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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Most popular recipes summer 2017

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

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."

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.

Bali's new wave of restaurants, hotels and bars

The restaurant and hotel scene on Australia's favourite holiday island has never been more exciting and Australian chefs, owners and restaurateurs are leading the charge, writes Samantha Coomber.

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."

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.

Baguette recipes

These baguette recipes are picture-perfect and picnic ready, bursting with fillings like slow-cooked beef tongue, poached egg and grilled asparagus and classic leg ham and cheese.

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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