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Retail

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In 2009, Australian cook Justine Schofield was selected for the first series of MasterChef Australia. While she was eventually eliminated in fourth place, her individual skills and bubbly personality did not go unnoticed with Network Ten offering to produce a TV program of her own, Everyday Gourmet. Now, after more than 700 episodes, Essentials’ spoke with Justine about her rise to fame and contents of her fabulous new book The Weeknight Cookbook – one we…

If you’re thinking of travelling to the UK in the near future, might we suggest a timely visit to artisan watchmaker designers The Camden Watch Company. This independent British-based brand was founded in the heart of Camden by wife and husband team Anneke Short and Jerome Robert – both previously designers  for other leading brands. Currently the couple operate three standalone shops in different parts of the city.  Each location is different, but each reflects…

It’s not often that Essentials rolls out a little story on office furniture, however frequently we do explore retail products that we consider artisan, impeccably crafted and down right brilliant. In keeping with our desire to inform readers of great experiences, plus a desire for developing greater workplace health – considering we also spend long hours in front of the computer screen – it’s difficult to ignore the nifty little invention we were recently introduced…

Covered in a rind with an apricot blush these soft, often creamy, washed rind cheeses, first made in European monasteries in the Middle Ages, develop an aroma that can vary from attractively meaty to deliciously stinky. Those meaty overtones made the cheeses a popular source of protein for the monks, who were forbidden from eating meat during the frequent – and lengthy – Catholic fasts. The great washed rind cheeses of Europe include Taleggio, Pont…

With more than two decades of experience in the coffee industry, Sydney based coffee aficionado and book author David Rosa has crafted what can only be described as the world’s most comprehensive coffee everything book The Artisan Roaster: revealing trade secrets, roasting tips, practical advice, hilarious anecdotes, tech specs, plus brief history on coffee – the book is a rewording and insightful new release. Some consider the self published book a modern bible, designed for…

Celebrating the launch of the new Aussie online retailer Epic Wines Online, Essentials spoke to founder Trevor Knaggs about which wine pack makes Epic Wines Online a good choice for premium red wine lovers. Why Epic Wines Online? ‘At Epic Wines Online we only sell organic, biodynamic or sustainable wines. These wines are produced in ways that respect the planet and as they’re chemical free, are not harmful your body. We curate these premium wines…

Mat Picone, proprietor of Mansfield Coffee Merchant, has a solid hospitality background matched with a sense of creative business flair. He’s done his time working in both Melbourne cafés and coffee roasters like North Melbourne’s DiBella Coffee, plus has worked a string of winter seasons (2004-2009) at Mount Buller’s illustrious Chalet restaurant in Victoria’s high country, which is known for its contemporary dining and extensive list of 250 wines. It was through the eyes of…

While it might appear tiny, it’s amazing how vast and striking the contents of Beechworth’s Arcadia Gallery are. Owner Susan Reid describes the collection as pieces that are each connected in spirit; ‘hands, heart and mind,’ is a statement she uses to explain the feeling we experience upon stepping inside. ‘Everything here is made by one pair of hands,’ she says. ‘There’s also a lot of plant and botany in here but not necessarily botanical…

From around the nation are gathered the best of the best foods and wine. Tested for taste, assessed for sustainability: the nominated products are scrutinised under the microscope to ensure a rock solid triple bottom line. In the end there can be only one winner of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW President’s Medal. It is the most sought-after food and beverage award in the nation. A weighty, gleaming silver medallion engraved with the words:…

Bondi Beach Opals, Fossils and Minerals is one retail discovery we’re truly excited about. Having opened a little over a year ago it presents possibly the very best (and biggest) collection of black opal and silver jewellery in Sydney. The range includes everything from affordable gifts to extremely rare and valuable stones. Modern, youthful and dynamic settings in silver include pendants, rings and earrings. The larger and more precious stones are set traditionally, in gold…

Josh Niland’s collection of prized line-caught delights are a limited catch, delivered with an intensified flavour born of unique dry-ageing and curing techniques. You won’t find farmed or over-fished species at Sydney chef Josh Niland’s Fish Butchery. Rather, sustainable line-caught specialty gems hand-cut and presented in a central display cabinet that looks like it belongs in a museum: a collection of rare prized artefacts; its sliced and whole fish carefully arranged within their marble and…

Founder and owner Yew Kong Tham of Ginkgo Leaf, in Woollahra, NSW has a magnificent eye for detail. His store’s focus is to import only well-crafted, beautifully designed contemporary Japanese household items such as ceramics, porcelain, glassware, wood crafts, ironware, bath and bed textiles and other unique pieces that bring delight to their users. The store’s name originates from the beauty and uniqueness of the Ginkgo Biloba tree and its delicate, uniquely shaped leaves (pictured).…

There is movement at the old Billson’s Brewery and the news is very exciting. Just off Beechworth’s main drag is a great brick chimney towering over an historic brewery. Down a laneway, past great wooden doors and under a naturally rising avenue of deciduous trees is a little stone and brick well. Clear, cold and pure, the water filters through the surrounding rock and sits just a few metres below the surface. This is the…

Kefir is fermented milk and an amazing source of probiotics. Blue Bay Kefir, from Mornington, Victoria, is an Australian gold award-winning brand made from premium organic milk with no added thickeners or preservatives. Best of all, it tastes divine! The Taste Kefir has the lovely dairy aroma of milk with the pleasant scent of fresh yoghurt. Although slightly viscous it has a clean mouthfeel and finishes with a clean tang. It has the length of…

The unique freeze-dried range of ingredients from Fresh As has finally launched in Australia. Keen to plate up desserts and savoury dishes like an uber-cool three-hat chef? Then you need to know about Fresh As – the Kiwi brand founded by Tommy Roff whose truly space-aged technology can freeze-dry just about any special food ingredient while retaining its shape and, in many cases, intensifying its flavours – as we discovered with their just awesome freeze-dried…

These three brands of delicious fishes are a world away from the sharp little hairy strips found on top of suburban pizzas. These are packaged umami, meaty and sweet fish that are so carefully cured and prepared that they could be eaten straight from the can as a snack with drinks. What sets these brands apart is that they are packed in olive oil and are shipped to Australia in refrigerated containers. Cheaper brands are…

Chorizo is the ruby-red Spanish sausage that has taken over the world with its heady fragrant punch of Spanish paprika or pimentón. The richness of pork and pork fat is balanced with a fresh acidic finish, an artefact of the lactic fermentation every good chorizo goes through as it cures. There are two styles of chorizo on the market: semi-cured and cured. The semi-cured chorizo is soft to the touch and has a smooth skin.…

Redeye Special Stash your luggage in the cargo section, not under your eyes. These under-eye patches from Texan company Nerium are made from cooling seaweed and pea, and infused with aloe leaf juice and mushroom extract, which hydrate tired eyes. Hardened glamazons will think nothing of patting the patches on mid-flight and accessorising with a pair of headphones. Let’s face it, what else are you going to do with your time? So the bright eyes…

We’re loving Watershed Union, the Melbourne based New-York-loft meets Hamptons-destination-store (think Something’s Gotta Give) that specialises in vintage industrial furniture, lighting and homewares. The store features one-off vintage industrial pieces set amid pared-back/classic interior settings and new furniture and homewares in settings made to look age-old. Storeowner Bruce Grant travels North America securing authentic industrial relics such as 1920s-1940s factory carts and furnishings, then restores and repurposes them as coffee and dining tables, sideboards and…