Our 2017 Australian Restaurant Guide is out now, celebrating the best eats in Australia. Find it in all good newsagents nationwide.
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From an extra hoppy IPA to a nicely bitter Australian vermouth, these are the drops that are getting us through that final winter month.
The latest luxury digs for your next Roman holiday.
The annual food writers’ festival is back with a strong line-up that includes Long Chim’s David Thompson and GT columnist Paulette Whitney.
After launching its first Food and Wine Event in May, Lizard Island resort on the Great Barrier Reef is back with another three days of luxury: A Spice Journey with Shane Delia.
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Spike your next cocktail or sauce with Australian-grown yuzu.
Andrew McConnell transforms Moon Under Water into a Chinese restaurant.
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A complete overhaul of the Port Douglas resort is unveiled this month.
Sleep tight in a vintage Airstream high above Flinders Lane at Melbourne’s new (novel) hotel.
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The classic pork roll is the very definition of an Asian sandwich for most Australians. Resist the urge to use sourdough or other fancy bread in place of Vietnamese bakery rolls; that flaky crunchiness contrasting the lush filling is what it's all about. Leftover pork or chicken from a roast works nicely here, too, as do duck and rare beef.
It's official, winter means lentils, curry and soup.
Andrew McConnell transforms Moon Under Water into a Chinese restaurant.
Ready for spring? Take inspiration from last year's most popular salads, roasts and more that make the most of seasonal produce.
Note "Vanilla slice takes me straight back in
time to the school tuckshop. Back then, I didn't appreciate the
time and skill that went into making these delicious treats. The
trickiest part of this recipe is making sure the custard sets
perfectly. My first couple of batches turned out a bit sloppy but I
didn't let them go to waste - they were still delicious and I just
ate them with a spoon. If your first attempt doesn't set right,
don't be disheartened - it will still taste good. Keep trying until
you get the ideal set."
Australia's Favourite Recipes, edited by Leila McKinnon, is published by Plum Pan Macmillan ($29.99, pbk). The recipe here has been reproduced with minor GT style changes.
Searching for recipes to add to her kitchen repertoire, Leila McKinnon discovered a treasure trove - and published it.
Australia's restaurants, chefs and produce are acknowledged as
among the best in the world. Our baristas have taken over Europe,
flat white by long black. But it's what's going on in our suburban
kitchens that deserves the wildest of nationalistic chest
I should know: I've stuck my nose into hundreds of handwritten recipe books in the past year, sniffing out old gems and modern classics like a Tasmanian truffle pig. And best of all, I've begged permission to publish them in the unlikeliest of places: a cookbook edited by me, a news journalist, and ordained by our greatest food revolutionary, Margaret Fulton.
Australia's Favourite Recipes started out as a way for me to get my unimaginative hands on some good, honest everyday recipes for home. I was never short of a dinner party recipe, but what I needed were dishes I could cook on a weeknight with ingredients I could buy from the corner shop, dishes that took less than 30 minutes to make, and treats that one day my kids would come home for and be transported back to their childhoods. I wanted the dishes families have made and enjoyed week after week, often for generations, and never tired of.
We did a shout-out on the Today show, we asked for recipes on radio and called for submissions on Facebook. In the end we received several hundred and had to whittle them down to just over 70. They came in spidery handwriting by mail, in shouty capitals on Facebook, and with photos of grandpas, nonnas, hungry kids, and proud home cooks. And with a few notable exceptions (ham cooked in instant coffee, anyone? Schnitzel with banana-avocado sauce?) they were fresh, inspired and nourishing.
There were plenty of lovingly perfected lasagnes and lamingtons, but also some outstanding exotics. Steve Wide's jewelled freekeh salad mixes pomegranate and hearty lentils with mint, almonds and currants; it's an absolute delight. There were Italian dishes from nonna, and noodles from the Philippines. There were stories of lunch-box treats (chocolate Weet-Bix slice from Margaret of Mollymook) and of a boyfriend brought home to meet mum over a zesty lime and chocolate green pudding. I threw in a few of my all-time best fallbacks including vanilla slice, my lasagne (yes, I do think my version is the best - doesn't everyone think that about their own?), and a lemon yoghurt cake that's one of the quickest, most fuss-free cake recipes around.
Armed with this plunder, I went about the dream task of putting together a recipe book. The team and I set up camp in a cottage in country Victoria in the depths of winter. Detouring around flooded roads, well prepared with wellies and beanies, we began a cooking, photographing and eating marathon.
The process was quite a revelation for this novice food editor. By day two I found myself sounding like a real pro with proclamations such as, "We're going to have to swap that hero mussel for a hero prawn, and move that white pepper pot more to the right of frame" or, "Ahem, we need fresher herbs on the salmon - those baked herbs look like they'd set the sniffer dogs barking at a music festival."
By day five we were running out of patience, vintage tea towels, and holes with which to loosen our belts. But we'd put together a snapshot of 21st-century Australian home dining.
It's only fitting that a community-based true-blue charity should benefit from this treasure trove, so I approached Legacy with an offer of a large portion of the profits. Since World War I, Legacy's incredible volunteers have been helping the families of our deceased and incapacitated servicemen and women, and unfortunately their work has been needed by every successive generation.
The cover recipe - the icing on the cake, if you like - is a Margaret Fulton berry-meringue creation, a cross between a good old pavlova and a vacherin. It's as exciting as Fulton's forthright assertion that "this is a book to treasure and keep".
Goodness me, it will be a long time before I clamber down from cloud nine, and even then I'll still have a lifetime of reliable, delicious family recipes at my fingertips.
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