The Christmas issue

Our December issue is out now, featuring Paul Carmichael's recipes for a Caribbean Christmas, silly season cocktails and more.

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Mango recipes

Nothing says summer like mangoes. Go beyond the criss-cross cuts - bake a mango-filled meringue loaf with lime mascarpone, start off the day with a sweet coconut quinoa pudding with sticky mango, or toss it through a spicy warm weather Thai salad.

Chilled recipes for summer

When the mercury is rising, step away from the oven. These recipes are either raw, chilled or frozen and will cool you down in a snap.

Shark Bay Wild Scampi Caviar

Bright blue scampi roe is popping up on menus across Australia. Here's why it's so special.

Dark chocolate delice, salted-caramel ganache and chocolate sorbet

"The delice from Source Dining is a winner. May I have the recipe?" Rebecca Ward, Fitzroy, Vic REQUEST A RECIPE To request a recipe, email fareexchange@bauer-media.com.au or send us a message via Facebook. Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address. Please note that because of the volume of requests we receive, we can only publish a selection in the magazine.

Summer feta recipes

Whether in a fresh salad or seasonal seafood dish, feta's creamy tang can be used to add interest to a variety of summer dishes.

Paul Carmichael's great cake

"Great cake, also known in Barbados as black cake or rum cake, is a variation of British Christmas cake that's smashed with rum and falernum syrup," says Momofuku Seiobo chef Paul Carmichael. "This festive cake varies from household to household but they all have two things in common: tons of dried fruit and rum. It's a cake that should be started at least a month out so the fruit can marinate in the booze. Start this recipe up to five weeks ahead to macerate the fruit and baste the cake."

What the GT team is cooking on Christmas Day

We don't do things by halves in the Gourmet office. These are the recipes we'll be cooking on the big day.

Sydney's best dishes 2016

For our 50th anniversary issue in 2016, we scoured Australia asking two questions: What dishes are making waves right now? What flavours will take us into the next half-century? Sydney provided 16 answers.

The good life

"The zucchini have gone crazy," says Rodney Dunn. "Which is great. The lettuce is always happening, it's just prolific and everywhere. The corn grows a foot every day, and the raspberries are finishing, with the birds getting the last of them. We had our first tomatoes the other day, so that's good. The pigs are getting fatter by the day, and I'm waiting for them to be old enough to go and have some fun with the boar so they can give me some little piglets. The geese are biding their time, and I'm going to fatten them over winter; the Jersey cows are being nuisances. They've been to the bull, but I'm not sure if they're pregnant."

Welcome to a day in the life of Rodney Dunn. As a former full-time food editor here at Gourmet Traveller, he was more accustomed to whiling away his hours in the city in the test kitchen and photo studio, but for Dunn, it has been a matter of taking the boy out of the country, but not the country out of the boy. Raised in Griffith, in southern central New South Wales, he left home for the city to pursue his interest in cooking, cutting his teeth in restaurants such as Tetsuya's before turning to work in magazines. For all his flair in the kitchen and his talent for preparing food for the camera, the country kept calling. "I wanted to have access to better food," he says. "I really wanted to eat vegetables we couldn't buy, to have the experience of having our own animals, our own milk, and to make a living out of sharing that experience with other people."

So it was that in 2007, Dunn, his wife Séverine Demanet and their toddler Tristan left Sydney and settled in a 19th-century schoolhouse 45 minutes north of Hobart at Lachlan in the Derwent Valley. After some hard yards with shovel, sledgehammer and backhoe, they opened the doors on The Agrarian Kitchen late last year, and it's already being hailed by local and overseas pundits as a cooking school in a class of its own. The first part of most sessions involves pulling ingredients from the garden, but despite the rustic setting, the kitchen is equipped with shiny new professional-grade equipment, augmented by a wood-burning oven designed by fire-guru Alan Scott. In addition to the heirloom fruit and veg and the Barnevelders, Wessex saddlebacks and other assorted rare-breed livestock on the farm, other topnotch Tassie produce plays a part, whether it's black truffles, wild trout or rock lobster. Locals pitch in their skills, too; butcher and pig breeder Lee Christmas lends a hand with the Whole Hog class (yes, it means exactly what you think), for example, while Gordon Ramsay protégé and pastry chef Alistair Wise gives lessons on the sweet stuff.

The romance of the setting is undeniable. "I look at it, and think, gee, that's not growing as well as I'd like it to, and the weeds are getting away a bit over there, but other people come here and just fall in love with the place," says Dunn. There's no lack of poetry in Dunn's soul, but his mind, nonetheless, is on smokehouses and greenhouses, root cellars and milking sheds. How long will it take to get The Agrarian Kitchen to a point where he'll be satisfied with it?

"The rest of my life," he says, "I hope."

The Agrarian Kitchen, 650 Lachlan Rd, Lachlan, Tas, (03) 6261 1099.

WORDS PAT NOURSE PHOTOGRAPHY SHARYN CAIRNS

This article appeared in the March 2009 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.


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Explainer: wild scampi caviar
30.11.2016
GT's Christmas hamper
29.11.2016
David Thompson's favourite hot sauce
28.11.2016
Our 2016 Christmas issue is out now
28.11.2016
Bruce Pascoe’s crowd-funded Indigenous agriculture project
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