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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. 

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

OCRF Silver Style Cocktail Party 2014

The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation and Gourmet Traveller co-hosted a glamorous event at Stokehouse City to raise vital funds and give thanks to loyal sponsors, writes Michael Harden.

There was plenty of love in the room when Gourmet Traveller co-presented the 2014 Silver Style Cocktail Party with the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation at Melbourne's Stokehouse City recently.

Silver Style is part fundraiser, part thank-you to the donors and sponsors who help raise funds for the OCRF. Hosted with warmth and humour by Catriona Rowntree, the party provided a chance for everybody involved with the foundation - from donors to research scientists - to celebrate advances in ovarian cancer treatment made possible by the OCRF's work.

CEO and co-founder of the OCRF, Liz Heliotis, says that the night was all about "life and aspiration, gratitude and the future".

"What we do is raise vital research funds to support scientific endeavour and by doing that we fuel the dream for a better future for generations to come," she says. "The partners/sponsors we have are an integral part of that journey and all are committed to our ultimate goal of an early detection test for this insidious disease."

The theatrical upstairs room at Stokehouse City provided the perfect backdrop for a smart crowd, which embraced the party's theme - elegant, with a touch of silver. The crew from By Design Event Group styled the rooms - from ethereal centrepieces on the tables to crinoline-clad performers. Add a steady flow of Pikes wines and Trumer Pils beer, and a brilliant menu of party food (designed by Stokehouse chef Oliver Gould), including Coffin Bay oysters with verjuice gazpacho, and spanner crab and pea risotto, and you'd have been hard-pressed not to have a good time.

Foundation chairman and co-founder associate professor Thomas Jobling was on hand to accept a cheque for more than $1.2 million from premium partner Witchery. And more money was raised on the night, not just from the sale of limited-edition silver ribbon pins (by a troop of Witchery-attired hostesses whose make-up was done by co-sponsor L'Oréal Paris), but also through a live auction of prizes kindly donated by OCRF partners and friends of Gourmet Traveller, including luxury accommodation at Bali's Villa Mawar, an escape package to the freshly renovated Langham, Sydney and a wellness weekend at the Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat in Queensland.

It was a special kind of night, one where a good party and a good cause were perfectly in step.

THANKS TO
* Catriona Rowntree, MC
* Antony Woodley, auctioneer
* Basil, Marcus, Lisa and Jolee from By Design Event Group (for event styling) supported by Jason Coleman's Ministry of Dance
* Eddie Rinaldo from Rinaldo Entertainment (for audio visual and DJ)
* Trumer Australia, Splitrock/Tiro and Pikes Wines (beverage partners)
* Grossi family (for all their assistance in securing wine for the event)
* Witchery (for providing hostesses and their clothes)
* L'Oréal Paris (for providing hair and make-up for hostesses)
* Michael Skoullos from On Time Concepts (for collation and packing of gift bags)
* And all those who donated amazing prizes for our live auction: Bali's Villa Mawar, Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, Microflite, Village Roadshow, Trumer Australia, L'Oréal Paris, Witchery, Ian Curley, Miele, Grand Hyatt Melbourne, Grossi Florentino, and The Langham, Sydney.

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