About The Store
Standard Opening Hours:

The Essential Ingredient is widely known for its extensive range of specialty foods, cookware and culinary books. Its Prahran store is also home to a highly respected cooking school that has taught enthusiastic home cooks who want to shop where chefs shop since 1997. The Essential Ingredient Prahran is jointly owned and led by its directors, Maria Tsihlakis and Susan Weddell.

The Essential Ingredient’s Victorian operations commenced in 1990, trading as The Vital Ingredient in South Melbourne. Meanwhile, its Sydney counterpart traded as The Essential Ingredient. After years of expansion, The Vital Ingredient relocated to a larger site at Prahran Market, Melbourne’s oldest food-only market. The Vital Ingredient also changed its trading name to The Essential Ingredient as part of a national alliance with Sydney.

The Essential Ingredient Prahran’s wholesale arm has been servicing Victoria’s restaurant trade and elite chefs for well over twenty years and is widely considered to hold expert knowledge of the world’s best single ingredients.

Melbourne Stores Update


To our customers and community,

Although things may look and feel a bit different, our stores remain open and we are doing our best to ensure the products you love are available to you.

We have introduced some extra safety measures to keep our team, our customers and community reassured and safe. We also request that all team members and customers aged 12 and over wear a face mask when visiting our stores.

Special measures to help you shop safely in store

We are working closely with our suppliers, however some of our most popular products may be out of stock for the time being. We would be happy to help you find an alternative.

In case you prefer to keep your visit as short as possible:
– You can book a personal shopping appointment before opening hours, or on Wednesdays at our Prahran store
– You can call our stores to place an order, arrange prepayment & a time to collect

If you prefer to shop from home our online store is open at all times: www.essentialingredient.com.au

We ask that you show courtesy and respect to our team who continue to come to work each day and who are doing their best to look after everyone.

We wish you and your family good health and look forward to seeing you soon.

The Essential Ingredient Team

Public car parking is available via Elizabeth Street.
Knife sharpening service: leave your knives in store on the first Thursday of each month. Contact the store for more information.