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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. 

Secret Tuscany

A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.

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.

Moon Park to open Paper Bird in Potts Point

No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

Discovering Macedonia

Like its oft-disputed name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia defies simple definition but its rich diversity extends from the dinner table to the welcoming locals, writes Richard Cooke.

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.

Brae

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.

The producers: Alexandrina Jersey milk

Alexandrina Cheese Company

Alexandrina Cheese Company

Meet the producers of the crème de la crème of Australian full-cream milk.

What Alexandrina Cheese Company Pure Jersey Full Cream Milk, Mount Jagged, South Australia.

Who Dan and Krystyna McCaul, having established their dairy farm on the Fleurieu Peninsula 40 years ago, developed Alexandrina Cheese Company in 2001 as a means of saving their Jersey herd and staying independent rather than selling out to big milk conglomerates.

How About two-thirds of the fresh milk from the McCauls' 89 Jersey cows goes towards making cheese, and the remaining third is sold as full-cream and skim milk. While Alexandrina Cheese produces only about 8,000 bottles of milk a month, the McCauls entered the 2014 Australian Grand Dairy Awards as a benchmarking exercise and were shocked to be awarded Australia's Champion Milk. Judges praised the milk's full flavour, a product of high butterfat and protein, and its rich colour.

Why The quality of Alexandrina's pasteurised, unhomogenised milk and range of cheese (its vintage cheddar also won a silver medal at the 2008 World Jersey Cheese Awards) starts with the cows. The pampered Jersey herd feeds on pastures of clover grass on the McCauls' 111-hectare property, with milk and cheese processed onsite.

Stockists Milk is available from the Alexandrina Cheese Company farm retail shop, which sees more than 36,000 visitors each year. It's also sold at the Willunga and Adelaide Farmers' Markets and in select delicatessens and food shops throughout the Fleurieu, Adelaide Hills and Adelaide area. (08) 8554 9666.

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