
  • 1698_kristoffer_paulsen-2 Chat with a Chef: Casey McDonald, group head chef of Andrew McConnell restaurants In our second Chat with a Chef, we talk with Casey McDonald, Group Head Chef of Andrew McConnell restaurants which include, Cutler & Co., Marion,  Cumulus Inc and Cumulus Up, The Builders Arms, Ricky & Pinky, Supernormal and Luxembourg.  At...
  • _dsc6800jarroddiblasi_small Chat with a Chef: Jarrod Di Blasi, Ezard At The Essential Ingredient, we create beautiful retail experiences and sell quality products but did you know we also have a strong wholesale arm of the business and sell much of our quality ingredients to some of Melbourne’s leading...
  • Cherry Christmas Pudding Roulade Christmas Pudding Cherry Meringue with Mulled Wine Drizzle Christmas Pudding Cherry Meringue with Mulled Wine Drizzle A summer alternative that will still have your guests satisfied that they’ve had their Christmas Pudding fix… Key ingredients & why they matter: Egg White Powder: This shelf stable product avoids...
  • TEI_ClassNotes_2015_5.1 Cooking School Class Notes 2015 For the love of cooking…  A collection of recipes from another dynamic Cooking School year.  We believe in good food created with passion, presented with flair, eaten with gusto. Our Cooking School is where we have fun with food:...
  • Image Of Cooking School Cooking School Prahran – 2015 Summer Preview Available to book now   Instead of our usual release of the year’s workshops, events and interactive classes we plan to update our listing all through the year. We are evolving into a space where those interested in food and, perhaps, equally passionate...
  • Prahran-2015-Schedule-Cover-200 Cooking School Prahran 2015 Schedule NOW AVAILABLE! Our 2015 Schedule of classes is available to BOOK NOW! Click here to view our complete 2015 Schedule of hands-on cooking classes, interactive workshops, chefs’ table events & baking/pastry workshops. For the love of cooking… Is Melbourne the most...
  • Non-stick-350 Cookware Care – our non stick range  What you need to know about our non-stick pans Non-stick cookware has improved considerably over the years.  There are two main types: 1.  Pans with a heavy gauge aluminium base and internal non-stick. The non stick coating does not...
  • Mineral B DeBuyer Pans DeBuyer #MineralBee cookware with #organic bee wax finish Selecting your next frypan:  DeBuyer #MineralBee cookware with #organic bee wax finish Bees produce by-products that are well known in nature. DeBuyer discovered that bee wax is an excellent option to protect their pans against oxidation.  Bee Wax helps...
  • Do you know your Flageolet from your Haricot? In the kitchen, winter time means slow-cooked stews and casseroles, secondary cuts of meat, beans, pulses, dusky winter herbs and sturdy veg. These elements contribute to a vast and varied selection of dishes we can cook and beans and...
  • img_0127 Dressed for Spring Looking out the window, it may be hard to believe but it’s Spring time in Melbourne. The sun will creep through those clouds, eventually, so we are celebrating the coming warmer weather with a collection of stunning oils –...
  • p1010285 Dressed for Spring, Part 2. We love dressing for Spring. Bold sauces, gentle vinaigrettes, robust oils and fruity vinegars can bring out flavour and add depth to vegetable dishes and crunchy salads. As we move into the warmer months we are embracing the dressing...
  • 1_Musarra_Swearwords 2008 160 (26) Event space for hire… The Essential Ingredient Cooking School kitchen & event space Planning an event? Teambuilding workshop? Client dinner? Looking for something different to impress your guests or colleagues? You’ll start with a glass of bubbles in hand while your guests gather...
  • eggplant Explore. Discover. Indulge Good food and good cooking are the beginnings of a happy day, the makings of a balanced meal at the end of it and a beautiful way to connect to those we love. Every year we have the honour...
