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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.

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.

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. 

Hunter Valley NSW travel guide

Our guide to the best of the region.

Pea and ham soup

Humble pie

Pizza in Italy is good, like I get it. I liked it. It's good. But, if I can be brutally honest with you, my fellow obsessive food nerds, it just didn't make me as happy as cheap-Tuesday, home-delivered barbecue chicken pizza on the couch. I know this might reveal me to be a bogan at the table, but hand-on-my-heart, people, I'm not that guy, honest. I'm quite particular about food. I tend to correct waiters' pronunciations ("It's py-ay-ya, not py-ell-a.") and when my boyfriend reveals to me that he doesn't know what tiramisù is and that he likes to put mashed potato in a salad, it makes me quite uncomfortable. I just have a soft spot for a certain type of pizza.

I like an even spread of toppings. I like thick base. I love it when a crappy pizza place has a "gourmet" menu with a Mexican pizza, or, better still, a "Raj".

I know I should be more interested in beautiful local buffalo mozzarella scattered rustically yet artistically on a thin, woodfired base but I just can't find that as exciting as being able to add a hot-dog-stuffed crust for three bucks.

I feel bad for Italian food. The greatest thing about it is that it's simple, fresh, unpretentious and it tastes like what it's made of. It shows so much restraint and the world just loves it. So we took it and added to it - we pimped it out. We added more cheese and thicker bases and pushed the boundaries of how many different types of animal we can fit on top. We turned it into trash - marvellous trash.

It's not my fault. Too many happy childhood memories revolve around pizza. My first proper birthday party was at all-you-can-eat Pizza Hut. (Do the proper Huts still exist? The last one I knew of was in Surfers Paradise but I think maybe even they quit them.) We filled our friend's bottomless soft drink with chilli and he drank it to be cool and then he vomited. I had my first kiss at a pizza party.

The best day of the week at high school was Thursday, because it was the day the tuckshop ordered in heaps of pizza for lunch. It always blew my mind that this was allowed. Did anyone else have this? Or was my school the only one where the school captain stuck to their core promises?

When I was 19 there was a pizza-slice place in the Valley in Brisbane that we used to think was the most spectacular pizza ever, until I had a slice sober one day and realised they tricked us. But I still eat there every time I'm pissy and in the area.

None of my favourite pizze would pass muster in Italy. I was obsessed with the massive slices in New York that were impossible to eat. I lost my s*** when I found out Scotland will deep-fry it for you. I even preferred the rubbish pizza I ate in Thailand after my friend exclaimed, "I can't eat another freakin' papaya salad!"

It was squidgy with too much barbecue sauce and the cheese was bouncy, but while eating it I met a dreamy German boy who let me kiss him. Context is everything.

So when my boyfriend (the same one who shouldn't be allowed near the salad spoons and the spuds) rants about how rubbish the pizza is in Italy - "There were hardly any toppings! They just gave me one big slice of ham. How lazy are they that they won't chop the ham up and spread it around?" - I say to him, "I love the pizza there. I think less is more. It's such delicious produce. Also, I think it was probably prosciutto." But I secretly agree with him.

PS: My publicist was hoping in this article I would mention my new drama/comedy series, Please Like Me. I'm not very good at sneaking in promo, though. Please watch it, maybe with a pizza, on ABC2 on Thursdays at 9:30pm, or pick it up on DVD from 4 April so everything feels relevant.

Josh will be performing his brand new stand-up show, Douchebag, at the Melbourne Comedy Festival from 28 March to 21 April. Visit comedyfestival.com.au for details.

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