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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.

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.

2017 Australian Hotel Awards: The Finalists

This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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. 

Chorizo recipes

Where would Spanish cuisine be without the chorizo? This versatile smallgood lends its big flavours to South American stews, soups, and salads, not to mention the ultimate hot dog. Let the sizzling begin.

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.

Hunter Valley NSW travel guide

Our guide to the best of the region.

Wrapping up Tasting Australia 2016

Chefs got intimate with local produce - in fire pits, on fishing wharves and at botanical gardens - while dinner guests were treated to inventive feasts at Tasting Australia in Adelaide from May 1-8.

Event organisers can reflect on this nine-day festival with satisfaction, not only for strong ticket sales across many of its 200 events, but also for reinventing it as a relevant gastronomic forum that has moved far beyond a celebrity chef-fest.

Produce was elevated to star status, especially at regional events where guest chefs cooked beside locals to get the best out of ingredients at their source.

Highlights included Paul West cooking asado lamb at Savannah Farm in Clare, Andrew McConnell's masterclass at Leonards Mill Restaurant in the southern Fleurieu Peninsula, and Robin Wickens of the Royal Mail Hotel with Lachlan Colwill at Hentley Farm Restaurant in the Barossa.

Big ticket functions captured the necessary wow factor, especially a retrospective of revered Adelaide chef Cheong Liew, with eight courses cooked by Liew alumni who now run kitchens around the world, including Luke Brabin from Regal Hotel, Shanghai, and Michael Elfwing from Cape Lodge in Margaret River. It underlined the power of Liew's influence upon another generation.

Pop-up events provided magic moments. Matt Orlando, from Amass in Denmark, and Orana's Jock Zonfrillo laid a carpet of autumn leaves in a marquee to complement their six-course Natural dinner of foraged and seasonal produce. A crowd on the Port Adelaide docks ate fresh-caught fish with bread baked by Americans Jeffrey Hamelman and Josey Baker. A mighty avenue of ancient trees provided a canopy for Anthony Myint and Paul Baker's long table feast at Adelaide Botanic Garden.

The festival's concluding Origins gala - "a nightclub for foodies" as described festival creative director Simon Bryant - had 30 chefs present bite-sized dishes of extravagant comfort foods. Many were sublime, including wagyu tartare on a fried potato cube by Dave Pynt from Singapore.

The transformation of Adelaide's central Victoria Square into a stall-lined Town Square for public eating, drinking, demonstrations and forums was similarly ambitious, but needs modifying to garner more public attention. Organisers get the chance when the now-annual Tasting Australia returns in late April 2017.

tastingaustralia.com.au

Gourmet Traveller is a proud partner of Tasting Australia.

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