The summer issue

Our summer-packed January issue is out now - featuring our guide to summer rieslings, strawberries and seafood recipes, as well as a look at the best of Bali.

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Recipes with peaches

Whether caramelised in a tarte Tartin, paired with slow-roasted pork on top of pizza or tossed through salads, this sweet stone fruit is an excellent addition to summer cooking.

Black Star Pastry to open in Carlton, Melbourne

Instagram’s most famous cake, plus a few other sweet hits, is heading south.

Knives and Ink chef tattoos

What is it about chefs and tattoos? A new book asks the inked to answer for themselves.

Ben Shewry's favourite souvlaki restaurant in Melbourne Kalimera Souvlaki Art

Attica’s chef isn’t happiest when eating soils or smears on his days off, it’s souvlaki. We follow him to his favourite spot.

Seabourn Encore luxury cruise ship

Australia is about to get its first glimpse of Seabourn Encore, a glamorous new addition to the Seabourn fleet.

Berry recipes

Whether it's raspberries paired with chocolate in a layer cake, or blueberries with lemon in a tart; berries are a welcome addition to any dessert. Here are delicious recipes with berries.

Coconut crab and green mango salad

"This salad bursts with fresh, vibrant flavours and became a signature on my Paramount menus," says Christine Manfield. "I capitalised on using green mangoes in many dishes as they became more widely available. Blue swimmer crabs from South Australia have the most delicious sweet meat. It's best to buy them whole, cook them yourself and carefully pick the meat from the shell - a tedious task but it gives the best flavour. This entree also works well with spanner crab meat (you can buy this in packs ready cooked from reliable fishmongers). The sweetness of the crab, the richness of the fresh coconut and the sourness of green mango make a wonderful partnership. It's all about harmony on the palate and using the very best produce."

Light and healthy recipes

With fresh ingredients and lots of spices, these light and healthy recipes are perfect for summer.

Agave Love, Sydney

Phillip Bayly

Phillip Bayly

Phillip Bayly first discovered tequila in 1980 when he was employed to paint palm trees on the wall of a Mexican restaurant in Amsterdam. "I went to Mexico after that," he says, "and the history right back to the Aztecs just embraced me." It was agave love.

Bayly was the original owner of Sydney's dearly departed Café Pacifico, the bar he tended for some 16 years, liquoring up Darlinghurst with Mexican street food and top-shelf tequilas. Since Pacifico closed two years ago, Bayly has been busy travelling to Mexico, tasting tequilas and planning Agave Love - a conference being held this weekend in Sydney to celebrate all things tequila and mescal.

Bayly is keen to promote tequila as something far more than a party drink. For starters, like Champagne and Cognac, its production is governed by an appellation (which very few spirits are), so only spirit distilled from blue agave in particular states of Mexico can now be sold as tequila.

"A lot of people think they can't drink tequila but they're wrong," says Bayly. "It may have said tequila on the label, and was a white spirit, but chances are there was absolutely no agave in it, which is why it brings back bad memories."

Agave Love features more than 25 international guests, many of them friends from Bayly's 35 years in the tequila, mescal and (lesser known but equally interesting) raicilla and sotol industries. Conference attendees will be able to meet producers, distributors and other enthusiasts across a program of more than 46 events. Hangovers notwithstanding, it's going to be big.

International speakers include Julio Bermejo (the tequila ambassador to the US and creator of The Tommy's Margarita), Tomas Estes (tequila ambassador to Europe), and master distiller of Olmeca Altos, Jesus Hernandez. Events include cooking with tequila workshops, tastings, talks on sustainability, and bar-stool discussions such as Agave 101 and a session on mescal titled Mexico City's New Hipster Drink.

As for the look and feel of Agave Love, Bayly was inspired by New Orleans' Tales of the Cocktail festival, so don't expect any over-airconditioned conference halls or monologues here. "I wanted small, intimate talks in close proximity," he says. "I love the energy that that creates."

To that end, Agave Love venues include Shady Pines, Casoni, The Cliff Dive, Hello Sailor and The Winery, which are all within walking distance of one another. The Old Cell Block building at the National Art School will also host The Agave Central, where over 60 different tequila expressions can be tasted on Sunday 22 March.

And what will Bayly be drinking over the weekend? "Blanco tequila, from a big red-wine glass."

Agave Love, 22-23 March, Darlinghurst, NSW; tickets from $20

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