  • P1010004 Father’s Day Wishlist Is your dad a willing participant or a spectator in the kitchen? Either way, we’ve got him covered this Father’s Day with a selection of gift boxes, books and cooking classes to celebrate with on Sunday, September 4. Bookish...
  • image Finding flavour fast: our favourite condiments Dollop, drizzle & dazzle!  We’ve all got our favourite recipes for easy entertaining – a family potato salad, a favourite marinade or spice rub, a go-to knock-out starter.  But there’s a satisfaction that comes from having flavourful additions ready...
  • MeltingChocolate Flavours to pair with chocolate: our favourites What’s the most exciting chocolate pairing you’ve ever tried? If you’re gearing up to make your own truffles or if you just want to take your Easter dessert in a different direction, today we’re sharing some of our favourite...
  • RESIZED_SCHOOL EXP_C BELL_2015 (2) For the love of cooking…. A competition that will change your cooking for life. It’s what we do. Want to learn? Do? Share? Experience? Then this is the room you want to be in… Zoi Condos, our Cooking School Coordinator & teacher, is taking three lucky winners under her wing for the day. What does that mean?...
  • p1010072 Giacobazzi Vinegars There’s vinegars and then there’s vinegars. Like many products that are made at differing levels – from commercial to artisan – a good, balanced full-flavoured carefully made vinegar has the ability to take a dish from good to great;...
  • p1011017 GIFT BOXES GALORE! Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. This famous quote is from writer Harriet Van Horne and it began her article Not for Jiffy Cooks in Vogue magazine in 1956. In...
  • IMG_3589 How our chefs use Kennedy & Wilson chocolate in their kitchens If, like us, you are always on the lookout for local quality product then Kennedy & Wilson should be on your radar. Carefully sourced cocoa beans are processed in their Yarra Valley studio with only the finest additional ingredients....
  • Pa-Jorgensen-11 How to be the best food photographer in the world Return to The Essential Ingredient Prahran page… Recapping a visit from one of the world’s most exciting food photographers in the world… By Caitlyn Bell In autumn this year, The Essential Ingredient Prahran sponsored Per-Anders Jorgensen’s visit to the...
  • image Identifying Quality Chocolate For decades now we have worked with artisan chocolatiers both locally & from around the world & we can attest to the fact that nothing compares with carefully produced, quality chocolate. Here’s our guide to recognizing quality.  It revolves...
  • OCTOBER_MAKE YOUR OWN PUDDING 001 Making the perfect Christmas pudding Making this Christmas pudding from Zoi Condos will become your new family tradition. It is simple to prepare and, like all good cooking, hinges on quality ingredients. Key ingredients & why they matter: Tabletop sultanas, currants & raisins:  Based...
  • Guanjillo Chilli Mexican Chilli Crab with Guanjillo Chilli The Guanjillo chilli is a delicate mild & fruity chilli with delicious scents of dried berries & green tea. In this recipe, the heat comes predominantly from the habenero, while the gentle Guanjillo adds a fruity depth (as well...
  • Frank-Camorra-350 Movida Solera: Frank Camorra & Richard Cornish’s Chef’s Table Return to The Essential Ingredient Prahran page… Good things happen when Frank Camorra & Richard Cornish get together. Here’s your chance to join them for dinner… You’ll start with a glass of bubbles in hand and be guided through...
  • Thug Kitchen New Culinary Books – our top picks “No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice & menus of cooks present, & the wisdom of cookbook writers.”   Laurie Colwin It’s the time...
  • IMG_5916 New! Muscovado sugar from Mauritius This rich & unrefined brown sugar from Mauritius gains its dark colour & strong flavour from the naturally high molasses content. With robust notes of bittersweet treacle & an aromatic liquorice & toffee character, this moist sugar adds depth...
  • New Norcia Nut Cake Nut Cakes & Pan Chocolatti – New Norcia Bakeries To serve when friends drop in for coffee, when you’ve just finished a meal & need a little sweet something, or for when you want to take the perfect gift for your host. New Norcia Bakeries bake in the...
