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Food-truck tribulations
29.03.2017

Chicken or pork? Kelly Eng takes on a food-truck challenge but fails to cement her millennial credentials.

Take me to the river
29.03.2017

For serial cruisers who have done the Danube and knocked off the Nile, less familiar waterways beckon.

Gourmet Institute is back for 2017
29.03.2017

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
28.03.2017

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
28.03.2017

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
28.03.2017

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
28.03.2017

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
27.03.2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ben Shewry: Out of Attica

Ben Shewry has an answer to most questions – not a smartypants response or shrugging of shoulders, but always something considered and thoughtful. So when we ask him how at the age of 30 his food is developing, having wowed fans at Melbourne’s Attica over the past two-and-a-half years with highly original dishes reflecting diverse interests and influences, he comes right back at us.

“I know it sounds all New Age and pathetic,” he says, “but I’m really trying to make it more emotional. I’m starting to try and make a connection with memories. Not just making a dish visually appealing and with great flavours, but also trying to evoke other emotions.”

Shewry, Gourmet Traveller’s 2008 Best New Talent award-winner, talks of desserts built around his fond recollections of childhood sweets and lollies. And a seafood dish he has on at the restaurant “that looks and tastes like the ocean that nearly killed me as a kid”.
 
That ocean was Taranaki on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Shewry came to Melbourne five years ago and sought out mentors such as Michael Lambie, Andrew McConnell and London’s David Thompson, for whom he worked gratis on his holidays. Now he’s moving on, exhibiting more confidence in his own style.

“I’m trying to think about things more deeply. Bring a little more intelligence to the dish, rather than just ‘oh, chocolate and venison are nice together’, in a way that other people don’t. It’s very personal and when people don’t like it, I get upset.”

For Gourmet Traveller, the brief was to transpose his signature style for the home cook, a considerable challenge, he says. “The flavours are similar, but they’re not restaurant-like,” muses Shewry. “It’s easier for me to come up with restaurant dishes rather than simpler stuff because I’m always in that mindset. These dishes are very seasonal and appeal to me; they have a bit of quirkiness and individuality about them.”

Attica, 74 Glen Eira Rd, Ripponlea, Vic, (03) 9530 0111.

WORDS JOHN LETHLEAN PHOTOGRAPHY SHARYN CAIRNS

This article appeared in the April 2008 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller
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The Royal Mail Hotel is changing
28.03.2017
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