We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.
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Are indigenous flavours the next big thing in chocolate? Lee Tran Lam investigates.
Mezzo-soprano Jose Maria Lo Monaco takes us through Milan, telling us where to shop, eat pizza and buy shoes.
We asked our favourite confectioners and cafe owners from around the country for their hottest tips.
Sydneysiders revive a landmark restaurant in country New South Wales.
You’ve got another chance at last winter’s sell-out drop from Four Pillars.
A bar for art’s sake pops up at Semi Permanent.
Attica chef Ben Shewry has been thinking about your buttocks, and wants to introduce them to an Australian design classic.
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 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.
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.
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.
Our guide to the best of the region.
Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.
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.
The beans are planted, the peach trees are laden with fruit
and the hydrangeas are abuzz with bees in Stephanie Alexander's
As you read this you'll be contemplating your Christmas plans. Will it be hot or cold? Seafood or poultry? Indoors or out? In all cases, anticipation is part of the fun.
Magazine deadlines have a way of distorting time, so I'm anticipating, with fingers crossed, what will come to pass.
My tomatoes will be flowering and some early fruit will have formed. This year I've restricted myself to three varieties. I saved seed from my two favourites in early autumn: the massive, brilliantly textured fruit originally from Lina Siciliano at Rose Creek Estate and the oval oxhearts derived from a tomato I tasted once at Tony Tan's house. My third choice is brandywine, and I bought the seedlings at a farmers' market. So far the brandywine has masses of leaves but no flowers.
My prized doughnut peach tree has about 20 fruit this year, and I intend to bag each of them individually; last year I think just eight peaches finally ripened, but they were exceptional in flavour and juiciness. The nectarine and small yellow peach trees have such a lot of fruit that individual bagging is simply not feasible. Instead, my gardener has constructed a fruit cage of netting on poly pipe that drops over the trees without getting tangled in the fruit, and I had extra trellising built in yet another attempt at foiling the possums. Time will tell.
I've planted a bamboo teepee with my favourite yellow pole beans - which climb two metres and crop very heavily - and yellow and green bush beans at the edges of the beds. The basil is coming along well, and I have lots of floppy, frilly salad leaves. My favourite tender oakleaf lettuce is self-seeding everywhere, including in cracks in the brick edging, so there's always a salad ready to gather.
In another month I'll dig up my garlic and enjoy some of it damp
and juicy before carefully hanging the rest to dry completely. And
for once I may remember to gather some early almonds while the
shells are still green and the nut within is juicy and crisp. Serve
them with cheese as a treat, or soak them in hot water and press
through a sieve to make almond milk for an almond gazpacho or a
It's that time of the year when it's difficult to keep up with the growth. Turn your back and three zucchini grow to marrow size. Never mind - the recipe in The Cook's Companion for slow-cooked zucchini is an ideal way of preparing them.
The beautiful papery poppies have finished dancing in the late spring sunshine, and as the days warm I'm nearly ready to put my toe in the pool. At one end of the pool area the white hydrangeas are massive balls of blossom buzzing with bees. Above them, on the back fence, are the pale yellow open-faced flowers of the Mermaid rose. Last year all the buds were eaten by the possums; I'm so pleased to see that some have fought back. Maybe the possums have come in contact with Mermaid's terrible thorns.
Followers of mine on Facebook or Instagram and subscribers to my newsletter will have noticed many food-on-plate shots over the past few months, and even some action shots of cooks and cameras hard at work. The time has come to reveal my secret.
My book The Cook's Companion has been taken into the homes of 500,000 Australians, and if the comments I receive from people on the tram are even half true, the book is used on a regular basis by many food-lovers. But as all cooks and gardeners know, there's always change and progress, and we all benefit from experience and new discoveries. I wanted to re-examine my text once again (the last time I did this was in 2002), but this time I wanted to jump into the brave new world of digital technology. The result is that The Cook's Companion app is now available for download from the Apple App Store and Google Play.
I've re-examined every line, recooked dish after dish, and filmed how-to videos, yet retained all the features that have made the book special. I hope you like it. Now that it's finished it's time for a holiday and then to plan my own Christmas feast.
Have a merry Christmas.
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