About us

“Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.” – (M. F. K. Fisher)

With a unique selection of ingredients of the highest quality, a range of cookware specially imported from all over the world, a successful wholesale service supplying some of the best restaurants in the area, a busy cafe and an exciting cooking school program, THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENT NEWCASTLE store really is a complete package. Or is it?

To many of you, THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENT is more than just a shop – It has become a place where discussions, experiences and questions flow seamlessly in all directions. Exchange is the key and with so much going on in-store, we think this might just be the perfect time to launch a live blog to extend the rich dialogue taking place in-store into your home.

Every week, we will peruse the shelves in search of our best ingredients, whether we are revealing the secrets of our most exotic offerings or covering the basics. Which rice should you use for a creamy risotto? What is the difference between virgin and extra virgin olive oil? What does Dutched cocoa mean? We will also explore the stories behind the local produce with which we so proudly stock our shelves.

When in the mood for inspiration, we will flip through the pages of some of the world’s best culinary books and keep you up to date with reviews of the latest books hitting our shelves.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could buy every tool or dish your heart fancies? Not quite sure how to avoid cracking earthenware? What is the best chopping board for your health and your knives? Our product reviews should help you to make the right choice but we also want to make sure your product lasts, and stays beautiful, so we will offer maintenance tips to get the most out of your purchase.

We are always sourcing more specialty products and many will not be found anywhere else in the region. Our wholesale department supplies some of Newcastle’s best chefs, making sure they always have that little something special on hand. With exclusive interviews and profiles, we will go behind the scenes and find out which “essential ingredient” these restaurants just can’t live without.

Once in a while, we will call on our resident chef from Quint Cafe to share a few of his secrets (we’ll make sure to ask very nicely). With so many experts on hand, this will be a great occasion to ask questions and learn all sorts of tips and tricks with exclusive demonstrations and tutorials.

Of course, there is no better place for hands-on learning than our very own cooking school (sponsored by Fisher & Paykel) where an amazing range of local and international chefs have been hosting all kinds of classes, from sharpening your knife skills to cupcake decorating, for adults and children alike. Here, we’ll give you a sneak peak of the action and it won’t be long before you decide to book your own class.

And last but not least, we’ll be calling onto you, our customers, to contribute. Whether you would like to ask a question, submit an entry to our in-house competitions and giveaways or simply share a story or tip, we want to hear from you. This blog is an open door and we hope that you will come in and make yourselves at home.

And now that the introductions are done, let’s get cooking!

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