Healthy Eating

After fresh ideas for meals that are healthy but still pack a flavour punch? We've got salads and vegetable-packed bowls to soups and light desserts.

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Tarta de Santiago

"Gordita makes a splendid version of the Galician almond cake Tarta de Santiago, with its dramatic design. Would you please publish the recipe?" Michael MacDermott, Taringa, Qld REQUEST A RECIPE To request a recipe, email fareexchange@bauer-media.com.au or send us a message via Facebook. Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address. Please note that because of the volume of requests we receive, we can only publish a selection in the magazine.

Pea and ham soup

Coffee culture: A history

Australia’s love affair with coffee is stronger than ever; it’s become a way of life. But exactly how did a beverage manage to shape our country’s culture?

Bread and butter pudding

Just what you need on a cold winter's night; a bowl of luscious pudding. Make sure to leave room for seconds.

Automata opening in Singapore

One of Sydney’s hottest restaurants is about to branch out in Asia.

Hot 100 2017: food trends

Life moves fast in the world of food and restaurants. How do you keep up? By reading our Hot 100 round-up of the latest and greatest in store for your tastebuds in 2017. It's time to eat!

Curry recipes

When you're in need of rejuvenation, there's nothing better than a warming bowl of curry, whether it's gently spiced potato and egg, a punchy Jamaican goat number or an elaborate Burmese fish curry. Here are our favourite recipes.

Feta and greens gozleme

A lot of rolling and folding go into making this Turkish flatbread, but when you bite into them all the hard work will be forgotten. The traditional filling is silverbeet, but we've added kale and fresh herbs for fragrance and flavour. A good sprinkle of salt at the end and a squeeze of lemon are non-negotiable. Start this recipe a day ahead to rest the dough.

The party planner

1 Get the idea right from the beginning
Envisage the kind of party you want to throw, and be true to the dream. A party should be an expression of you and your true style.
 
2 Plan
Establish realistic timelines and deadlines, and stick to them. This is vital for remaining organised and keeping stress to a minimum. Creativity paired with administrative efficiency and financial understanding is a party match made in heaven.

3 Set a budget

This will allow you to engage the best and most appropriate suppliers for your needs.

4 Know your audience
Understand your invitees' likes and dislikes. If you're having a dinner party, seat guests appropriately because, at the end of the day, this is what makes the party work. I never seat couples or best friends together and I even like the idea of switching seats after each course (when there are, of course, not too many guests) - it gets people talking.

5 Create a point of difference
Not just for the sake of difference but to ensure you give guests a heightened experience. Read magazines and books, travel, dine out and listen to other people's experiences - you will gain plenty of ideas from this kind of activity.

6 Stay true to the original concept
Write down ideas, create a concept (where required) and stick with it - deviation will only cause disintegration.

7 Appeal to the eyes as well as the tastebuds

Food stations or buffet installations are great at cocktail parties because they allow those with a large appetite to graze throughout the entire evening while providing the host with a catering expression of generosity. Food needs to not only be delicious according to your tastes, but visually exciting, too. Simplicity is de rigueur - there's nothing like a perfectly ripe peach or a big bowl of beluga.

8 Set your stage for the right occasion
Lighting and candles, music, table settings, flowers and place cards all create ambience. The lighting is key to making everyone look sexy - votive candles are best as they are inexpensive, easy and you can spread them everywhere.

9 Don't say no to help
One man or woman can do nothing - a team of creative people collaborating is what makes a party. Find people you work well with; mutual respect is paramount.

10 Make sure your chosen environment can handle what you are trying to create
If there is not a lot of room in the kitchen for extra ovens, pots and pans, be clever with the menu. Devise it so that all the courses don't need cooking or heating - a fresh lobster tail with crunchy iceberg, avocado, citrus mayo and a wedge of lime is simple yet so luxurious.

11 Chic invitations
Invitations set the scene for your party and build anticipation for your guests, so take the time to get them right. Make sure all details are correct and instructions are easy to understand - a map reference, information on where to park, dress codes, clear RSVP details and so on. The new luxury is writing invitations on the thickest paper stock available.

12 Enjoy the process
Enjoying yourself is both the hardest and most important thing a party planner must do. The event itself is actually the least amount of the overall time you spend on creating the experience - ensure you have fun in the lead-up and after the event. If your guests see you enjoying yourself, they will too.

13 Embrace excess
Lots of food, lots of drinks, lots of ice. It's a bore to run out of anything and more means more fun. If your budget doesn't allow for an entire range of things, then have just one thing really well done - and lots of it.

Bruce Keebaugh is the CEO of The Big Group.

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