  • Fungi Collage Of the earth: Our quality dried funghi Sometimes the best flavours come from things that are straight from the earth. Or, as in this case, carefully selected and then dried to maintain integrity & intensify flavour. As with all dry products, convenient year-round access is key,...
  • Olive Oil Cake Olive Oil Cake with our Lemon Agrumato This week at the Prahran store we’re sharing #whatwearebaking & we’re featuring citrus, honeys & nuts. One of our finest citrus products is our own The Essential Ingredient Lemon Agrumato Oil - a local extra virgin olive oil produced...
  • OCTOBER 010 Olsson’s Sea Salts “Our salt is made from 3 ingredients: seawater, sun & wind.” Locally produced & free from any chemicals, Olsson’s salts are derived from 2 primary salt pans: Yorker Peninsular (South Australia) & Port Alma (Queensland).  A family business, the...
  • PICKLED WALNUTS Organic Pickled Walnuts Organically grown, Australian & delicious, our pickled walnuts have been piquing people’s interest since 1990. Their triumph is their simplicity, as is often the case. They contain walnuts, vinegar, salt sugar & spices. They have a refreshingly sweet/spiced flavour...
  • Tsoureki image Orthodox Easter: Food traditions, recipes & decorated eggs Orthodox Easter this year is now, as Holy Week leads those who are currently fasting into a week of preparation & cooking in readiness for Sunday’s feasting. Each day of this coming week has its own traditions, – sacrifice...
  • Cover_Jpeg Our 2016 Cooking School Schedule – BOOK NOW! Here it is! Our 2016 Schedule of classes… This is the best program of cooking classes that we’ve produced – ever. It’s an enticing mix of workshops, events, meals and hands-on classes. Do you yearn to learn the art...
  • IMG_8236 Our 5 favourites from Maggie Beer In 2001 Maggie Beer was presenting classes in our Cooking School sharing not just her pot-roasted artichokes & her quinces poached in verjuice but also her infectious passion for cooking. Since that time, she has won awards as a...
  • image Our new cinnamon & a recipe for Sri Lankan coconut pudding This new Ceylon cinnamon just hit our shelves and prompted a #ThrowbackThursday favourite from Peter Kuruvita Ceylon cinnamon has long been prized for its mild, delicate, sweet flavours.  More subtle & complex than the spicy flavour of cassia cinnamon...
  • Picture 029 Our Top 5: SALADS FOR NOW We’re holding on to autumn.  Don’t get us wrong – we love winter.  We love pulling out the Le Creuset and warming the house from the kitchen.  We love coming home to the pressure cooker and making flavour-packed braises...
  • THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENT SCHOOL EXPERIENCE CBELL_2015 (1) Our Winter Release of classes will keep you busy Our winter release of classes is NOW AVAILABLE! Patrizia Simone is coming back to make pasta, Dale Prentice is joining us to sous vide & Maria Lantelme is going to fill our kitchen with Latin American sweets.  You don’t...
  • THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENT SCHOOL EXPERIENCE CBELL_2015 (1) Planning an event?  The Essential Ingredient Cooking School Kitchen & Event Space Planning an event? Teambuilding workshop? Client dinner? Looking for something different to impress your guests or colleagues? You’ll start with a glass of bubbles in hand while your guests gather...
  • Premium Dark Muscovado Sugar Premium Dark Muscovado Sugar from Mauritius This rich & unrefined brown sugar from Mauritius gains its dark colour & strong flavour from the naturally high molasses content. With robust notes of bittersweet treacle & an aromatic liquorice & toffee character, this moist sugar adds depth...
  • FEB 2016 005 Preserving Summer Being a part of the Prahran Market means being constantly surrounded by the best fresh foods of each season as the market traders carefully source their produce & pile their displays high. This time of year, as we start...
