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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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.
Charleston, the antebellum jewel of the Carolina coast, has embraced its Lowcountry roots, writes Shane Mitchell, and now shines anew.
Our June issue is out now, and it's all about breakfast. Pat Nourse kicks things off with his editor's letter.
Andrew McConnell’s Cantonese-inspired restaurant will become a classroom for a night during the Emerging Writers’ Festival.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our guide to the best of the region.
A pampered herd of goats on an organic, sustainably run farm in central Victoria is producing the nation's benchmark chèvre, writes Will Studd.
Not so long ago the name Holy Goat might have been considered a
tad irreverent and self-righteous for a brand of Australian cheese,
but it seems entirely appropriate for the range of goat's milk
cheese produced at Sutton Grange in central Victoria that has now
come to be regarded as one of the finest in the country by chefs
and cheese lovers alike.
It's been more than a decade since Carla Meurs and Anne-Marie Monda established their farm and a purpose-built dairy after studying cheesemaking around the world. Since then, they have consistently produced really interesting goat's milk cheese that has won many accolades and is widely recognised as a national benchmark. The couple are passionate about producing quality cheese using sustainable organic principles and have an extraordinary holistic respect for their goats and the quality of milk they produce. Throw in hard work, patience, skill, empathy and experience, and the result is an inspiring example of a truly special farm.
Location, climate, and pasture were all carefully considered by the pair before they decided to buy their land. To produce organic milk it was essential the paddocks had never been treated with superphosphate, and supported tough native and perennial grasses, herbs and shrubs. Goats are browsers and need hard fibrous plants to stay healthy and the traditional dairy regions produce too much grass and clover for goats to thrive outside.
Despite demand far outstripping supply these days, the farm's goat numbers are strictly limited and every animal in the pampered herd has a name. Around 80 goats are milked at any one time and their accommodation is an open-sided barn loaded with bales of organic hay. They also have freedom to roam outside in paddocks regularly monitored to ensure consistent grazing conditions. A major change in recent years has been to boost the goats' diet with mineral supplements, offered in "snack stations" around the farm. According to Meurs, this has led to a dramatic increase in milk production and has proved "absolutely essential" for ensuring there is sufficient volume for cheesemaking throughout the year.
One of the more intriguing aspects of the farm's very contented goats is their comparatively large size. The herd was bred from Saanen and British Alpine stock and the kids are not joined (mated, that is) until they're almost two years old, 18 months later than in most commercial herds. This breeds strong animals that will lactate for many years without a break.
All great cheese begins with good milk and the organic principles at Holy Goat ensure the milk contains more natural microflora than goat's milk produced indoors on a larger scale. Careful handling is essential to avoid damage to its composition, so the milking shed is built next to the dairy to avoid any pump damage. After gentle batch-pasteurisation, cheese is made every day using traditional slow lactic-acid fermentation techniques. These help to retain flavour and moisture in the curds before they're ladled by hand into hoops and left to drain.
The range includes delicious fresh curd cheese rarely seen outside farmers' markets in Victoria, but it's the exceptional surface-ripened cheeses covered with a wrinkled ivory-coloured geotrichum mould prepared from a "mother culture" that have put the dairy on the map. A distinguishing feature of many French chèvre fermier, this "geo" mould, as it's known, is rarely seen in Australia because it is very difficult to create the right conditions to control it.
Holy Goat's La Luna is the best-known example. Made in a large fat ring shape with a big hole in the middle and matured for at least three weeks, its sensational concentrated texture and aromatic herbaceous lactic finish are a great reflection of the couple's cheesemaking skills.
The dairy has recently launched an exciting new washed-rind cheese called Nectar, matured under geo mould. Mature after six to eight weeks, the semi-soft, sticky cheese is packed with flavour and finishes with a hint of smoke and the irresistible taste of sweet goat's milk. It's another classic in the making.
Related link: dairy recipes.
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