How to create memorable starters using only a few Essential Ingredients

Nothing kicks off a party like a table heaving with delicious food. Whether you’re celebrating with seafood, creating an antipasto masterpiece or gathering all your favourite treats, your guests will love reaching across the table and exploring the treasures laid across it.

Our stores are full of products from around the world that make entertaining easy.

Mediterranean tasting board:

There’s no need to spend hours in the kitchen fiddling with complex hors d’oeuvres ahead of your guests’ arrival. Simply combine some of your favourite charcuterie with a host of condiments, add some olives, caperberries and other preserved splendours, and a few tins of our Glorious La Gondola range of Portuguese seafood.

Founded in Portugal by Italians in 1940, La Gondola produce stunning seafood products that capture the flavour and spirit of the Mediterranean & Atlantic seas. Choose from stuffed squid, octopus marinated in olive oil & garlic, flawless sardines and more.

Oysters with pickled seaweed:

Give freshly shucked oysters a refreshing, umami-filled, ocean-inspired boost by dressing them with lightly pickled sea lettuce. Our dried seaweed range is carefully selected for its flavour and is easily rehydrated in water, stock or pickling liquid.

For best results, soak The Essential Ingredient Dried Sea Lettuce in a brine of one part white wine vinegar, one part water, half a part of sugar and a sprinkling of sea salt.

Crayfish & balsamic:

Crayfish is one of this country’s most prized ingredients, with a flavour and texture that’s difficult to improve on. Add a simple drizzle of beautiful aged Italian balsamic to turn this already amazing ingredient into something truly worthy of celebration.

French tartare:

Whether it’s a classic steak tartare, or one with a modern twist, the key to success is the finest ingredients. Of course, only the finest meat should be used, but the same is true for the capers, cornichons and mustard, all available from The Essential Ingredient.

A cheese platter:

A party without a cheese platter is barely a party, but it’s not just about the cheese.

Pair your favourite cheddar with The Essential Ingredient Quince Compote, serve a triple brie alongside Marzano ‘le Pere’ Pear Jam Paste, and match that beautiful blue with Francois Doucet Sour Cherry Fruit Jelly.

Serve everything on our German Oak Oval Chopping Board.

A few special ingredients make entertaining easy. Visit your nearest The Essential Ingredient store for all the food, tableware and inspiration you need, or buy online for delivery to anywhere in Australia.

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