  • P1011508 Preserving the bounty of the season Plums, peaches, nectarines and apricots piled high; tomatoes, plump and plush, sending their sweet perfume through the market stalls. It’s late summer and at Essential Ingredient we embrace the sweet fruits of the season so much we also love...
  • Quinoa THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENT (1) Puffs, flakes & flours: Why you should be using our organic quinoa The mother of all grains, quinoa is is high in iron & fibre, completely gluten-free &, with a balanced set of essential amino acids, it is one of very few ingredients to serve as a complete protein source. Puffs: ...
  • tart Recipe: Crostata di Ricotta e Pere Coscia by Emiko Davies This recipe by Emiko Davies was presented in our first cooking class for 2017 and comes from her latest book, Acquacotta. Ricotta crostata is loved throughout Maremma and in summertime you find baby pears (pere coscia) in all the...
  • IMG_5262edit Recipe: Wattleseed Anzac Bicuits With it’s nutty, chocolatey aroma, ground native wattleseed is a delicious addition to baked goods especially these Anzac Biscuits. Ingredients: 250g           unsalted butter 4Tbl            golden syrup 250g           plain flour 500g           caster sugar 140g           desiccated coconut 300g           rolled oats 4tsp           ...
  • Cherry Christmas Pudding Roulade Recipes to inspire your Christmas… Hit the store now to find all you need to create these inspired recipes – we’re packed to the rafters with everything you need for a flavour-filled Christmas! See our extended trading hours here. If you’re a serious cook...
  • prahran_cheese_hero-web-banner-1140x361 Say Cheese Festival at Prahran Market The Say Cheese Festival is on tomorrow at Prahran Market from 10am and, of course, we will be saying cheese along with a roll call of some great chefs, cooks, cheesemakers and cheesemongers who will be holding cheese cooking...
  • Lebkuchen Spice up your baking with a traditional Swiss-German Lebkuchen recipe from Pierre Roelofs The tradition of Lebkuchen dates back to 1395.  A German baked Christmas treat, it closely resembles gingerbread. The cinnamon, clove, nutmeg & ginger are given warmth & lift with the addition of fennel seed, coriander & aniseed. “This harks...
  • SQUID INK Squid ink – how are chefs using it? Our squid ink (from Spain) has a subtle seafood flavour and its unique colour creates a striking and stylish effect. Our wholesale team sell it into restaurant kitchens all around Melbourne (MoVida, Rosetta, St Crispin and Anada to name...
  • Image from The New Charcuterie Cookbook, Jamie Bissonnette Taste the rockstar lifestyle… #shopwithBiss Please note this competition is being run by The Essential Ingredient Prahran Store. Boston’s most exciting chef, Jamie Bissonnette, a charcuterie plate to end them all, a glass of plonk or two & $1500 to spend on whatever you...
  • The Essential Ingredient Chestnuts The Autumn Kitchen: Chestnuts It’s autumn so its chestnut season. In Australia, harvesting generally starts mid-March & lasts until mid-May. With their unusual texture & subtle sweetness chestnuts are incredibly versatile & have a place in both the sweet & savoury side of...
  • MFWF 2016_POP UP_UNDERWAY The Essential Ingredient at Deakin Edge for MFWF This weekend we are thrilled to be working in collaboration with the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2017 at their 25th Masterclass event at Deakin Edge, Federation Square. The Essential Ingredient is proudly the official Culinary Book partner for...
  • Goose Fat  individual The Essential Ingredient Goose Fat Nigella Lawson famously claims: “It’s the best fat for roasting potatoes in the whole world… nothing beats goose fat for crunchy, sweet roast potatoes.” Goose fat roasted potatoes are sublime- golden and crunchy without being greasy- because of the...
  • The Great British Roast Cooking Class If you’re going to learn how to make a great roast, you may as well learn from a Yorkshire man. Chef Michael Slade, who grew up in Halifax in Yorkshire, UK opened Northern Git (Slade’s nickname) in Thornbury a...
