Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

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Farro recipes

Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.

Aløft

There's nothing new about Nordic interiors - blond timbers, concrete surfaces, warm, mid-century charm without the twee - and thank heavens for that. It's a style that augments the beauty of everything around it, in this case, gorgeous Hobart harbour, which makes up one whole wall. What is new here, however, is the food - by veterans of Garagistes, which once dazzled diners down the road, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Gordon Ramsay worldwide. There's a strong Asian bent, but with Tasmanian ingredients. In fact, the kitchen's love of the local verges on obsessive - coconut milk in an aromatic fish curry is replaced with Tasmanian-grown fig leaf simmered in cream to mimic the flavour. Other standouts include a gutsy red-braised lamb with gai lan and chewy cassia spaetzle, pigs' ears zingy with Sichuan pepper and a fresh, springy berry dessert. While the food is sourced locally, the generous wine list spans the planet. 

Secret Tuscany

A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.

Moon Park to open Paper Bird in Potts Point

No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.

Grilled apricot salad with jamon and Manchego

Here we've scorched apricots on the grill and served them with torn jamon, shaved Manchego and peppery rocket leaves. Think of it as a twist on the good old melon-prosciutto routine. The mixture would also be great served on charred sourdough.

Kisume, Melbourne

Chris Lucas has flown in talent from all over the world, including Eleven Madison Park, for his bold new venture. Here’s what to expect from Kisume.

Brae

Prepare to enter a picture of the countryside framed by note-perfect Australiana but painted in bold, elegant and unsentimental strokes. Over 10 or more courses, Dan Hunter celebrates his region with dishes that are formally daring (Crunchy prawn heads! Creamy oyster soft-serve! Sea urchin and chicory bread pudding!), yet rich in flavour and substance. The menu could benefit from an edit, but the plates are tightly composed - and what could you cut? Certainly not the limpid broth bathing fronds of abalone and calamari, nor the clever arrangement of lobster played off against charred waxy fingerlings under a swatch of milk skin. The adventure is significantly the richer for the cool gloss of the dining room, some of the most engaging service in the nation and wine pairings that roam with an easy-going confidence. Maturing and relaxing without surrendering a drop of its ambition, Brae is more compelling than ever.

Discovering Macedonia

Like its oft-disputed name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia defies simple definition but its rich diversity extends from the dinner table to the welcoming locals, writes Richard Cooke.

Happy birthday H.A.G.

It started off as a family-run wholesale giftware business run out of a Brighton garage, but today H.A.G. Imports is one of the most influential homewares importers in the country, celebrating 50 years in business. The group, which represents numerous brands both international and home-grown, brings magic to kitchens and tables around Australia through not only the brands it imports but also through those it creates, Maxwell & Williams being the best known. On the eve of H.A.G.'s 50th anniversary we caught up with the Maxwell of Maxwell & Williams, CEO Max Grundmann, to talk style and entertaining.

GT: How does the H.A.G. story begin?
MG: It's about as humble as it gets because my parents started the business in the garage of their home in Brighton.

What's H.A.G. about now?
From those very humble beginnings, we're now a company which is probably Australia's leading homewares importer. We employ about 100 staff, we have numerous brands that we either represent or we've created, and the most notable of those, of course, is Maxwell & Williams. Maxwell & Williams goes back to Max and Bill, because Bill Ryan, or William Ryan [pictured on the right with Grundmann, above], is my partner and I'm Max, and we represent Maxwell & Williams, Casa Domani, Krosno (in Australia) and Ritzenhoff and so on.

How does it feel to have reached the 50-year milestone?
I joined Dad as a sales rep and I was the fifth employee. My mother was handwriting the invoices, Dad was the senior salesman, I became the junior salesman, we had a country rep on commission and one stall man - it was a pretty tiny business. So 50 years later, we employ 100 people or so and the Maxwell & Williams brand is sold in more than 50 countries. It's quite a change.

What changes have you noticed in the way we entertain in Australia?
I think we've been instrumental in moving to a much more casual lifestyle. The objective and the philosophy of Maxwell & Williams was to always enable people to entertain in their homes without massive expense and to express their individuality, so our style and flair has always been based on affordability. We've created the opportunity, with Maxwell & Williams, for everyone to express themselves.

What do today's cooks and entertainers want?
There's a tendency now for some of the designs coming through to be more formal and that doesn't surprise me at all. We've got the Enchanté collection, which has been massive for us. It reflects a more elegant, old-world style and I think that's starting to make an influence because I guess we've created so much of the casual, very modern look, but there's always going to be the tendency for the pendulum to swing the other way.

Where do you hope to see H.A.G. in the next 50 years?
Well, I can tell you now - the biggest single problem that we have in Australia is that we're very far away from the rest of the world and we have a 22 million population. To reach scale for world markets isn't easy to do out of Australia, and that's not suggesting it can't be done because we've done it. But clearly, the billions of people around the world suggest that the [aim] for us futuristically is going to be solidly grounded in developing our brand's capability internationally.

What's your personal approach to entertaining?
If you don't entertain with passion then you've lost the meaning of life and that passion should be driving what you do and how you do it in terms of your entertaining. That's certainly the way I see the whole of life. I don't think there are solid things that you should copy; I think you've got to be your own person and the Maxwell & Williams brand is aimed at saying "do it the way you want to do it, not the way somebody else wants you to do it".

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01.03.2017
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