Our December issue is out now, featuring Paul Carmichael's recipes for a Caribbean Christmas, silly season cocktails and more.
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And his lucky host city is…
From an art-fuelled Friday night to fish and chips on the sand, Melbourne is packed with adventure this summer - all of it delicious.
No eggnog here: this December, we're drinking a seven-apple cider blend, a spicy durif, and a luscious sweet Riesling.
The Botanical Hotel’s public bar has been re-opened as Gilson thanks to the founders of some of Melbourne’s busiest cafes.
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? Melbourne provided 14 answers.
It may be a magnet for destination diners the world over but Attica circa 2016 is more firmly planted in Australia than ever, writes Michael Harden.
Travel photographer John Laurie's first solo exhibit spans the globe, capturing serene moments in often unlikely spaces.
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.
13 of our most decadent chocolate recipes to indulge guests with this Christmas.
We don't do things by halves in the Gourmet office. These are the recipes we'll be cooking on the big day.
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.
"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."
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.
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.
Bright blue scampi roe is popping up on menus across Australia. Here's why it's so special.
It was foolish of me to even mention the word "parrot" on these pages last month. Those gloriously plumed and ruthless birds removed every one of my crabapples, about two weeks before they were properly ripe.
I have five trees, so they had a feast. I tried and tried to take a picture of them tearing and munching. In vain. As soon as they heard the slightest creak from the door they were off. They perched in a neighbour's tree until my back was turned and then swooped back again. Some of the fruit was netted, but that proved no deterrent - they just ripped through it.
One of the five crabapple trees is not doing well and I'm wondering whether it has to go.
It was savaged by a combination of strong wind, leaping possum and a period of no water due to a break in the drip irrigation. My gardener has given it a very severe prune and reshape, and I must say the new growth looked promising before the leaves started to fall. I'll give it a year of grace and see what happens.
During the long months of water restrictions in Victoria the drip irrigation happened in the dead of night, so it was difficult to know when there was a blocked connector until one saw the telltale drooping plant or tree. A very sad casualty was my very young persimmon tree. It too has been severely pruned and I've crossed my fingers, but it's not looking good. Now that we have had rain and restrictions have eased I've had the irrigation's timing adjusted so I can see at once if something is amiss.
In February I visited Launceston to celebrate Festivale - an
annual weekend of food, wine, music and entertainment - and to mark
the first birthday of the Launceston Harvest farmers' market. On
Twitter recently there was a half-hearted attempt to denigrate
farmers' markets as haunts for the upper classes. While there is
probably some truth in this - organic produce is always going to be
more expensive than the run-of-the-mill stuff - I found the Tassie
market very inclusive. There were families everywhere, loads of
simple stalls and the raspberries and strawberries were
outstanding. At Festivale, I was one of the people given the
difficult task of judging best stall in several categories. It was
a great way to make sure I visited almost every stall (another
judging couple did all the wine stalls).
During Festivale I also renewed my acquaintance with Nick Haddow, cheesemaker and owner of Bruny Island Cheese Co. and a well-known media personality. We first met when Nick was the original manager of the cheese room at Richmond Hill Cafe & Larder, a business I started in 1996 with Will Studd and others. We had such fun and our cheese room was groundbreaking in more ways than one. Nick insisted we fling water all over the newly tiled floor to maintain humidity for our very expensive, precious cheeses, and possibly it did, but it also seeped through the terracotta tiles and into the floorboards, creating an expensive nightmare. I bet Nick doesn't have a terracotta hexagonal-tiled floor in his cheese room.
As the builder said after the disaster was discovered and repaired, "I was never told that this room should really be considered a swimming pool!" I can laugh now.
I have a large copper urn full of prunings from the magnolia tree: the leaves are so beautiful with their shiny green tops and bronze suede underside. I've stripped the leaves from the lemon verbena and lime verbena, so I can make soothing herbal brews over the next few months. I have harvested my pear crop - six in total. Apparently they are of no interest to the parrots.
During my summer holidays I happened upon a wonderful ceramic cockatoo by Victorian artist Kaye Clancy. It's now hanging in one of the denuded crabapples and is a thing of great charm and beauty. Its cheeky, slightly deranged eyes seem to follow me around and I cannot look at it without smiling.
The pomegranate tree is in flower, and the sprouting broccoli seeds are growing well in the hothouse. It's time for the broad beans to go in, but the bean teepees still have small crops of climbing beans. I shall plant the seeds anyway and let them co-exist until the broad bean plants are about 12cm high. At that point the other beans must give over.
April is the month for cabbage white butterflies. I've mentioned
before that I do think those shiny, twirly things help deter them,
as do big squares of white cardboard or plastic speared onto
For the third time the saved sweet pea seeds have been sown. This season we collected the pods without trying to differentiate colours. Last time there were a few surprises, with purple where I had expected pink, so we've just mixed them up and will be delighted with whatever colour appears.
Until next time.
For more information on Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Foundation and schools, check out her website.
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