Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller and receive a copy of Nordic Light - offer ends 23 April 2017.

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Gourmet Institute is back for 2017

Fire-up the stove, tie on your favourite apron and let’s get cooking, food fans. This year’s line-up is brimming with talent.

The Royal Mail Hotel is changing

Executive chef Robin Wickens has a stronger influence at the Royal Mail Hotel's upcoming restaurant, slated to open later this year.

Adventuring along America's north-west rivers

The rivers of America's north-west running through Washington state and Oregon form the arteries of epic landscapes and bold discovery routes. Emma Sloley follows in the wake of Lewis and Clark.

The World's Best sommeliers are coming to Australia

For the first time, the world's top international sommeliers will take part in the World's 50 Best Awards too.

Seven Italian dishes that shaped fine dining in the 2000s

Italian food in the restaurants of Australia blossomed into maturity in the new millennium, as the work of these trailblazers shows – dazzling and diverse, a successful balance between adaptation and tradition.

Steam ovens: a guide

Billed as the faster, cleaner way to cook, are these on-trend ovens all they’re cracked up to be? We take a close look at their rising popularity, USP versus the traditional convection cooker and how each type rates in terms of form, function, and above all, flavour in this buyer’s guide.

Our chocolate issue is out now

Our April issue is out now. In his editor's letter, Pat Nourse walks you through what to expect.

Roast pork with Nelly Robinson

Nelly Robinson of Sydney's nel. restaurant talks us through his favourite roasting joints, tips for crisp roast potatoes and why, when it comes to pork, slow and steady always wins the race.

Fast autumn dinners

Autumn weather signals the arrival of soups, broths, roasts and more hearty meals.

Flour and Stone Recipes

Baker extraordinaire Nadine Ingram of Sydney's Flour and Stone cooks up a sweet storm for Easter, including the much loved bakery's greatest hit.

Roasted cauliflower salad with yoghurt dressing and almonds

The cauliflower is roasted until it starts to caramelise, which adds extra depth of flavour to this winning salad. Serve it warm or at room temperature.

All Star Yum Cha

What happens the morning after the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards? We treat the chefs to a world-beating yum cha session, as Dani Valent discovers.

1980s recipes

Australia saw some bold moves in the ’80s, and we’re not just talking hairstyles. Greater cultural references started peppering the menus of our restaurants, and home-grown ingredients won a new appreciation. The dining scene was coming of age and a new band of pioneers led the charge.

Melbournes finest meet Worlds Best

Leading chefs descend on Melbourne in April for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. We asked local hospitality folk who they’d abduct for the day and where they’d take them to show off their city. There may be coffee, there may be culture, but in the end it’s cocktails.

Lemon tart

It's really important to seal the pastry well to prevent any seepage during cooking, and to trim the pastry soon after cooking. Let the tart cool in the tin before removing it, or it will crack.

Savoury tarts

Will your next baking project be a flaky puff pastry with pumpkin, goat's curd and thyme, or a classic bacon and Stilton tart? As autumn settles in, we're ticking these off one by one.

Wood-fired mussels, tomatoes and toasted sourdough bread

"Mussels work beautifully on the grill, each one an individual vessel that pops open over the intense heat," says Hastie. "The sweet acidity of ripe tomatoes counterbalances the salty mussel juices, which are mopped up by the toasted sourdough."

You'll need

For barbecuing: seasoned hardwood, preferably orange 2 kg mussels, cleaned (see note) 200 gm sourdough bread, sliced 1 garlic clove, halved 250 gm ripe baby tomatoes, such as cocktail truss 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil (a light, fruity style such as arbequina or koroneiki), warmed ½ cup (loosely packed) torn flat-leaf parsley   Tomato water 6 large ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped 1 baby fennel, trimmed, coarsely chopped, fronds reserved


  • 01
  • Burn wood slowly down to smouldering embers and medium-high heat (see below).
  • 02
  • For tomato water, blitz tomatoes, fennel and a pinch of sea salt in a blender or with a hand-held blender, then transfer to a muslin-lined sieve set over a large bowl and refrigerate until 400ml tomato water has filtered through (2-4 hours).
  • 03
  • Spread embers evenly across the base of the barbecue and set the grill 3cm above the embers. Place mussels flat, in batches, directly on the grill, immediately cover with a deep, heatproof pan and cook until just opened (2-3 minutes). Carefully transfer mussels with tongs to a plate, conserving as much of the liquor as possible. Just before serving, remove top shells, leaving mussel meat on the half-shell.
  • 04
  • Toast bread over the embers until golden (1-2 minutes each side), then rub with garlic, tear into pieces and set aside.
  • 05
  • Grill baby tomatoes until they just start to soften (1-2 minutes).
  • 06
  • Add tomato water and grilled tomatoes to mussels, then pour warmed oil over, toss gently then divide mussels and tomatoes among warm serving plates. Strain the liquid into a warm pan and whisk to emulsify, then season to taste and pour over mussels. Scatter with bread, garnish with fennel fronds and parsley, and serve hot.

Note To clean mussels, discard any that are chipped or damaged. Tap to check the mussels are tightly closed, discarding any that remain open. Remove the beards and scrub the shells clean. Soak the mussels in salted water for 30 minutes to purge any remaining impurities, then rinse in fresh water.

How to prepare wood
* It almost goes without saying, but check the fire restrictions for the day in your area.
* Because they offer better control over airflow, wood-fired ovens are the perfect thing for burning the wood to coals; take care when you're transferring them to your grill or barbecue.
* If you're using a pit, enclose the fire with fire-rated bricks to help retain the heat and to slow the rate of burning.
* If you're using a barbecue, light the fire, close the lid and adjust the vents so the wood doesn't burn too fast. If you happen to have two barbecues, use one for burning the wood and one for grilling.
* Light the fire early - at least 1½ hours before starting cooking. Avoid using fire lighters or treated wood where there can be a residual chemical component. Wood embers burn hotter than the fire itself, so allow the wood to break down to glowing coals with a light-grey coating of ash. Too high a temperature and the subtle elements of the wood become tasteless. Optimal conditions are a slow, smouldering fire.
* Ideally you should use seasoned hardwood (at least 12 months old). Green or unseasoned wood with a high moisture content is harder to light and burns erratically, emitting smoke instead of heat, so it's worth sourcing premium hardwoods from recognised suppliers, such as Blackheath Firewood Company. If you have fruit trees, keep your prunings to use the next year.
* Woods vary in the amount of heat and flavour they produce.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
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.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

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

See more

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

Tomato can be a tricky match, but Tahbilk's glorious Australian all-rounder has nursed me through many barbecues – 2013 Tahbilk Marsanne, Vic.

Featured in

Jan 2015

You might also like...

Beef cheek recipes


Pave de boeuf with Roquefort sauce and gratin dauphinoise

A culinary Tour de France


Pan-fried John Dory agrodolce with endive and goat’s cheese

Saltimbocca alla Romana


Piccata di vitello

Adana kofte


Roast lamb loin with couscous and pumpkin

Pork chops with fennel


conversion tool

get the latest news

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