The February issue

Our clean eating issue is out now, packed with super lunch bowls, gluten-free desserts and more - including our cruising special, covering all luxury on the seas.

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Curtis Stone's strawberry, elderflower and brioche summer puddings

"Think of this dessert as a deconstructed version of a summer pudding, with thinly sliced strawberries macerated in elderflower liqueur and layered between slices of brioche," says Stone. "A dollop of whipped cream on top is a cooling counterpoint to the floral flavours."

Most popular recipes summer 2017

Counting down from 20, here are this summer's most-loved recipes.

Fig recipes

Figs. We can't get enough of them. Here are a few sweet and savoury ways to add them to your summer spread.

Australia's best rieslings

We’re spoilt for variety – and value – in Australia when it comes to good riesling. Max Allen picks the top 20 from a fine crop.

Chorizo hotdogs with chimichurri and smoky red relish

A hotdog is all about the condiments. Here, choose between a smoky red capsicum relish or the bright flavours of chimichurri, or go for a bit of both.

Top Australian chefs to follow on Instagram in 2017

A lot has changed since we first published our pick of the best chefs to follow on Instagram (way back in the dark ages of 2013). Here’s who we’re double-tapping on the photo-sharing app right now.

Christine Manfield recipes

As the '90s dawned, darling chefs were pushing the boundaries of cooking in this country. A young Christine Manfield, just starting out at this heady time, soon became part of the generation that redefined modern Australian cuisine. She shares some of her timeless signatures from the era.

Curtis Stone's strawberry and almond cheesecake

"I've made all kinds of fancy cheesecakes in my time, but nothing really beats the classic combination of strawberries and almonds with a boost from vanilla bean," says Stone. "I could just pile macerated strawberries on top, but why not give your tastebuds a proper party by folding grilled strawberries into the cheesecake batter too? Cheesecakes are elegant and my go-to for celebrations because they taste best when whipped up a day in advance."

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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