Healthy Eating

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Dark Mofo’s Winter Feast

Dark Mofo’s Winter Feast

Dark Mofo’s Winter Feast

A whole lot of flames are in store for this year’s Winter Feast in Hobart. Here’s who’s cooking.

Flames have always been a central feature of Winter Feast, the food component of Hobart's annual Dark Mofo winter festival, but according to the Feast's food curator Jo Cook, there's fire and then there's fire.

"Every year Leigh Carmichael [creative director of Dark Mofo] comes to me and says: 'more fire, we need more fire'," she says. "And I think we're really going to give him what he wants this year - it's going to be pretty spectacular."

Central to the Feast, which is held on Hobart's waterfront, will be a large firepit glowing with the charcoal that Lennox Hastie, from Sydney's Firedoor, will be making in a pizza oven from cherry wood, apple wood, old wine barrels and grape vines.

Hastie is teaming up with Mona executive chef Vince Trim who is bringing his Heavy Metal Kitchen (a collection of wood-fired cooking equipment that includes a parilla and a "wall of fire" where whole beasts are cooked) to the Princes Wharf. Hastie and Trim will be using the firepit to cook a couple of dishes each night, one based around local shellfish, the other around local vegetables.

Cook says that the Feast this year is all about "eating new food".

"We want people to try something different, something unique to the Feast that you can't get anywhere else."

One of the ways she's achieving this is via the Winter Feast Co-Labs where she's hooked up a local chef and local business with a chef from another state.

"It's a great way to create new food," she says. "The locals know what food's available and what's in season right now, while the visiting chefs bring ideas from other places."

Each of the Co-Labs has its own charcoal barbecue to cook "new street food".

Melbourne chef Jerry Mai (Phò Nom), for example, is teaming up with Bruny Island Food's Ross O'Meara and local rice paper roll joint Mint, to create a char siu bao taco with lemongrass and chilli marinated pork caramelised over the charcoal and stuffed into the 'taco' with fresh herbs and chilli sauce.

Other chefs involved in the Co-Labs include Victor Liong (Melbourne's Lee Ho Fook), David Moyle (Hobart's Franklin) and Christopher Hogarth from Sydney's Merivale Group.

Around 60 stallholders will also be on hand to push Tassie produce, and there's also a whiskey bar and a gin bar dispensing the good local distilled stuff.

Most of the dishes at Winter Feast will be priced around $10, to keep the event "affordable and non-elite".

"There's seriously something for everyone," Cook says. "We have a lot of vegan and vegetarian food and a lot - a lot - of meat."

There'll also be music, wine and, it seems, a hell of a lot of fire.

City of Hobart Dark Mofo Winter Feast, 4pm-10pm June 15-19, Princes Wharf 1, Hobart, Tas, darkmofo.net.au

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