The Paris issue

Our October issue is on sale - the Paris special. Grab your copy for all-things Parisian, plus ultimate French baking recipes and more.

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Best feta recipes

Feta's tang livens up all sorts of dishes, from beef shin rigatoni or blistered kale ribs to Greek-style roast lamb neck.

Seven ways to do dumplings

Dumplings may be bite-sized, but they pack a flavourful punch. Here are seven mouth-watering recipes, from Korean mandu to classic Chinese-style steamed dumplings.

Recipes with zucchini

Whether served raw with olive oil, grated with fresh herbs, or pan-fried in a pancake - zucchini is a must-have ingredient when it comes to spring cooking.

Pickett's Deli & Rotisserie, Melbourne

Here’s Pickett’s inside running on the menu at Melbourne's new European-style eatery and wine bar Pickett's Deli & Rotisserie.

Apfel kuchen

"This is my mother's famous apple cake. The apples are macerated with sugar, cinnamon and lemon, and this lovely juice produces the icing," says Brigitte Hafner. The apples can be prepared the night before and kept in the fridge. This cake keeps well for four days and is at its best served the day after it's made."

Chicken stir-fried with holy basil and chilli

Nougat, salted peanut caramel and milk chocolate tart

What's not to love about a Snickers bar? All the elements are here, but if you don't feel like making your own nougat, you could always scatter some diced nougat in the base of the tart instead. The caramel is dark, verging on bitter, while a good whack of salt cuts through some of the sweetness - extra roasted salted peanuts on top can only be a good thing.

Recipes for the long weekend

Long weekends leave ample time for sharing a home-cooked meal with friends. Take your pick from this selection of slow-cooked roasts, modern side dishes and sweet desserts.

Fergus Henderson's tribute to his father

Recalling moments that shaped his career, Fergus Henderson pays tribute to his late food-loving father.

My training as a chef took place on the eaters' side of the pass, more often than not with my father, who sadly passed away last week. I feel very fortunate to have formed so many culinary memories with him, many of which stem from Paris: Restaurant Allard and its splendid mustardy cucumber salad, followed by roast guinea fowl and delicious lentils in a fantastic, very chipped bowl, digestion aided by a very young marc de Bourgogne, almost green with youth. The first brush with steak tartare, the combination of raw meat and the crunch of well-cooked pommes allumettes washed down by chilled Brouilly (ah! cold red wine!). There was no turning back.

I'm not sure what my dad was doing giving me the wine list and directing me to choose at the pudding moment at Le Grand Véfour. He never made that mistake again: I picked Château d'Yquem and, as the wine waiter poured the wine, he said, "Messieurs, this is liquid gold." I was ruined for life.

Still in Paris, on a Sunday night with a huge heaping of choucroute garnie before us, we were accosted by Peter Langan (the late proprietor of Langan's Brasserie in London) who shared his Sancerre-fuelled wisdom with us: that the word "amateur" has been misused in our language for ages. Instead of meaning someone not very good at something, it actually refers to a lover of a subject. I took this to heart; I would like to think of myself as an amateur.

Then there was lunch in the Four Seasons New York, a Bloody Mary at the bar beneath that spiky sculpture hanging overhead (the chance of a spike falling and running you through adds a certain piquancy to your pre-lunch cocktail). You also realise where vintage clothing shops get their clothing from, especially of the American variety: those peculiar shapes all come from barmen at the Four Seasons. Elaine's in NYC was the hotspot at one point.

Dad was taking me and Ken, a chubby chum who was obsessed by restaurants, to supper there. When we were shown our table Ken almost wet himself with excitement, exclaiming that this was the best table in the house - probably in the whole city! The power of restaurants is extraordinary.

Then came the incident in Sweetings (Sweetings being a good place for incidents). It was a busy lunch and I had made eye contact with Angelo, hoping that he would find me a table in the back. Enjoying a few Black Velvets in the bar at Sweetings is like standing in a lunchtime mosh-pit; Angelo expertly manoeuvred his way through to announce, "Your table is ready, Mr Henderson! Your table is ready." Out of the fug came my dad, and this was when the incident occurred. Angelo told him, "Not you, but this Mr Henderson," referring to me instead. Dad did not take this well.

The feeling of taking my father out for the first time was fantastic, he having been so generous to me. A friend of mine suggested we should take our fathers on a culinary adventure because they were not getting any younger. San Sebastián seemed an appropriate eating destination. My chum asked me to book some restaurants, so I did, but I should have taken into account what grumpy old curmudgeons they had aged into. Being shown around the kitchen at Arzak by Elena herself, the two grumpy gits started complaining that they were hungry. Their behaviour did not improve much over lunch.

It struck me as very strange that two gents who have eaten more than most had aged into the two old men from The Muppets who sit in a box complaining, especially as the first words I learnt in French were: La Vieille Prune, s'il vous plaît . Life is going to be okay armed with a sentence like that under your belt.

I hope the great chef in the sky looks after you as well as the chefs have here, Dad.

Illustration Lara Porter

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