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 chefs. Here we have a chat to Jarrod Di Blasi, head chef of Flinders Lane restaurant, ezard to find out what he loves about his work (and The Essential Ingredient…)….

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 time and planning and here’s the first of a series on different elements and ingredients important to baking, to help you get the most out of your time in the kitchen. …

Baldjis whole green Greek figs

Few foods evoke as much culture and history as figs.

Prominent in the bible, eponymous throughout the Greek empire and still a fixture across the landscape of contemporary Greece, the fig manages at once to represent the lushness of the Mediterranean throughout the ages and the modern charm of Greek cuisine.

The Essential Ingredient is proud to stock Baldjis …

How to create perfect pork crackling (video)

Roast pork is an Australian favourite, particularly when served with all the customary trimmings; roast vegetables, apple sauce, gravy and, of course, crackling. To most of us, a traditional Australian pork roast isn’t complete without perfectly formed, golden crackling, but getting a consistent result can often be a challenge.

Adrian Richardson, chef at La Luna and author of the book ‘Meat’, shows how to get perfect crackling results every time. This …

Understanding oils

Oil is a cook’s best friend. It carries flavour, adds moisture, stops food from sticking, gives colour and texture when cooked and much more.

Whether you’re shallow frying, deep frying, baking, marinating, barbequing, saucing or dressing a salad, oil is almost certain to appear in the recipe.

Every oil is unique, not just in flavour and nutritional value, but cooking properties. …

Truffle salt

The Essential Ingredient’s truffle salt is the queen of seasonings.

High quality sea salt is combined with ground Italian black truffle, infusing the rich, earthy truffle flavour through every grain.

A subtler flavour-carrier than truffle oil, your jar of truffle salt will never be far once you start experimenting with its intoxicating flavour.

Try it sprinkled across a thick steak, or use …

La Dalia Pimentón de la Vera: The authentic Spanish paprika

If meat is the body of your dish, then spices are the personality. Some give sweetness, a few are sour and others give your dish attitude. Paprika, the popular Spanish and Eastern European spice, brings mystery, warmth and that rich, unmistakable colour.

Pimentón, or paprika, was first produced in Spain where dried peppers were ground down, the differing combinations of fruit …