Healthy Eating

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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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.

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.

O Tama Carey's fried eggs with seeni sambol, coconut and turmeric

"I first cooked a version of this dish - inspired by the excellent deep-fried egg dish at Billy Kwong - while working at a restaurant in Sri Lanka," says O Tama Carey. "The lattice-like eggs are doused in a creamy turmeric curry sauce and topped with seeni sambol, a sweet-spiced caramelised onion relish. This dish is equally perfect for an indulgent breakfast as it is served as part of a larger meal." The recipe for the seeni sambol makes more than you need, but to get the right balance of spices you need to make at least this much. It keeps refrigerated for up to three weeks; use as an onion relish. The curry sauce can be made a day or two ahead.

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.

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.

Cooking gold: Celebrity MasterChef winner Eamon Sullivan

I've never sweated so much in my life as I did in the Celebrity MasterChef kitchen. When I signed up, I was just hoping to get through the first round, but then when I actually made it, I wanted to go all the way and win. There were times when I was close to throwing in the towel, but if there's one thing I know as a sportsman, it's that it's never over until the very end. It's stressful cooking under pressure like that, but if people respond well to your food, it makes you feel good. That's the sort of thing you get addicted to: pleasing people through food.

It's funny because I was quite a fussy eater growing up. If my mum cooked something new, I'd chew on it really slowly and then if I didn't like it, I'd spit it out into my napkin. I remember one night we had red cabbage sauerkraut for dinner. I thought it was the worst thing I'd ever put in my mouth, but my parents refused to let me leave the table until I'd finished everything on my plate. I think I ended up sitting there for over an hour. Sometimes I'd even pretend I'd finished eating and then leave the table with my mouth full of food. All these years, I thought I'd gotten away with it, but it turns out my mum knew all along what I was up to.

My mum was the foodie in my family and was the biggest influence on me. Dad always hates it when I say this, but he was pretty much limited to charcoal sausages on the barbecue. Actually, that's not fair. He does a mean Moroccan fish curry and the best eggs Benedict. He used to make them for us using leftover ham on the bone from Christmas lunch. They always tasted amazing. At Christmas time, our house was always filled with the smell of baking. Mum would make her shortbread, pavlova, the Christmas pudding, everything. I remember stirring the Christmas pudding mixture for good luck. I always used to help her in the kitchen and I think that's when I first started to fall in love with cooking.

Cooking has always been therapeutic for me. I've had five hip operations in my swimming career, so there've been times when I've been forced to take time out from training to recuperate. Whenever I've been injured and I'm feeling down in the dumps, I'll start making comfort food - my favourite is spinach pie, which was the first recipe my mum ever taught me. Before I moved to Sydney, I used to live with three other guys; we all trained together, and they used to joke that it was great whenever I got injured because they knew as soon as I got out of the pool, there'd be an awesome meal waiting for them at home.

Now that I'm busy preparing for the Commonwealth Games, my diet is pretty boring. It's all about low-GI carbohydrates - no bread, rice, potato. Generally I eat a lot of lean meats and vegies, either steamed or baked. I allow myself one breakfast, lunch and dinner a week when I can eat whatever I want. It's usually on Friday or Saturday afternoons, when I have a break from training, that I can indulge myself. I go grocery shopping and spend the rest of the day cooking in the kitchen. I don't really like takeaway food. I'd rather cook something to get what I want than settle for something I don't.

I've started doing cooking classes for the NSW Institute of Sport, helping young kids living out of home for the first time and showing them how to cook healthy and tasty food, but my ultimate dream is to open my own café, probably back home in Perth. I'd want it to be the kind of place where people know each other by name and stay to have a chat: a place where you can get good, clean, simple, healthy food. And I know just what to put on the breakfast menu. My dad's eggs Benedict. You can't get much better than that.

EAMON SULLIVAN'S FOOD FAVOURITES

Biggest craving? Potato chips. I find it really hard to say no to salty, savoury snacks.
Signature dish? Probably what I cooked on Celebrity MasterChef: roast lamb rump with gnocchi, wild mushrooms and rosemary jus.
Favourite cuisine? Tapas, or anything with chilli.
Most inspiring chefs? Heston Blumenthal, for the sense of theatre he brings to food, and Jamie Oliver, for making good food accessible to everyone.
Favourite Sydney restaurants? Bodega, Toko, Fix St James, Assiette.
Favourite Perth restaurants? Star Anise, Jackson's, Galileo Buona Cucina.

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