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.
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.
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.
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.
Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anthony Puharich, Victor Churchill and Vic's Meat, Sydney and Melbourne
Winter dish of choice? Corned beef silverside.
Why? It's awesome how many people are way more confident buying and cooking with secondary cuts like brisket, cheeks, tails and short-rib, but for some reason, corned beef still remains off people's radar when they think comfort food and winter. It's inexpensive, quick to prepare and utterly delicious. Beyond this, I also have very fond memories of my grandmother's corned beef growing up as a kid. She made a wicked traditional white sauce flavoured with mustard and parsley.
You might not know this, but… Silverside is situated in the back leg of a cow. It's one of the five major muscles that makes up a cow's back leg - along with rump, topside, knuckle and shin.
It's best… Boiled until it's fork tender. Too easy.
I love it with… A traditional béchamel sauce. Flavour the sauce with a mustard of your choice (seeded is my personal favourite) and some parsley for colour. Peas, carrots, beans, Brussels sprouts or any hearty wintery veg goes well with it, too, along with some roasted spuds and a nice glass of merlot or cabernet sauvignon.
Hot tip If you want to upgrade your corned beef to the next level, ask your butcher to pick some wagyu silverside for you. You might pay a little bit more for it, but it's still super inexpensive. You'll never look at regular corned beef the same way again.
Richard Gunner, Feast Fine Foods, Adelaide
Winter dish of choice? Mature beef and mutton.
Look for braising cuts like brisket of beef and shoulder of
Recipe for mutton jumbuck
Why? It's hearty, filling food and brisket is very versatile in the winter months.
You might not know this, but… There are two types of brisket: point end (from the front) and navel end (the middle of the animal). These two cuts together are what pork belly is to a pig. There's a justifiably huge buzz over point end brisket for "low and slow" barbecue, but the navel end brisket is stellar in broths and braises.
It's best… The beauty of these cuts is that
they work so many ways and they're all suited to cold winter nights
and days, but I'm a wood fire fanatic so I would likely do it that
I love it with… A nice glass of red or a full-flavoured beer.
Hot tip When it comes to secondary cuts, there's just as much difference between top quality product and lower grade as you'd see in steaks (and the price differences are often a lot smaller). Also, it might seem simple, but always ask your butcher where the beef comes from and how it was grown.
Feast Fine Foods, Unley Shopping Centre, 21/204 Unley Rd, Unley, SA; Norwood Place, 161-169 The Parade, Norwood, SA; Victor Harbor, 77 Torrens St, Victor Harbor, SA ; (08) 8188 4666, feastfinefoods.com.au
Rodney Dunn, Agrarian Kitchen, Tasmania
Winter dish of choice? Beef short-rib.
Why? I love the marbling. It has the perfect balance of meat and intra-muscular fat, which gives it a rich taste and a very tender texture when slow cooked.
You might not know this, but… Korean barbecue restaurants butterfly the short-rib into a single long piece still attached to the bone. It's then marinated and grilled over coals. Prepared this way, it's known as galbi.
It's best… I love to braise short-rib. I'm particularly fond of Paul Bertolli's agrodolce recipe in his book Cooking by Hand. It uses a combination of vincotto and balsamic vinegar to tame the richness of the meat. Because short-rib is a rich cut, it's also good with sweet and sour Asian flavours. You could slow cook it to form a stock, say, then add fish sauce, chilli and lime juice for a soup with rice noodles, bean sprouts, mint and coriander leaves.
I love it with… A rich short-rib braise can do no better than a glass of Barolo. If there's an open fire at hand, too, then the atmosphere is set.
Hot tip Ask your butcher to cut the short-ribs across the bone so they're no deeper than four to five centimetres. They can then be cut into better portion sizes at home. We use Cape Grim short-rib. Visit their website at capegrimbeef.com.au for a full list of retailers for each state.
The Agrarian Kitchen, 650 Lachlan Rd, Lachlan, Tas, (03) 6261 1099.
Grant Hilliard, Feather & Bone, Sydney
Winter dish of choice? A slow braised forequarter chop of dry-aged mutton or hogget (meat from sheep one to two years old). Often you'll be tempted to substitute lamb, but please don't. In the same way veal isn't the same as beef, lamb shouldn't be used instead of hogget or mutton.
Why? The forequarter contains the most flavoursome meat with the most connective tissue. These muscles do the most work so they tend to have a higher flavour profile than the more static "prime" cuts. It's your job to dissolve all of that collagen into an unctuous, deeply flavoured triumph.
You might not know this, but… Because growers are so poorly paid for mutton, they have little incentive to sell it to the commercial market. Unfortunately, modern meat market economics have resulted in a reduction in the diversity of meats and cuts that are available and popular. It's a real shame; both producers and consumers are the poorer for having less choice. Be adventurous in your tastes and seek out products like goat or dry-aged mutton.
It's best… The forequarter is best braised with plenty of wine, fresh herbs and bay leaves. But mutton doesn't need to be slow cooked. The so called "prime" cuts lend themselves to quick cooking as well. I would highly recommend carpaccio of dry-aged mutton backstrap, very thinly sliced and drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and a little sea salt. Alternatively, mutton arrosticini are delicious, cheap and simple. Cut dry-aged mutton breast and fat into small cubes, thread them on a skewer, sprinkle with sea salt and barbecue over coals. All the connective tissue and the fat melt down and the combination of the flavoursome fat and smoke is delicious. Fantastic snack food.
I love it with… Seasonal greens and root vegetables. It's good to have something fresh and crisp to complement the richness of the mutton.
Hot tip Ask for your mutton to be dry-aged, if possible. Like beef, it's improved by hanging for three to four weeks or more.
Feather and Bone, 8/10-24 Lilian Fowler Pl, Marrickville, NSW, (02) 9818 2717, featherandbone.com.au
Troy Wheeler, Meatsmith, Melbourne
Winter dish of choice? I go straight for game birds. This season, I'm loving the pheasants we're getting from Swan Hill in Victoria.
Why? Pheasant is the perfect dish for sharing with friends and family. I'm all about working with produce when it's at its peak, so, given it's a chilly winter in Melbourne right now, it's the perfect protein to be working with. The flavour is so bold and rich with a brilliant savouriness. It's also a pretty impressive celebratory centrepiece. I love going through the whole process of breaking it down and preparing it respectfully for a special occasion.
You might not know this, but… There are so many different types of game birds that are available only in winter. Pheasants are at the height of their season from June through to the end of August.
It's best… I like to take my time in preparing the pheasant to ensure I get the best out of each component of the bird. First I would break it down and age the crown for a few days in the fridge to help develop flavour. I also dry the skin so it's perfectly crisp, and confit the legs and keep them aside. On the day, pan-roast the crown with fresh thyme, garlic and butter, then finish it in the oven to roast through, adding the legs (from a few days before). Make sure you baste every now and then, too.
I love it with… I'd keep it simple and roast some parsnips from the garden as a side, finished with toasted almonds. We have a beautiful and lush garden at home and I enjoy spending my days off using all the different herbs and veggies that might be growing at the time. Serve the bird with all the pan juice spooned over the top and make sure there's a great bottle of pinot (or several) on standby.
Hot tip A little tip when buying whole game birds or chickens is to ask your butcher to remove the wish bone. This will make your carving job a lot easier.
Meatsmith, 273 Smith Street, Fitzroy, Vic, (03) 9419 8558, meatsmith.com.au
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