Our 50th birthday issue is on sale now. We're celebrating five decades of great food and travel with our biggest issue yet.
Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before 27th November, 2016 and receive a Villeroy & Boch platter!
Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad.
We caught up with Princess Cruises’ Captain William Kent to talk life on deck, sailing the Red Sea and how to spend 24 hours in Venice.
After-dark glamour calls for monochrome elegance with accents of red and the glimmer of bling. Martinis await.
Thai food maestro David Thompson returns to the Sydney restaurant scene with the opening of Long Chim, a standard-bearer for Thailand’s robust street food. Fiery som dtum is just the beginning.
Join us at Quay for a specially designed dinner by Peter Gilmore to celebrate the launch of the new Gourmet Traveller cookbook.
We’ve partnered again with our friends at Snowgoose to bring you the ultimate party hamper. With each item selected by the Gourmet Traveller team, it’s all killer and no filler.
Meet Aerin Lauder; creative director, lifestyle mogul, mother and global traveller. Here she shares her musings on Morocco, the exotic catalyst for her latest collection.
A modern-day gin palace, The Distillery, is set to open in the middle of London’s Portobello Market this year.
The executive chef shares his salt and pepper squid recipe, including his secret for a crisp, light batter.
A pantry staple, noodles are ready in a flash. Here are six different recipes, all ready in under 30 minutes.
Here are 14 fresh takes on these small saltwater clams, from a hearty red mullet bouillabaisse to grilled pancetta scallop canapes and a Vietnamese glass noodle soup.
Sokyo's Chase Kojima's new project is something completely new.
Ready for spring? Take inspiration from last year's most popular salads, roasts and more that make the most of seasonal produce.
What brings people together more than tequila? Tequila, tacos and cake.
These dozen tales depict divergent lives in food. Swerve from a fast and furious account of a drug-addled line cook, to a fragrant memoir about living and cooking in China.
These seven recipes showcase the Middle Eastern seed, spice and herb mix that is the perfect addition to grilled meats, vegetables and salads alike.
Make this summer the season of Michelin-starred grilling, thanks to Heston Blumenthal’s new range of barbecues.
Some people see the world divided by those who live to eat and those who eat to live. For me, the pertinent split is between those for whom packaging performs a basic function and those who see it as one of life's great pleasures. I was that kid, the one who was far more interested in preserving the pretty box and ribbon than in playing with the extravagant present it held.
I'm not alone, of course, in being tantalised by the likes of brown-paper packages tied up with string. The Victorians loved elaborate giftwrapping, including intricately designed papers, and cornucopias filled with sweet surprises and hung on the Christmas tree. In Japan, the art of packaging is just that - a centuries-old art form that sees even humble pieces of fruit treated to arrangements of paper, bamboo and twine so intricate they defy all sense of material value, fly in the face of mass production and consumerism, and, perhaps most alluringly, speak of mercantile habits long forgotten. Or maybe not so forgotten?
Modern retailers understand the importance of packaging to a luxury brand, and few do it better than the French. Think of the irresistible pastel boxes of pâtisserie chain Ladurée. Yes, Ladurée's pâtisserie is all wonderful, delicious, but I wonder just how renowned it would be if it weren't for the fairy-tale trimmings. Those picture-perfect boxes printed with fine rococo garlands, dressed in printed satin ribbons with matching pistachio-green bags - the decadence of it all belies the relative simplicity of the macarons within. Ladurée's international celebrity has been bolstered by those of us who carefully dust out the last sugary crumbs, re-tie the ribbons around the boxes and cart them home so they'll find a new life housing cufflinks, silver teaspoons and other such treasures.
The most prized pieces in my collection - the holy grail of food packaging - are two round wooden cheese boxes salvaged from gigantic wheels of Rouzaire Camembert and Brie de Melun. There's also the handmade glass amphora, once home to unthinkably expensive olive oil, that now dispenses bubble bath. But alcohol companies are the masters of the opulent bottle - none more so than Crystal Head Vodka, which offers its clear spirit in an extraordinary and sculptural glass skull.
Moving from glassware to tinware provides plenty of joy, too. There are tea canisters (Singapore's TWG and France's Mariage Frères are among the most covetable), tiny Italian pastille containers from Pastiglie Leone, and regal biscuit tins from London's Fortnum & Mason.
Of course, the investment in beautiful packaging is a clever marketing initiative for a brand. There are, for example, thousands of Google entries devoted to creative ways to re-use old Bonne Maman jam jars with their signature gingham-print lids - the best ideas can be found on the French company's own website. And even though I already own a year's supply of Dijon mustard, those squat stone pots of Pommery Moutarde de Meaux with their olde-worlde labels are impossible to resist. (They make great herb vases in the kitchen. Or pencil pots. And mustard sandwiches are just delicious. Really.)
Re-using and "upcycling" certainly helps to curb the environmental guilt surrounding this sort of frivolous packaging, but it also heightens the experience of the product, extending its value and its "shelf life" well beyond its perishable contents.
Restaurants have been joining in the fun, too. Greenhouse in Perth serves its drinks in upcycled jam jars; Kitchen by Mike in Sydney uses vivaciously illustrated Italian tomato tins as centrepieces and cutlery holders; Cumulus Inc. in Melbourne serves its Ortiz anchovies straight from the hallmark tin.
Even when the fashion for this type of ornamentation subsides, there's a chance that holding on to my collection will pay dividends. Vintage glass milk bottles are fetching surprisingly big numbers on eBay, especially considering their former ubiquity. The same goes for 1940s milk-glass Vegemite jars (which make gorgeous tealight holders, by the way). But as any collector will tell you, there's only one good reason to collect: because it brings happiness.
The same logic applies to gift-giving, of course - and this is where beautiful packaging really comes into its own. It can make you feel as indulged as a kid on Christmas morning.
Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.
Who said secret Santa gifts had to be mundane (we’re looking...
We’ve seen a bumper crop in food publishing. Pat Nourse pick...
While the dining table is at the centre of any Christmas cel...
With so much on at Christmas, why not take a few shortcuts i...
Need a break from the old green and red routine? Here’s a fr...
Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.×