The February issue

Our clean eating issue is out now, packed with super lunch bowls, gluten-free desserts and more - including our cruising special, covering all luxury on the seas.

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Most popular recipes summer 2017

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

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."

Bali's new wave of restaurants, hotels and bars

The restaurant and hotel scene on Australia's favourite holiday island has never been more exciting and Australian chefs, owners and restaurateurs are leading the charge, writes Samantha Coomber.

Chorizo hotdogs with chimichurri and smoky red relish

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.

World's Best Chefs Talks

Massimo Bottura and more are coming to the Sydney Opera House.

Baguette recipes

These baguette recipes are picture-perfect and picnic ready, bursting with fillings like slow-cooked beef tongue, poached egg and grilled asparagus and classic leg ham and cheese.

Fast summer dinners

From an effortless tomato and ricotta herbed tart to Sri Lankan fish curries and chewy pork-and-pineapple skewers, these no-fuss recipes lend to relaxing on a humid summer's night.

Curtis Stone's strawberry and almond cheesecake

"I've made all kinds of fancy cheesecakes in my time, but nothing really beats the classic combination of strawberries and almonds with a boost from vanilla bean," says Stone. "I could just pile macerated strawberries on top, but why not give your tastebuds a proper party by folding grilled strawberries into the cheesecake batter too? Cheesecakes are elegant and my go-to for celebrations because they taste best when whipped up a day in advance."

From paddock to plate: Australia's produce on Instagram

Illustration by Adriana Picker

Illustration by Adriana Picker

With meetings of like minds and fellow farmers at her fingertips, Paulette Whitney finds insta gratification.

It's cold at the bus stop. Other parents seeing their kids off are dressed in freshly pressed shirts and shiny shoes. I'm encased in woollen jumpers, gumboots and yesterday's muddy track pants, because what's the point of clean clothes when I'll be filthy again in 10 minutes?

It's not that I'm ashamed of my work; I love it so much that I find it hard to think about much else. It's more that I'm afraid of boring people, waxing lyrical about the best varieties of collard greens or how to cook chicken feet. If there's a choice between washing and ironing, or getting a row of collards seeded, it's a no-brainer.

So, at the end of the day, when I curl up on the couch with my iPhone, I'm not posting pictures of my manicure, or looking for cat videos. I'm cyberstalking. Mostly it's other farmers, who make me feel less alone, and chefs who use exciting produce. They stalk me, too, and I love it.

What I'm looking for is camaraderie, techniques and new plant varieties. What they want from me I can only guess at. If I measured it by the number of likes I'd say it's pictures of carrots at sunset. If I judge by the comments, I'd say they were seeking debate about pesticides or rooster-culling ethics.

I follow chefs like Ben Shewry, Peter Gilmore, René Redzepi and Rodolfo Guzmán who source amazing plants and show us how they're used. Farmers such as Epicurean Harvest at Blackheath and Old Mill Road at Moruya are skilled at their craft, and talk about farming in ways that allow us to learn from one another. My ultimate farm crushes, plant breeders like the Experimental Farm Network, share new and old vegetable strains they're endeavouring to make even more delicious. I love that social media shrinks physical distances between like minds, allowing new kinds of conversations.

I get an immeasurable rush of joy when I pull a perfect turnip from the ground. Months before, I'll have found a new strain of seed, and sown and tended it. Now I'm harvesting it to send to the restaurants of Hobart. My co-farmer, Matt, will whisk them all away for delivery, leaving me with empty harvest carts like empty nests. Our productivity feels ephemeral - you work like crazy to make something that gets eaten, and you start again. Every day.

Enter the internet. I'll share a picture of those turnips and when someone likes them I feel happy. A farmer might ask about the variety or give advice about tending them. If I'm lucky a chef will share a picture of where that turnip has ended up - roasted, fermented or charred.

I often wonder what drives those who aren't like me, who aren't farmers or chefs seeking knowledge, to follow us, to click "like" when there isn't a cat or an activewear-clad, smoothie-toting person in sight. Is it the physical beauty of vegetables that lures them? (Lord knows our market stall has been the subject of more pictures than purchases.) Maybe it's a longing for connection to the source of food when the lifestyles of many impose distance between eaters and growers. Perhaps our romanticised images offer dreams of escape from office cube-farms.

It can be a beautiful thing, connecting with strangers over a mutual love of food. I hope some are interested in the politics we tuck into our Instagram feeds: we Instafarmers might share a pretty sunrise while mentioning coal seam gas development in our region; another will heft a bunch of radishes skyward, begging in her caption for more people to come to the farmers' market and bring their own bags; or another will share the challenges of getting her salumi past regulators. Pretty, edible Trojan horses bearing loads of small-farm propaganda.

So, while my nails and wardrobe go untended, and my farmer's budget doesn't allow me to fly to Noma for dinner, I can enjoy it vicariously, be inspired, and learn from folks all over the world. And I like it. So, please, come stalk with me.

Follow Paulette Whitney on Instagram:  @provenancegrowers

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Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

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2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

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