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Australia's best rieslings

We’re spoilt for variety – and value – in Australia when it comes to good riesling. Max Allen picks the top 20 from a fine crop.

Fig recipes

Figs. We can't get enough of them. Here are a few sweet and savoury ways to add them to your summer spread.

Curtis Stone's strawberry, elderflower and brioche summer puddings

"Think of this dessert as a deconstructed version of a summer pudding, with thinly sliced strawberries macerated in elderflower liqueur and layered between slices of brioche," says Stone. "A dollop of whipped cream on top is a cooling counterpoint to the floral flavours."

Top Australian chefs to follow on Instagram in 2017

A lot has changed since we first published our pick of the best chefs to follow on Instagram (way back in the dark ages of 2013). Here’s who we’re double-tapping on the photo-sharing app right now.

Most popular recipes summer 2017

Counting down from 20, here are this summer's most-loved recipes.

Christine Manfield recipes

As the '90s dawned, darling chefs were pushing the boundaries of cooking in this country. A young Christine Manfield, just starting out at this heady time, soon became part of the generation that redefined modern Australian cuisine. She shares some of her timeless signatures from the era.

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A hotdog is all about the condiments. Here, choose between a smoky red capsicum relish or the bright flavours of chimichurri, or go for a bit of both.

Sleep in a Grampians olive grove this autumn

Under Sky are popping up with a luxe camping hotel experience at Mount Zero Olives this April.

Recipes by Clayton Wells, Automata

Clayton Wells

Clayton Wells

Clayton Wells shares recipes from Sydney's Automata, translating fine-dining food to an easy-going lunch with friends.

Automata chef Clayton Wells makes entertaining sound easy. "Prepare as much ahead of time as you can, drop everything on the table at once and then join the party," he says. It all sounds very casual and seems at odds with the chef's background: before opening Automata, his first solo restaurant, six months ago, Wells was sous-chef at Sydney fine-diner Momofuku Seiobo and he's also clocked kitchen time at Tetsuya's and Quay.

The five-course tasting menu at Automata, in Chippendale's refurbished Old Clare Hotel, shows just as much polish as Wells' glittering CV, but with the party dial turned up a notch or two. "We're pretty free-flowing," he says. "We change a dish or two every week and don't overthink things too much - we just come up with something that's tasty and roll with it."

Wells might be rolling with it, but his attention to detail never wavers.

He builds flavour with the likes of mushrooms, seaweed stocks and fermented juices, and turns to native coastal herbs and blistered fruit for sweetness and tang.

For an off-duty lunch with friends this translates to soy-pickled eggs with black garlic ("they can be done a week before, so on the day all you need to do is put them on a plate," he says) and light and bright dishes such as raw kingfish with crème fraîche, shiso and finger lime.

Since the restaurant opened last spring, plenty has been said about the steamed hapuku, but where that particular fish comes veiled under a sheet of wet laver, the chef's take on flounder here is very much ready for its close-up: the fins, head and skin are removed, the rich butter sauce tinged a vibrant green by wakame. "It takes a little longer to prepare but it's a great way to eat," Wells says, "especially in a group environment where everyone's digging in."

"People still think we're fine-dining, which is great because I love cooking that food," says Wells. "But we've taken the fuss out and scaled back on all the extras. Let's keep it simple and fun."

Automata's lunch menu for six:

Kingfish with crème fraîche yuzukosho, shiso and finger lime

Pickled eggs and onions

Flounder with wakame and lemon butter

Roasted red cabbage with bonito butter

Slow-roasted pork neck, green olive sauce, parsley and walnuts

Radicchio salad with blistered grapes, shallot and za'atar

Blackened pears, vanilla marscarpone and candied hazelnuts

Automata, 5 Kensington St, Chippendale, NSW, (02) 8277 8555, automata.com.au

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