BREAD

Sourdough, ciabatta, spelt, rye, flatbread, fruit bread, baguette, rolls. Lathered with butter, dipped in oil, soaked in gravy to mop up your plate, served with cheese and chutney. It’s what you like that will be the staple on the table and we’re lucky in Melbourne to have a plethora of good bakeries:

Babka: Fitzroy
Baker D. Chirico: St Kilda
Noisette: Port Melbourne
Natural Tucker: North Carlton
Dench: Fitzroy North
La Madre: Geelong lamadre.com.au
Convent Bakery: Abbotsford
Brunetti: Carlton, Fitzroy, City
Sugardough Panificio: East Brunswick
La Tropezienne: Hawthorn
Phillippa's: Armadale and Brighton phillippas.com.au
A1 Bakery: Brunswick


CHOCOLATE

Is single origin chocolate your preference? Or are you all about milky sweet or dark and intense with 70% cocoa? We need chocolate on the festive table because there’s absolute desire for a sweet little something to finish off the enormous meal you just devoured so we’ve found a few great shops for you to get your spoils:

Ganach: South Yarra and the city, ganache.com
Monsiuer Truffe: Collingwood, monsieurtruffe.wordpress.com
Cacao: two shops in the city, St Kilda, Doncaster, cacao.com.au
Koko Black: City, Carlton, Camberwell, Chadstone, Doncaster, Queen Victoria Market, kokoblack.com
Chokolait: City, chokolait.com.au
Shocolate: Fitzroy, shocolate.com.au
Sisko: Hawthorn, siskochocolate.com.au
Xocolatl: xocolatl.com.au
Coco Loco: Northcote, cocoloco.net.au


TURKEY

If the bird’s your thing at Christmas time, it’s worth trying to get the best quality bird your budget allows. Organic turkeys are available but free-range is more accessible. If you do want an organic bird, ring about now to order as the one consistent message from retailers is: order in advance.

Hagens Meat: South Yarra, hagensorganic.com.au
Belmore Biodynamic Meats:, Thornbury, www.organicmeatsupply.com.au
Organic Direct: organicdirect.com.au
T.O.M.S the Organic Meat Specialist: South Melbourne toms.net.au
Redina's: Balwyn North, redinasbutchery.com.au


SEAFOOD

Platters of fresh prawns, oysters and crays are about as traditional as turkey and ham down under, so what’s looking good right now? Snapper from the Bay is great this time of year; Ocean Trout makes a great centrepiece in the table when baked whole; oysters are coming into the last of the season before spawning starts, so be careful and picky when choosing them. Where to buy:

Claringbolds: Prahran, claringbolds.com.au
Canals: Carlton
Queen Victoria Market qvm.com.au
freshfishonline.com.au
Clamms: Albert Park
Carlisle Seafoods: Balaclava


HAM

Luscious, smoky Australian hams aren't commonplace here. We seem to tend more toward a balanced salty, commercial palate with ham rather than a distinctive regional character or quality. Still, there are decent hams to buy if you don't want imported, and if you have a butcher you shop at regularly and trust they'll happily get one in for you. Otherwise, seek out free-range or organic where possible, ask questions about the provenance of the animal and how it was farmed. Farmer's Markets are great for this as you're talking to the producer but they are often unavailable at this time of the year, due to advance orders. Where to seek and buy:

Melbourne Farmers' Market: mfm.com.au
Jonathon's; Collingwood jonathons.com.au
Largo: Fitzroy
Donati's: Carlton
Peter Bouchier: Toorak, David Jones, Chadstone and the City petergbouchier.com.au
Prahran Market: prahranmarket.com.au
South Melbourne Market: southmelbournemarket.com.au
Preston Market: prestonmarket.com.au


SWEETS, CHEESE AND CONDIMENTS

From mince pies and shortbread to a varied cheese plate or dried fruit and nuts, from cranberry sauce and brandy sauce to sugar and spice and all things nice. Where to buy:

The Essential Ingredient: Prahran theessentialingredient.com.au
Vegetable Connection: Fitzroy www.thevegetableconnection.com.au/
Richmond Hill Cafe & Larder: Richmond rhcl.com.au
Farmgate Cheese Hawthorn farmgatecheese.com.au
Simon Johnson: Fitzroy, Chadstone, Toorak simonjohnson.com.au
Replete Providore: Hawthorn repleteprovidore.com
Phillippa's: Armadale and Brighton phillippas.com.au
Raw Materials: Footscray rawmaterials.com.au


DRINKS

If you fancy a tipple at Christmas time, do it in style. If your budget allows bubbles from France, lucky you, but there are some great sparkling wines from Tasmania and the Mornington Peninsula is producing some lovely chardonnays at the moment. The beauty of wine is, like all culinary adventures, is that it’s best to taste the wine and talk to retailers, suppliers, email winemakers if you can, the key is to taste and ask questions and have fun! Cheers! Where to buy:

City Wine Shop: citywineshop.net.au
Carlton Cellars: Carlton North, carltoncellars.com.au

Black Hearts and Sparrows: North Fitzroy, Prahran, Brunswick blackheartsandsparrows.com.au
Prince Wine Store: St Kilda and South Melbourne, princewinestore.com.au
Rathdowne Cellars: Carlton North, rathdownecellars.com.au
The Wigs Cellar: The City, thewigscellar.com.au
Richardson Street Cellars: Middle Park, rscwines.com.au