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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.

Where to stay, eat and drink in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Beyond Kuala Lumpur's shopping malls, Lara Dunston finds a flourishing third-wave coffee scene, tailored food tours and charming neighbourhoods.

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.

Meet your maker: Maka leather goods

Eight-pocket knife roll from Maka, Handmade knives from Skate Shank.

Eight-pocket knife roll from Maka, Handmade knives from Skate Shank.

Jock Zonfrillo, Matt Stone and Ben Turner all store their knives in a Maka.

Mick "Maka" Kerkham didn't learn to sew until he was 39. Now, at 51, the self-taught designer can't get enough of it: he spends his days in his back-garden shed in Sorell, 30 kilometres north-east of Hobart, sewing classic leather knife rolls and sheaths as well as toolbelts for some of the country's best chefs and makers.

What do people want in a knife roll, Mick?

Sometimes they want something to match their knives (black and silver, say) and sometimes it's to match their personality. A lot of the chefs are going for that retro or vintage look at the moment. I don't skimp on expense; I use quality brass buckles, which age softly with the leather. I have a laser engraver, too, so can put people's names on the rolls. I've had parents buying them for their kids when they've finished their apprenticeships. People are really embracing that aspect.

What do you look for when sourcing your leathers?

We're losing a lot of our tanneries in Australia. It's a hard industry, but if we don't use it, we'll lose it. I always source Australian leathers when I can, but otherwise they come from New Zealand. I use full-grain cow and upper leathers and also an oxblood leather from Tasmania. These are the best cuts. I love leaving branding marks and interesting imperfections (as long as it doesn't make weakness) and always try to incorporate them into my work.

Maka leather goods, from $270 for an eight-pocket knife roll, available on commission, 0438 591 631, maka.com.au.

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