For someone whose every waking moment revolves around food, the Essential Ingredient always triggers an adrenalin rush when I walk through the door. I scan the store quickly with darting eyes: olive oils, verjuice, giant cooking blocks of Lindt, a wall of goodie-filled fridges, crockery, cookbooks, a wall of spatulas... argh!
I am torn between running from one section to the next with childish abandon, or slowly and methodically inspecting each shelf from start to finish.
There is more than enough here to keep a foodie occupied for hours. There are shelves of gourmet pickles and preserves; fry pans and spatulas in every conceivable size; commercial cookware in the section upstairs; and a whole aisle dedicated to cake decorating which has me in a dreamy sugar-coated reverie for at least ten minutes.
From the home-based mail-order business started by Don and Jan Hodgson in 1986, the Essential Ingredient first opened shop in Camperdown in 1990 before moving to its current bigger premises at Crows Nest in 2005. The Sydney store is now a franchise owned by Ruth Gaines with plans to eventually incorporate a cooking school.
I was very excited at seeing this turning slicer, a contraption I had hunted high and low for all over Japan during a trip there two years ago. Could I have perhaps just purchased it from the Essential Ingredient afterall?
I paid about $AU90 for it, if my memory serves me correctly. Here it was priced at about
Commercial cooking utensils also excite me for some reason. It's a piece of dowel with a shovel on the end, but the fact that it's a pizza paddle makes my food-orientated heart skip a beat.
Oh, and my preferred browsing technique? Methodical inspection followed by random childish abandon. Why not have the best of both worlds?
The Essential Ingredient
Tel: +61 (02) 9439 9881
731-735 Darling Street, Rozelle, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9555 8300
Monday - Friday 9.30am - 5.30pm (till 8pm on Thursdays)
Essential Ingredient Melbourne
Prahran Market, Elizabeth Street
South Yarra, Melbourne
Tel: +61 (03) 9827 9047
M-F 9am-5.30pm, Sat 8am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm
Essential Ingredient Canberra
52 Giles Street, Kingston, Canberra
Tel: +61 (02) 6295 7148
M-F 10am-6pm, Sat 9am-4pm, Sun 10am-3pm
Essential Ingredient Newcastle
Shops 4, 5 and 6, The Junction Fair
200 Union Street, The Junction, Newcastle
Tel: +61 (02) 4962 3411
Essential Ingredient Tamworth
15 White Street, Tamworth
Tel +61 (02) 6766 5611
Essential Ingredient Albury
473A Dean Street, Albury
Tel: +61 (02) 6041 4111
Essential Ingredient Orange
205 Summer Street, Orange
Tel: +61 (02) 6361 8999
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8/13/2006 04:18:00 p.m.