Gourmet Fast app

Get our Gourmet Fast app and you can download 140 recipes for your iPhone.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to the print version this month and receive the Gourmet Traveller 2014 Annual Cookbook.

Gourmet on your iPad

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad.

Autumn recipes

Comfort food and fun Easter eats feature in our collection of autumn recipes, featuring everything from an Italian Easter tart to carrot doughnuts with cream cheese glaze and brown sugar crumb and braised lamb with Jerusalem artichokes, carrots and cumin to breakfast curry with roti and poached egg.

Top 10 Sydney Restaurants 2014

Looking for the best restaurants in Sydney? Here are the top ten Sydney restaurants from our 2014 Australian Restaurant Guide.

Easter Baking Recipes

Dust off your mixing spoon, man your oven and have your eggs at the ready as we present some of our all-time favourite Easter baking recipes, from praline bread pudding to those all-important hot cross buns.

Italian Easter tart

"This is a traditional tart eaten in Naples at Easter," says Ingram. "The legend goes that a mermaid called Parthenope in the Gulf of Napoli would sing to celebrate the arrival of spring each year. One year, to say thank you, the Neapolitans offered her gifts of ricotta, flour, eggs, wheat, perfumed orange flowers and spices. She took them to her kingdom under the sea, where the gods made them into a cake. I love to add nibs of chocolate to Parthenope cake because I think it marries nicely with the candied orange and sultanas, but, really, do you need an excuse to add chocolate to anything?" Start this recipe a day ahead to prepare the pastry and soak the sultanas.

Top 10 Melbourne Restaurants 2014

Looking for the best restaurants in Melbourne? Here's our top ten from our 2014 Australian Restaurant Guide.

Apple and cinnamon hot cross buns

The mix of candied apple and dried apple combined with a sticky cinnamon glaze provides a new twist on an old favourite. These buns are equally good served warm on the day of baking, or several days later, toasted, with lashings of butter.

Momofuku's steamed buns

Sydney's Best Restaurants 2015

Looking for the best restaurants in Sydney? Here are our favourites from our 2015 Australian Restaurant Guide.

Blame the flame

They say that no summer is complete without grilling. In my opinion, grilling isn't really grilling without a wood fire. The discovery of fire remains one of humankind's most important advances, the application of heat radically transforming our diet from its raw beginnings. Fire is the oldest form of cooking, a fundamental connection to our carnal memories that taps into the core of our humanity. We are irresistibly drawn to fire with a moth-like fascination; it rekindles our earliest memories. I was captivated as a child by my father building a bonfire. Paper lit, the fire would magically spring to life with immense energy, the flames engulfing the wood, filling the air with sweet billowing smoke. Like Charles Dudley Warner, I soon discovered that "to poke a wood fire is more solid enjoyment than almost anything else in the world".

Cooking with fire provides a connection to our past and a return to the "stick, pit, and spit" cooking of our ancestors. As modern cuisine emerged, grilling fell by the wayside, considered too crude and primitive a process. People sought to enclose and control fire and the once-visible flame has almost disappeared from our everyday lives. The hearth no longer stands at the heart of the household, and it is only in traditional cultures that the fires remain burning. When I joined Etxebarri, a restaurant which cooks its food over various aromatic coals, I discovered that this legacy still existed among the Basques, and soon became hooked.

The real beauty of fire lies in its simplicity, allowing fresh ingredients to reveal their inherent flavours. In playing with fire, I developed a heightened understanding of good produce and its intimate relationship with the grill. I realised that it's not about the smoke, but the magical aroma created as natural juices and fats drip onto the fiery embers. The profound depth of flavour is genuine.

Cooking over a wood fire is the ultimate flavour-enhancer, with each wood imparting its own unique personality. I try to match these intrinsic characteristics to the food that I cook, considering the wood as a seasoning and not just a fuel.

Wood with flavour
Hardwoods are best suited to grilling because they burn slowly with an intense heat. Sugar molecules in the wood caramelise in the heat, exuding a sweet, fruity perfume; other natural components produce the distinctive aromatics and smokiness of the grill.
* Look for native woods such as ironbark, mallee root and gidgee, or perhaps try some chestnut or apple and match them to the food you grill.
* Lighter woods such as olive impart delicate nuances of flavour best paired with vegetables. Citrus is a perfect foil to oily fish; gnarly grape vines release a robust aroma best suited to meat.
* I particularly love working with aged wine barrels. They release a toasted smokiness with the subtle interplay of oak and wine giving notes of vanilla and spice.

Grilling essentials
* Use fallen hardwood (at least six months old); resinous soft woods exude an acrid smoke.
* Preparation. Take time to establish a good fire. Creating fire provides a certain satisfaction not derived from the flicking of a switch.
* Patience. Light the fire early and wait until the coals are ready (too high a temperature and the subtle flavour of the wood become tasteless). Optimal conditions are a slow, smouldering fire burning over a long period of time.
* Keep it seasonal. Use only the freshest ingredients available on the day.
* Keep it simple. Don't disguise everything in a marinade but let the food speak for itself. Other flavours should be served separately.
* Be instinctive. Forget precise recipes - the best grilling comes from the soul.
* Experiment. Fire up your imagination and grill something different for a change. While certain foods pose a challenge and dictate a different approach, the art of grilling is boundless. It's also addictive: once you prepare food over an open fire, you'll never go back to gas.

Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
Quick meals with eggs
27.03.2015
How to grow broccoli
23.03.2015
How to make great meatballs
17.03.2015
Quick meals with dried pasta
11.03.2015
The history of polenta
05.03.2015
The producers: Woolumbi Farm Asiago salami
02.03.2015
Easter
chocolate

All aboard the cacao express: Easter has arrived and it's a direct ticket to chocolate heaven.

Read More
Win
a weekend at QT Sydney!

Want to stay in one of Sydney's quirkiest and most creative hotels? Then enter our comp and win yourself a weekend there.

Enter now
Gourmet TV

Check out our video section for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

You might also like...

Christmas mains, sides and drinks

It's Christmas time, but don't panic. We've got all you need...

Italian recipes by chefs

Who better to turn to for top-notch Italian food than the pe...

Autumn salad recipes

When you think of salads, warm weather immediately springs t...

Italian lunch recipes

Brighten up your lunch repertoire with some crowd-friendly I...

Italian recipes

The Italian issue is back, packed with pasta and the fruits ...

Pavlova recipes

Everyone loves a pavlova. Here are some of our favourite rec...

Watermelon recipes

What's big and red and can be made into puddings, soups, and...

Fast spicy recipes

Is it getting hot in here or is that just our online collect...

Fast summer salads

There's nothing wrong with a simple green salad, but why sto...

Fast lunch recipes

Break out of your lunchtime doldrums with our feature on qui...

Fast desserts

Prefer to end your meals with something fast and fancy? How ...

Fast and fabulous recipes

Fast, fresh and fabulous – what’s not to like? Here's a prev...

Cherry recipes

Want to make the most of the end of cherry season? Here are ...

Barbecue recipes

Summertime? Time to get grilling – it’s our online preview o...

Asian Snacks

Spice up your snacking repertoire with these Asian-accented ...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.