Healthy Eating

After fresh ideas for meals that are healthy but still pack a flavour punch? We've got salads and vegetable-packed bowls to soups and light desserts.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before 23rd August, 2017 and receive a free copy of The Cook’s Table by Stephanie Alexander!

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Bar of the Year 2018
28.07.2017

Whether it's a late-night spot playing hip-hop at full volume, a throwback to the glamour of yesteryear or a bar-restaurant that slips the collar of definition, these three Bar of the Year finalists have all nailed one essential detail: good times.

Finalists for Regional Restaurant of the Year 2018
27.07.2017

These three restaurants - Fleet, Brae and Igni - might not be in capital cities, but the journey there is part of the unforgettable experience they offer.

Living off the land in winter
27.07.2017

The life of a farmer revolves around the seasons. Come winter, a certain thriftiness is needed in the kitchen to make the most of meagre produce, writes Paulette Whitney.

Why breakfast isn't the most important meal of the day in Italy
27.07.2017

Italy's claim to being the greatest of the world's cuisines has one key weakness: breakfast. But, argues John Irving, there's more to the story than first meets the eye.

Reasons to visit Los Angeles in 2017
27.07.2017

The hottest spots to eat, drink, play and stay on your next trip to LA, rounded up into one perfect day.

Reasons to visit Canberra in 2017
27.07.2017

Your guide to a perfect stay in Canberra, from where to sleep to the exhibitions you need to check out.

Restaurants with rooms
27.07.2017

Some of Australia's best dining destinations take the hassle out of a weekend stay by offering their own on-site digs where you can hit the hay in style after your meal.

Finalists for Maitre D' of the Year 2018
26.07.2017

The maitre d' is your first introduction to a restaurant - they do as much to create a sense of ambience as lighting, tableware and music. And these three professionals are top of the class.

Father Fergus

Christmas is a moveable feast and has taken a turn for the better since we've taken control of the reindeers' reins.

The musk of game roasting, the port decanter full, walnuts, the gnaaah of Stilton, bowls of fruit, corks popping, a chill in the air heightening the appetite. The turkey is being stuffed with a chestnut stuffing. Stuffing is a kind of jazz thing. As long as you have the essentials - chestnuts, sausage meat and apples - the rest is improvisation. Think about the stuffing's role in life and just follow that vibe. (I have an image of a generation who will try stuffing their pyjamas into the chicken's bottom not knowing what should have been there.)

Red Burgundy is breathing, over-excited children are being sent off to wrap presents, the first snowflakes winnow their way down. It is going to be a white Christmas. Quick, turn on the radio, it's the King's College Choir carol service.

Make stock for the gravy, with turkey giblets. Brandy butter needs to be made too. There's a slight tingling on the liver as you mix the butter, brandy and sugar together.  Pick the sprouts - very sobering, with freezing water trapped in the leaves.

Oh damn! The drain is blocked and the plumbing hasn't yet dealt with the festive season. My sister is threatening to leave the home because of some argument with mum, which has been exacerbated by Christmas tensions.

Supper is pheasant cooked in cream and Calvados. Next comes a little Scottish wine, my jovial father's name for malt whisky. "Well, I don't mind if I do."

Christmas morning… ahh. The little darlings are hyper on natural adrenalin and mum has already put the turkey in the oven. No wonder people think turkey is a dry bird. The poor thing doesn't stand a chance.

The Christmas pudding is a wonderful thing: suet and fruit left to mature for a year, during which they break down into something dark and delicious. No sign of any Penicillium forming, nothing that a healthy splash of brandy can't deal with. Put it on the stove to steam away, a few bottles down already.

Twenty-four hours into Christmas and all is remarkably well. The bird is carved at the table, your plate is groaning, your stomach taut, and the prospect of Stilton and Christmas pudding yet to come is overwhelming. There's something daunting about a plate full of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, bread sauce (the best bit), roast potatoes, sprouts. It almost defeats you before you've started, but eat you do, going in for seconds and yet more eating. Don't forget to drink and drink. This one lunch will keep you in cold turkey and Christmas pudding (which is very good fried in butter) and Stilton for days.

I fall off my chair into a slumped position with eau de vie to help digestion, hoping there will be a James Bond film on TV. Roger Moore's dulcet humour might be all the excitement my battered frame can take at this point.

Uncle Charles is on the phone from Australia, lighting the barbecue. The youth are waxing their surf boards, suntan cream is liberally applied, a snowman doesn't stand a chance. Let's open a few more cold beers.

Is that Father Christmas taking the shade under that tree, an Esky by his side? He's taken off his red jacket, using it as a cushion for his head, he's kicked off his big boots and he's sporting a fine pair of flip-flops.

It's a funny old world.

Happy Christmas.

Newsletter

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

Latest news
On the Pass: Fatuma Tikuye, Blue Nile
24.07.2017
Hot Plates: Hong Sa Bar, Yandina
20.07.2017
Mode Kitchen & Bar opens in Four Seasons Sydney
20.07.2017
Marta: New Roman dining in Rushcutters Bay
19.07.2017
Sydney chef Jeremy Strode dies
17.07.2017
Hot Plates: The Pot by Emma McCaskill, Adelaide
17.07.2017
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
Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

See more

You might also like...

Albert Street Food & Wine

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

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...

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...

Divido

To those who dream of the old country, Divido is the modern...

David’s

David's hums with renewed energy since its transformation t...

Eleonore’s

On the surface, Eleonore's seems immune to fashion. Its lar...

get the latest news

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

×