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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.

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.

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.

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.

O Tama Carey's fried eggs with seeni sambol, coconut and turmeric

"I first cooked a version of this dish - inspired by the excellent deep-fried egg dish at Billy Kwong - while working at a restaurant in Sri Lanka," says O Tama Carey. "The lattice-like eggs are doused in a creamy turmeric curry sauce and topped with seeni sambol, a sweet-spiced caramelised onion relish. This dish is equally perfect for an indulgent breakfast as it is served as part of a larger meal." The recipe for the seeni sambol makes more than you need, but to get the right balance of spices you need to make at least this much. It keeps refrigerated for up to three weeks; use as an onion relish. The curry sauce can be made a day or two ahead.

Ben Shewry to present at Western Australia’s first food and drink symposium

Ben Shewry

Ben Shewry

Madrid Fusion. René Redzepi's MAD. Melbourne's own WAW Gathering. If it's an international food and drink think-tank or event of note, Ben Shewry has been part of it, but that doesn't mean talking in front of crowds was a skill that Attica's chef-patron was born with.

"Because of the isolation I grew up in, public speaking isn't something that came naturally to me," says the Kiwi-born chef, who was raised in a remote pocket of New Zealand's Taranaki region. "I had to overcome that when I was 19 speaking to 500 14-year-olds about being a chef, and then presenting to a mostly non-English-speaking audience of 1600 at Madrid Fusion in 2010."

This May, Shewry will cross the country to speak at WA FADS, Western Australia's first food and drink symposium, an event that aims to discuss some of the important, sometimes-unglamorous issues faced by the state's food industry. For organisers Ai-Ling Truong and Katrina Lane, Shewry's own WAW event was a major inspiration in organising WA FADS, as was the way Shewry approaches the running of Attica.

"The values and level-headedness that Ben has shown while running the best restaurant in Australia is admirable and we wanted to bring him over to share insights into how he manages everything and keeps sane," says Truong. "We will dig deep into what it means to make it in this industry."

As well as being a fan of the Perth Wildcats basketball team - "a great organisation with proper team values so I look at them for inspiration for my own restaurant team," he says - Shewry has served West Australian ingredients including marron, pearl meat and snow crabs at Attica over the past decade.

Come May, Shewry will join key Perth chefs and producers including Joel Valvasori-Pereza ( Lula La Delizia), former best new talent winner Sam Ward, Amy Hamilton ( Liberte) and organic beef farmer Warren Pensini in a day-long program of talks, presentations and workshops. If WA FADS can inspire attendees the same way WAW did (Shewry says WAW helped convince he and his wife Natalia to buy Attica), West Australia's food and drink scene has much to look forward to. Roll on May.

WA FADS, Sunday 28 May, Claremont Showgrounds, 8 Ashton Ave, Claremont, WA.

Tickets to the event are still available for $100 and include lunch, morning and afternoon tea. Tickets and additional crowd-funding rewards can be purchased at chuffed.org/project/fads.

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