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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. 

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.

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

Margaret River Gourmet Escape 2013

Join Gourmet Traveller at this year's Margaret River Gourmet Escape, presented by Siemens Home Appliances, where internationally acclaimed chefs including Heston Blumenthal, Rick Stein, Alex Atala and Sat Bains and some of our favourite Australian chefs - Neil Perry and Adriano Zumbo among them - will converge at the three day culinary adventure from 22nd-24th November.

The 2013 Margaret River Gourmet Escape showcases the best of Western Australia and the Margaret River Wine Region through a line up of more than 25 international and Australian food and wine personalities, attracting food and wine lovers and holiday makers to the region.

This year's program promises a jam packed three days of beach BBQ's, long table lunches set among the vines and new events including a pop up Rockpool Bar & Grill restaurant with a rock twist; collaborative dinners with an exclusive culinary line up set in picturesque wineries; an event held in a secret forest location; a sundown soiree and a series of lunch and dinners serving local produce and native ingredients.

Exclusive Ticket offer for Gourmet Traveller & Gourmet Traveller WINE
Access to in demand tickets and sold out events including the Sundown Soiree at the exclusive Fraser Gallop Estate with a pop in by Heston Blumenthal, the Gourmet Beach BBQ's on the idyllic Smith's Beach inspired by a range of high profile International and Australian chefs and The Collaboration Series Dinner at Xanadu Winery with esteemed Australian chef Mark Best, French chef Julien Royer and Melinda Kokoti from Xanadu. To access these tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au/gourmet and enter password TRAVELLER.

There are also a range of fantastic travel packages available through Virgin Australia Holidays starting price from $1091 including return airfares & baggage, 3 nights accommodation, 4 Day Car Hire and 3 Day Gourmet Escape Package. Call 13 15 16

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Margaret River Gourmet Escape 2013 in pictures

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