We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.
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We asked our favourite confectioners and cafe owners from around the country for their hottest tips.
Sydneysiders revive a landmark restaurant in country New South Wales.
You’ve got another chance at last winter’s sell-out drop from Four Pillars.
A bar for art’s sake pops up at Semi Permanent.
Attica chef Ben Shewry has been thinking about your buttocks, and wants to introduce them to an Australian design classic.
Charleston, the antebellum jewel of the Carolina coast, has embraced its Lowcountry roots, writes Shane Mitchell, and now shines anew.
Our June issue is out now, and it's all about breakfast. Pat Nourse kicks things off with his editor's letter.
Andrew McConnell’s Cantonese-inspired restaurant will become a classroom for a night during the Emerging Writers’ Festival.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.
Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.
Where would Spanish cuisine be without the chorizo? This versatile smallgood lends its big flavours to South American stews, soups, and salads, not to mention the ultimate hot dog. Let the sizzling begin.
Our guide to the best of the region.
If your contact with coconuts has been largely confined to Piña Coladas and white Christmas, you may be surprised to learn that the coconut palm is one of the most useful plants known to man or beast. Indeed, almost every part of it can be used, from the leaves, which are woven for thatching in roofs or for baskets, to the coir from the husk, which becomes rope, brushes and matting. Here, however, we’re looking at the food applications of the coconut itself.
Technically speaking, it’s not a ‘nut’ at all, but a drupe, which is a fruit with a hard stone. What we think of as the coconut is really the stone – the husk having being already removed before shipping. As a food source the juice and flesh of the nut are very versatile. Coconut is used in dishes throughout palm-growing regions such as South-East Asia, India, Sri Lanka and East Africa in everything from curries, salads and rice dishes to sago and rice puddings. In the Caribbean, coconut juice is used by Jamaicans to cook peas and rice, while raw fish cured in coconut milk and lime juice appears in the Pacific. In Australia it coats lamingtons, and is often found in Anzac biscuits. And though the Piña Colada is the official drink of Puerto Rico, this cocktail delights rum drinkers wherever pineapple (the piña) and coconut milk are found.
The biggest producers of coconuts are the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Malaysia, Thailand and Papua New Guinea. And the name? According to The Oxford Companion to Food (Oxford University Press), Portuguese seamen termed the nut ‘coco’ in the 15th century, in reference “to a monkey’s or other grotesque face”.
Coconuts are seldom sold by variety – stages of maturity being of more import to buyers. The coconut palm produces up to 75 nuts annually, each taking six months to mature, and are harvested at different stages during this period. They don’t fall from the tree naturally until they’re completely mature, so for early harvesting, nimble climbers scale the palm or use hooked knives attached to long bamboo poles to cut the nuts free. In some parts of South-East Asia, pig-tailed monkeys are employed in this task.
Young (green or immature) coconuts are picked for their jelly-like flesh and for their refreshing juice. Mature coconuts have firmer flesh, called copra, and a smaller amount of juice. In processing, the copra is grated and combined with water – the first pressing produces cream and the second pressing milk. The flesh is also dried for desiccated and shredded coconut, and for producing oil, which then makes copha. The sap of the palm is refined into palm sugar or fermented for coconut vinegar or an alcoholic drink known as toddy.
How to buy, store…
Coconuts are grown year-round in northern Australia. Most young coconuts on the local market are imported from South-East Asia. In choosing young coconuts, often sold as drinking coconuts, look for an unblemished bright white husk that feels heavy with liquid; store in the refrigerator for up to three days. A mature coconut should feel heavy for its size, should contain a little liquid, and the eyes shouldn’t be sunken; it may be stored at room temperature for up to three months.
To open a young coconut, use a very sharp knife to cut open the inner shell beneath the white husk to access the jellylike flesh and juice. For mature coconuts, pierce two of the three eyes, drain and reserve the juice. To crack open the shell, tap firmly around its circumference with the back of a large cleaver or hammer. Or you can drain the juice from the coconut, place it in a 180C oven for 15-20 minutes until the heat cracks the shell (it also helps shrink the flesh from the shell, making it easier to remove), then prise the flesh from the shell using a small sharp knife. Remove any brown skin using a vegetable peeler. The flesh may be grated, shaved or eaten in pi
Apricots, bananas, berries, cherries, currants, lychees, mangoes, mangosteen, melons, nectarines, passionfruit, peaches, pineapple, plums, rambutans, starfruit and tamarillo.
Asparagus, avocados, beans (butter, green, snake), capsicum, celery, choko, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, okra, peas, radish, squash, sweetcorn, tomatoes, zucchini and zucchini flower.
Atlantic and Australian salmon, banded morwong, goldband snapper, bigeye tuna, roes abalone, Balmain bugs, blue swimmer and mud crabs, Sydney rock oysters, bay prawns and rock lobsters.
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