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Aløft

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. 

Secret Tuscany

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

Farro recipes

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.

Brae

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.

Grilled apricot salad with jamon and Manchego

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.

Moon Park to open Paper Bird in Potts Point

No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.

Discovering Macedonia

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.

Waldorf salad


You'll need

75 gm walnuts, plus extra to serve 2 red apples such as pink lady Juice of 1 lemon ½ celery, finely sliced widthways, heart leaves reserved for serving 1 radicchio, leaves torn 2 witlof, leaves separated 200 gm red seedless grapes 1 cup (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves   Mayonnaise 2 egg yolks 1 tbsp chardonnay vinegar 1 tsp Dijon mustard 130 ml olive oil 25 ml walnut oil Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste

Method

  • 01
  • For mayonnaise, process egg yolks,vinegar and mustard in a food processor until well combined. With motor running, add combined oils in a thin steady stream, then add lemon juice to taste. Season to taste. Makes about 200ml. Store leftover mayonnaise in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Spread walnuts over an oven tray and toast until golden(3-5 minutes). Set aside to cool.
  • 03
  • Cut apples into julienne and combine with half the lemon juice in a bowl. Add walnuts, celery, radicchio, witlof, grapes and parsley. Add 2 tbsp mayonnaise (adding more to taste) and remaining lemon juice, toss to combine. Season to taste, scatter with celery leaves and extra walnuts and serve immediately.
Note For best results, use stalks from the inner part of the celery for this recipe; they’re the most tender.

If you’re after a dish with a serious society pedigree, you really can’t go past the esteemed Waldorf salad. As with most iconic dishes, its provenance is murky. One theory is that it was created by the Waldorf Lunch System, an early 20th-century lunchroom chain whose logo, at one time, was an apple.

Conventional wisdom, however, has it that the dish was created for a society supper for 1500 guests at New York City’s Waldorf Hotel in 1893 (a precursor to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, which opened in 1931).

Credit for the salad’s creation is given to Oscar Tschirky, the hotel’s maître d’, a man apparently held in high esteem by the society types who frequented the hotel. But despite his standing and the fact that the salad became a staple in restaurants and hotel dining rooms, early opinions on the dish weren’t unanimously positive. The New Yorker’s food editor at the time, Sheila Hibben, was vocal in her disapproval, stating that Tschirky’s combination of apples and mayonnaise “bred the sorry mixture of sweet salads” and steered the American housewife in the wrong culinary direction.

In its original form, the recipe was very brief. It appeared in Tschirky’s book The Cook Book by ‘Oscar’ of the Waldorf, and instructed simply: “Peel two raw apples and cut them into small pieces, say about half an inch square, also cut some celery the same way, and mix it with the apple. Be very careful not to let any seeds of the apples be mixed with it. The salad must be dressed with a good mayonnaise.” The now ubiquitous walnuts were added later, as was the custom of presenting the salad on a bed of lettuce.

We’ve lightened it all up a little. The lettuce bed becomes a tumble of radicchio and witlof leaves, adding a slight bitter note and colour contrast. Apple and celery remain, of course, and as for the mayonnaise, we concur with Oscar. Whip up a batch of your own and this is one salad that can’t be beaten.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

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