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

We have introduced some extra safety measures and services to keep our team, our customers and community reassured and safe:

Covid Policy

• Limited number of people in store at any one time
• QR code displayed at all entrances to check-in via Service Victoria’s app
• Hand sanitizing stations available at all entrances
• Increased in-store cleaning and frequent sanitizing of high touch areas
• Card transactions preferred
• Mandatory mask wearing in-store following Victorian government guidelines

Shopping at The Essential Ingredient Prahran and South Melbourne

• Please follow all signage and physical distancing requirements when visiting the stores
• Visit the Prahran and South Melbourne pages on our website for the latest store trading hours.
• Our returns period has been extended to 28 days. As usual, returns or exchanges on food products are not accepted.

We understand that some of you prefer to keep your visit in store as short as possible. For this reason, we are pleased to offer the following services:

• Personal shopping appointments
You can book a personal shopping appointment before opening hours, or on Wednesdays at our Prahran store. Contact us on 03 9827 9047 or at mail@essentialingredientvic.com.au
• Prepaid Orders
You can arrange collection of prepaid orders from our Prahran store on Wednesdays.
Contact us on 03 9827 9047 or at mail@essentialingredientvic.com.au
• Online Shopping
If you prefer to shop from home our online store is open at all times.

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.