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Bar of the Year 2018
28.07.2017

Whether it's a late-night spot playing hip-hop at full volume, a throwback to the glamour of yesteryear or a bar-restaurant that slips the collar of definition, these three Bar of the Year finalists have all nailed one essential detail: good times.

Finalists for Regional Restaurant of the Year 2018
27.07.2017

These three restaurants - Fleet, Brae and Igni - might not be in capital cities, but the journey there is part of the unforgettable experience they offer.

Living off the land in winter
27.07.2017

The life of a farmer revolves around the seasons. Come winter, a certain thriftiness is needed in the kitchen to make the most of meagre produce, writes Paulette Whitney.

Why breakfast isn't the most important meal of the day in Italy
27.07.2017

Italy's claim to being the greatest of the world's cuisines has one key weakness: breakfast. But, argues John Irving, there's more to the story than first meets the eye.

Reasons to visit Los Angeles in 2017
27.07.2017

The hottest spots to eat, drink, play and stay on your next trip to LA, rounded up into one perfect day.

Reasons to visit Canberra in 2017
27.07.2017

Your guide to a perfect stay in Canberra, from where to sleep to the exhibitions you need to check out.

Restaurants with rooms
27.07.2017

Some of Australia's best dining destinations take the hassle out of a weekend stay by offering their own on-site digs where you can hit the hay in style after your meal.

Finalists for Maitre D' of the Year 2018
26.07.2017

The maitre d' is your first introduction to a restaurant - they do as much to create a sense of ambience as lighting, tableware and music. And these three professionals are top of the class.

Berkelo bakery to open in Brookvale

Berkelo's baked goods

Berkelo's baked goods

Top Sydney chefs are already fans of Berkelo's slow-fermented sourdough. And soon, you can take it home yourself.

Berkelo, a Sydney bakery opening 15 July in Brookvale, wants to change the way people think about bread.

And what exactly does that mean? Natural yeast and stone-milled grain from Gunnedah's Wholegrain Milling Company, for starters. And rapadura, honey and maple syrup in place of any refined sugars for sweetness.

"The whole gluten-free thing has got out of hand," says chef and Berkelo co-owner Tom Eadie. "It's due to lack of education and eating bad bread. When you respect the process, bread can be a health food, too."

Eadie was formerly the executive chef at The Boathouse Group, who are behind Moby Dicks at Whale Beach and The Boathouses at Balmoral and Shelly Beach. He turned his hand to baking six months ago, with his friend Matt Durrant, now Berkelo's head baker. "We just thought no one's trying very hard on the north side with sourdough," he says.

The pair has spent the past six months "playing around" with long-ferments at an industrial site previously occupied by bakery chain Le Pain Quotidien. The next piece of the puzzle is their retail "little hole in the wall"; a step that will give Sydney a chance to take home the baked goods Berkelo wholesales to top restaurants around town (Via Alta, Cottage Point Inn and Pilu at Freshwater, among them).

Along with their "house loaf" - an unbleached sourdough made with a rye starter - there's a brown malt and honey loaf made with khorasan wheat flour, and Durrant's savoury, almost smoky, burnt-bran round that will make great friends with a good slug of olive oil. Berkelo's fruit bread is bang on - a flavoursome mix of dehydrated cherries, dates and grapes - and it's made using lemon-myrtle tea in place of water.

And there are sweets, to boot. A "sour-doughnut" rolled in buckwheat praline and filled with an espresso and labne crème pâtissière, and an almond croissant (it looks more like a mini English toast loaf), that's dense and golden with whole eggs and Berkelo's house-made cultured butter.

When the retail store opens, Berkelo will bake at five o'clock in the morning, and again late-morning, so when customers come to collect the bread, it'll still be warm. "It's not the dream to bake bread early, slice it, let it cool, bag it and send it," says Eadie. "Pull it straight from the oven and make it correctly, and bread's a beautiful and healthy thing."

Berkelo opens 15 July.

Berkelo, 8 William St, Brookvale, NSW, open Mon-Sat, 7am-2pm, berkelo.com.au

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