The Christmas issue

Our December issue is out now, featuring Paul Carmichael's recipes for a Caribbean Christmas, silly season cocktails and more.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before 28th December, 2016 for your chance to win a share of $50,000!

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Mango recipes

Nothing says summer like mangoes. Go beyond the criss-cross cuts - bake a mango-filled meringue loaf with lime mascarpone, start off the day with a sweet coconut quinoa pudding with sticky mango, or toss it through a spicy warm weather Thai salad.

Chilled recipes for summer

When the mercury is rising, step away from the oven. These recipes are either raw, chilled or frozen and will cool you down in a snap.

Shark Bay Wild Scampi Caviar

Bright blue scampi roe is popping up on menus across Australia. Here's why it's so special.

Dark chocolate delice, salted-caramel ganache and chocolate sorbet

"The delice from Source Dining is a winner. May I have the recipe?" Rebecca Ward, Fitzroy, Vic REQUEST A RECIPE To request a recipe, email fareexchange@bauer-media.com.au or send us a message via Facebook. Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address. Please note that because of the volume of requests we receive, we can only publish a selection in the magazine.

Summer feta recipes

Whether in a fresh salad or seasonal seafood dish, feta's creamy tang can be used to add interest to a variety of summer dishes.

Koh Loy Sriracha Sauce, David Thompson's favourite hot sauce

When the master of Thai food pinpoints anything as his favourite, we sit up and listen.

Paul Carmichael's great cake

"Great cake, also known in Barbados as black cake or rum cake, is a variation of British Christmas cake that's smashed with rum and falernum syrup," says Momofuku Seiobo chef Paul Carmichael. "This festive cake varies from household to household but they all have two things in common: tons of dried fruit and rum. It's a cake that should be started at least a month out so the fruit can marinate in the booze. Start this recipe up to five weeks ahead to macerate the fruit and baste the cake."

Gifts under $100 at our pop-up Christmas Boutique

Whether it's a hand-thrown pasta bowl, a bottle of vodka made from sheep's whey or a completely stylish denim apron, our pop-up Christmas Boutique in collaboration with gift shop Sorry Thanks I Love You has got you covered in the $100 and under budget this Christmas.

Maitre d’ of the year 2008: Mallory Wall, Café Di Stasio, St Kilda, Vic

Cast your mind back to 1990 and a young Ronnie Di Stasio is several years into his first solo venture as a restaurateur, the eponymous Café Di Stasio, in what was a part of Melbourne better known for its sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll than its food. With Valerio Nucci cooking, Di Stasio working the floor in his unique manner and diners enjoying the brooding charm of architect Allan Powell’s interiors, this fish-out-of-water restaurant is starting to take off. But Di Stasio needs help.

Walking down the street one sunny afternoon comes 21-year-old Mallory Wall, fresh from her first trip overseas, unemployed, and not wanting to go back to hotels again (she’d been working at Melbourne’s Menzies at Rialto with chefs such as Ian Curley and Gary Jones prior to hitting London) or a music degree she’d started but now seemed unlikely to finish.

"Hey, bella," says the guy in the doorway of the quirky little Fitzroy Street restaurant. Ronnie had met Wall before; it was the start of something alright.

Now staring down the barrel of a 20th birthday, Café Di Stasio is a rare thing in Australian restaurant circles: a place that is justifiably considered as urbane and relevant now as it was when it opened, a success story. And a lot of that has to do with the evergreen approach of maître d’ and manager Mallory Wall, whose passion for – and knowledge of – the gastronomy and culture of Italy, her respect for restaurant tradition and appreciation of contemporary directions, informs much of what happens on a day-to-day basis at the restaurant. As it has for 17 years now, surely one of the longer stints by a front-of-house person at any Australian restaurant.

Wall is just one of those people in the right job, her understanding of service tempered by the quirky, almost club-like atmosphere of the restaurant and the people who favour it, many of whom have become friends. They include artists, designers, architects and many of Melbourne society’s more colourful characters for whom pigeonholes present a way-too-confining characterisation. For not only does Wall front one of the great Melbourne restaurants, as familiar with the kitchen’s oeuvre as she is with a special Brunello di Montalcino, but she also conducts an orchestra of male waiters whose style, manner and – hopefully – charm you just know is the result of many, many hours spent studying the form in the great and humble restaurants of Italy over the past 17 years. Like the passion of an expatriate for an adopted country, so it is that one of the great Italian restaurants of Australia would be less were it not for an Irish Catholic girl from Mentone whose love of Italy infuses every nook and cranny of her adopted home, Café Di Stasio.

31a Fitzroy St, St Kilda, Vic, (03) 9528 3999.

WORDS JOHN LETHLEAN PORTRAIT DEREK SWALWELL

  • Destination:
  • VIC
Newsletter

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

Latest news
Where to buy Christmas hams and glazes
05.12.2016
Behind Africola’s new look with James Brown of Mash Design
29.11.2016
Hot Plates: Ume Burger, Barangaroo
29.11.2016
Matt Moran kicks off Aria 2.0 with lobster French toast
25.11.2016
Brisbane’s Restaurant Two will close on Christmas Eve
24.11.2016
Restaurant Hubert opens for lunch
24.11.2016
GT
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
The GT x STILY
Christmas Boutique is now open

The smallgoods, homewares, art and more from the pages of GT are now all under one roof, ready to take their place under the tree.

Read More
Gourmet TV

Check out our YouTube channel for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

You might also like...

Albert Street Food & Wine

Philippa Sibley may have left the building, but Albert St F...

Ananas Bar & Brasserie

With a soundtrack laden with dance beats and a dark, moody ...

Aravina Estate

The family-friendly nature of Aravina explains the terracot...

Assaggio

Assaggio's very red, very mod fit-out has undeniable flair,...

Aubergine

The grey-whiskered Ben Willis could pass for a maturing, bu...

Annie Smithers' Bistrot

Annie Smithers may have decamped for Du Fermier, but the bi...

Aquitaine Brasserie

The name is a nod to France's south-west gastronomic heartl...

Bacchus - Brisbane

Rydges doesn't exactly leap to mind when you think "complex...

Balla

Pronounce it "bah-la" for Piedmont-born artist and composer...

Balthazar

The mixing of business and pleasure comes second nature to ...

Boucher

Escargots, foie gras, bouillabaisse - the expected French s...

Carlton Wine Room

The relaxed ambience and witty, irreverent service may say ...

Celsius

A land of smoke and mirrors, Celsius is an urbane, nightclu...

Citron

Mark Newman's cassia beef cheek is the type of dish that ce...

Da Noi

While many chefs bang on about provenance, few can top Piet...

get the latest news

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

×