First published on 16 Feb 2012. Updated on 13 Dec 2012.
This la-di-da store is for those who not only mean business in the kitchen, but want their friends to know that they’ve gone above and beyond to source the fi nest jars of truffl es, infused oils and Himalayan salt bricks for dinner. Adjoining the Prahran food markets, this joint is like the couture shop of foodstuffs. They run workshops, sharpen your knives and sell high-end cookware there too. Elizabeth St, Prahran Market South Yarra.
For chefs and wanna-be chefs, this emporium is a dangerous place to be without a sensible wingman or woman to hold the credit card. Downstairs is fl oor to ceiling with cooking vessels and utensils from individual ramekins and Chasseur French-ovens (the Rolls Royce of cast iron cookware) to pots that you could probably fit a whole cow in, hoofs and all. Head upstairs past the Kitchen Aids and you’ll find another cavern fi lled with every takeaway container, swizzle stick, candle holder and wine glass ever made. 131 Cecil St, South Melbourne.
Established in 1975 and located in the heart of Fitzroy’s Spanish precinct, Casa Iberica lives up to its name as Melbourne’s Home of Spanish, Portuguese and South American food. The bustling corner store is a one-stop shop for any Latin American cooking, and stocks essential ingredients such as masa, dry salted cod, chorizos, tortillas presses and all manner of fiery Mexican hot sauces. 25 Johnston St, Fitzroy.
Enoteca Sileno is a big part Lygon Street’s little Italy. The restaurant/foodstore/cellar imports and sells everything you need for a boozy, bountiful Italian feast: rocket-fuel-strength grappa, Sicilian Antica Dolceria Bonajuo dark chocolate, olive paste from Liguria, and Pugliese squid ink pasta. Don’t know what to do with any of it? Sign up for their cooking and wine classes. 920 Lygon St, Carlton North.
This Sydney store migrated to Melbourne this year, and we're all kinds of excited. Behind those walls you'll find all manner of Japanese steel – including the kind of ludicrously expensive bone handled knives that make chefs go weak at the knees. They hold classes to teach you how to use them, and if you've got a dull blade of your own you can take it in for a sharpening tune up. They also have pots, books, and all manner of specialist Japanese ingredients – and a section entirely dedicated to hangover cures. Of which we approve. 422 Church St, Richmond.