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 flavours. These experiences may be the first time that these children have handled raw food and created a meal.

Since the 1960s there has …

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 to preserve and pickle them to have them available through the cooler months.

The act of preserving food goes back to ancient times, when the …

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 The Essential Ingredient, we create beautiful retail experiences and sell quality products but did you know we also have a strong wholesale arm …

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 the article Van Horne spoke of the beauty of quality ingredients and taking time to cook rather than using “premixed, prewhipped, pre-stewed foods that crowd the grocer’s shelf,” as she put it.

This …

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. …

The Essential Ingredient, South Melbourne is Go!

Our new shop is open. We are shouting it from the rooftops (or from the shop floor at least!).

The Essential Ingredient, South Melbourne opened it’s doors late last week and while it’s a smaller space than our Prahran store, our passion and the quality of our products is as strong as ever.

Here’s a look through the shop and some of the products on the shelves on Coventry Street, South Melbourne …

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 and all its combinations. Here we’re looking at even more beautiful produce we have in-store right now to brighten up your Spring – and Summer – cooking….