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.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller and receive a free Gourmet Menus book - offer ends 26 February 2017.

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sleep in a Grampians olive grove this autumn

Under Sky are popping up with a luxe camping hotel experience at Mount Zero Olives this April.

Tanqueray Tasteology at Rockpool, Sydney

Charles Spence wants to engage your biggest sense organ, and he wants to do it with a gin and tonic. The brain, he argues, is where flavour happens, and not the mouth, and it's the result of a mingling of information from not just the senses of taste and scent but also sight, sound and touch.

Professor Spence is an experimental psychologist and the head of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at Oxford, and he was discussing neurogastronomy at a dinner given by Tanqueray at Rockpool in Sydney on Wednesday night.

Tanqueray is promoting the idea that a well-made gin and tonic is the perfect multisensory palate-cleanser, an idea that Professor Spence said chimes with his research. The mouth brings us less than 10 per cent of the information we end up perceiving as flavour, he said, and while the nose does most of the heavy lifting in terms of sensory perception with food and drink, the other senses play their part.

To take the example of our well-made G & T, he said, the weight of a good glass in the hand suggests quality before we've even brought it all the way to our lips. The tinkle of nice big ice cubes in that glass may make us perceive it to be cooler than it really is. Done right, it should cleanse not just the mouth but also the nose and, perhaps more crucially, the mind, priming it for the courses to come.

Lighting, music, temperature and a host of other environmental factors, according to Professor Spence, all skew our perception of flavour. "The colour red, for instance, makes things seem sweeter to us." Perhaps the best known example of how this can be manipulated in a restaurant setting is the Sounds of the Sea, the seafood dish served with an accompanying seaside soundtrack at The Fat Duck in the UK, and Spence was one of the experts that chef Heston Blumenthal turned to when he was developing it. "Sound is the forgotten food sense," said the professor. "It's like a calorie-free seasoning."

The take-home message, he said, was to understand that we taste food and drink with our minds rather than our mouths, and that enterprising chefs and drink-makers can use this information to enrich our eating and drinking.

Thoroughly primed by a meal of Rockpool classics reinterpreted by chef Phil Wood, it was an idea the crowd seemed all too ready to embrace - as crossmodally as possible.

We ate Rockpool dishes new and old; standouts included Wood's palate-cleanser, a beetroot-spiked take on the gin Salty Dog cocktail, and his reworking of Rockpool's Burgundian chicken, which brought prawns and a liquorice split-butter sauce into play with devastating effect.

We drank Tanqueray and tonic, naturally. The house version of the quintessential palate-cleanser calls for 30ml of Tanqueray poured into a glass filled two-thirds of the way with ice cubes, topped with tonic (Capi in this case), rimmed and garnished with a wedge of lime.

We loved Hearing discussion of the orbitofrontal cortex and oral referral in the same breath as Dirty Martinis and jelly.

Catch Professor Charles Spence talking about neurogastronomy and Tanqueray at the Rockpool Classics pop-up at Rosetta in Melbourne on 19 November.



Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
50BestTalks brings World’s best chefs to Sydney and Melbourne
Melbourne's Tomato Festival is back in 2017
Sydney’s Tomato Festival returns in 2017
Young Henrys and Mary’s charity cook up
Victoria's inaugural garlic festival
Reader lunch: Fred's, Sydney
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

See more

You might also like...

Diageo Reserve's World Class

This week saw the final throes of the most hotly contested p...

Diageo Reserve's World Class

This week saw the final throes of the most hotly contested p...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.