  • 1_SchoolExp_2015 (3) The growing culture of “I don’t know how to cook” Written by Syd Weddell, Managing Director of The Essential Ingredient Franchise Group We have long admired Stephanie Alexander and her work with children in encouraging them to experience food grown from the earth and how to cook and combine...
  • Origine Prestige Corkscrew Ligne W The Origine Prestige Corkscrew: Ligne W Produced in France this is unsurpassed in function featuring a fine, high-tensile Teflon wire screw that glides effortlessly through cork without damaging aged corks; a stainless steel ‘double step’ lever system, that rests on the lip of the wine...
  • 3d7cc6_19692cb9aed849b08e7509e1278428f8 The Roasting Class For many Australians, it’s almost a rite of passage to experience a good roast dinner – lamb, pork, chicken, beef – with crunchy potatoes, loads of veg and gravy. We create a routine around how we cook a roast...
  • Mexican Dried Chillies The Versatile Chilli: Mexican dried chillies They add warmth, sweetness & a depth of flavour unlike anything else so it’s fair to say that a lot of our winter inspiration comes from our Mexican chillies. We stock an extensive range, each with very different characteristics....
  • OUR FAVOURITES Uncovering our favourite new cookbooks We’ll inspire a new direction in your cooking. We love sharing what’s inspiring us to try new things. This week we’re sharing the books that are having an impact on what we’re cooking right now. Come in & chat...
  • Garniture Forestiere & Dried Porcini Using fungi – our French & Italian dried mushrooms As the cool autumn evenings roll in we start thinking about rich flavours, slow cooking & seasonal produce. But we don’t want to just roll out the same old dishes, so over the coming month we’re sharing some of...
  • TEI Prahran vinegars Using quality vinegars Quality vinegars are designed to stimulate the taste buds. They should amplify, enhance or contribute a complexity of flavour to your foods. Developed to maintain a strong acidic profile while having an intense & robust flavour, quality vinegars should...
  • VALETTE 2015_2 Valette foie gras & how our chefs are using it This week at the Prahran store we welcomed a very special opportunity to host Morgane Lennon of Valette, our foie gras producer who is based in Perigord, France. Nadine from our wholesale team spent Monday & Tuesday with Morgane,...
  • What we are baking_JULY 054 What we are baking: Our Iranian Pistachios in Baklava with Rose Syrup This week at the Prahran store we are sharing #whatwearebaking & we’re featuring nuts, honeys & citrus. Our Iranian pistachio slivers give a long lasting, savoury flavour & a vivid green colour. A favourite in savoury dishes – through...
  • photo Why do we love the Volano 300 slicer so much? The Volano 300 is a professional hand-operated flywheel slicer made to original 1940s design standards in Milano. Constructed of aluminium with steel parts and a brilliant red finish, the slicer provides easy operation, maintenance & rapid cleaning.  A built-in...
  • Ducks from Valette Why we love Valette Did you know Japan is now the second-highest consumer of foie gras, after France? Foie gras is now being paired regularly with miso, which we think sounds incredibly interesting.  Examples include miso soup finished with foie gras mousse, as...
  • robert goRDON 1 Winter Blues This is how we embrace the winter blues with our selection of the deliciously stylish and beautifully practical.   Books We constantly update our book titles and there is a rich selection of books to satisfy the cook in...
  • IMG_4801 Winter fruits with sugar & spice Winter is all about the simple things, done well. But this year we’re adding a little spice to take our tried & true favourites in a new direction. And sometimes that’s just what winter cooking needs. Scroll down for...
  • Resized_20160716_181630 Zokoko Chocolate: Bean to Bar Our constant pursuit in seeking out quality ingredients from Australia and around the world, led us to find some of the best chocolate we’ve tried in a while. Zokoko Chocolate – the factory and cafe – is located in...
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