The Essential Ingredient is the place to go for the kinds of hard-to-find ingredients you hear chefs talking about, as well as kitchen gear, tableware, knives, cookbooks and other culinary splendours. But from today, you’ll have to redirect your sat nav to Surry Hills rather than Rozelle to continue the tradition.
“The beautiful building we’ve occupied for the past nine years was sold and is planned for re-development,” says marketing coordinator Matthew Blakely. “We were unable to find a suitably sized space in the inner west that was unaffected by Westconnex development, and now the two-year search for a new home has found us in a great location in Surry Hills.”
Blakely and The Essential Ingredient team see Surry Hills as synonymous with exceptional food and, and they’re excited to join the neighbourhood. “There are so many likeminded food-focused businesses in the area,” says Blakely, “be they restaurants, grocers, delis … we can’t wait to be a part of that landscape.”
Regulars who have come to rely on The Essential Ingredient for Italian extra-virgin olive oils, French biscuits, Spanish paprika and all the other speciality ingredients the store is known for will still be able to find their favourite products. They’ll also discover a new layout designed to encourage blissful wandering through the myriad culinary treasures.
Wider aisles and an open floor plan make the Surry Hills store more conducive to meandering than its Rozelle predecessor, lower shelves encourage you to gaze across the store at a paella pan you never knew you needed, and warmer lighting provides a welcome relief from that shopping centre headache.
Brands still include De Buyer cookware from France and Graupera stoneware from Spain, and ingredients such as La Dalia’s vibrant-coloured paprika, I Due Pastori pastas from Italy and Delouis mustards and vinegars from France.
The store’s highly regarded cooking school has also made the move to Surry Hills, and the classes (previous instructors include dessert experts Katherine Sabbath and Anna Polyviou, and Adelaide-based TV chef Poh Ling Yeow) will be complemented by a fancy new fit-out.
“The cooking school’s been beautifully re-imagined with countertops by Dekton in a stone finish and appliances generously provided by Sub-Zero Wolf. As we settle in to the new space, we will be reaching out to respected local chefs and food identities to add even greater range to our already fantastic line-up of classes,” says Blakely.
Also coming soon is a cheese counter where you’ll be able to pick up local and internationally-sourced artisan cheeses, which you can pair with charcuterie and condiments for a takeaway snack.
To celebrate the opening, The Essential Ingredient Surry Hills is throwing a fittingly foodie party tonight (Friday February 1), with demonstrations, tastings and a giant paella. The grand opening party is on from 6pm to 9pm.
The Essential Ingredient Surry Hills
146 Foveaux Street, Surry Hills
(02) 9555 8300
Mon–Wed & Fri 10am–6pm