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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.

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.

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.

Where to stay, eat and drink in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Beyond Kuala Lumpur's shopping malls, Lara Dunston finds a flourishing third-wave coffee scene, tailored food tours and charming neighbourhoods.

Kisume, Melbourne

Chris Lucas has flown in talent from all over the world, including Eleven Madison Park, for his bold new venture. Here’s what to expect from Kisume.

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.

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.

Wise guy

“I hate this,” Gordon Ramsay said. “I hate this, I hate this, I hate this, I hate this.” He was about to dip his spoon into the first soufflé Alistair Wise had made for him. Tasmanian-born Wise had just joined Ramsay’s London brigade, and this wasn’t the reaction he was hoping for. But all was not lost. “I hate this,” Ramsay said, “because it’s bloody perfect.” And so began Wise’s brilliant career with Ramsay, the result of a working-holiday whim after three years at Circa, the Prince. “Gordon is as big, if not bigger, in real life,” says the talented young chef of his former boss. “There’s no editing for television. It’s the real deal. But people forget he’s an amazing chef, with three Michelin stars, and he has a really amazing palate.” Later, as pastry chef at Gordon Ramsay at the London in New York, Wise was heaped with praise for his creations even though the restaurant itself drew lukewarm reviews. Wise had worked his way through the ranks of Ramsay’s London kitchens and cites Neil Ferguson and Angela Hartnett as his biggest influences. “They instilled the importance of perfection in produce and execution, and the less-is-more mentality,” he explains. “Angela always said you don’t become a real chef until you know when to stop.” But now he’s back. Back home in Hobart, that is. And ready to use his hard-won skills to open a pastry shop, the likes of which this country, let alone the Apple Isle, has never seen. It’ll be a pâtisserie minus the froufrou connotations, he says. “We want to do all the good stuff: ice-cream, sorbet, ice-cream sandwiches, cupcakes and homemade candy and cookies.” He and pastry chef partner Teena Kearney hope to open by the end of the year and, with any luck, other states will follow. The recipes Wise shares with us are versions of dishes he’s cooked in restaurants, others are dishes he likes to cook for himself – the common link is they’re all things he loves, and they all work. And, yes, that soufflé on our cover is one of them.

WORDS EMMA KNOWLES PHOTOGRAPHY CHRIS CHEN

This article appeared in the September 2008 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

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