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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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.

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.

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

Discovering Macedonia

Like its oft-disputed name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia defies simple definition but its rich diversity extends from the dinner table to the welcoming locals, writes Richard Cooke.

Barbecue bonanza

So you're planning a barbecue. You've seasoned the red-gum, dry-aged the grass-fed beef, and tracked down organic hops for the home-brewed lager. Phew. Now wouldn't it be great if you could ask some of your favourite cooking talent along to pitch in. Wondering what Frank Camorra or Elvis Abrahanowicz or Neil Perry might bring to your barbecue? We were too, so we asked them.

Ben Russell, Aria, Brisbane
How about I bring a bottle of Hendrick's, a cucumber, a whole 'nduja (the spreadable Calabrian salami) and some Johnny Cash records? Although if you're a friend of mine you'll probably have your own.

Frank Camorra, MoVida, Melbourne
How about I make a couple of potato and onion tortillas to bring along?

Elvis Abrahanowicz and Ben Milgate, Porteño, Sydney
We'll bring Ben's famous punch (with secret ingredient Passiona and a disproportionate ratio of alcohol); it'll make everyone know it's time to celebrate, like it or not.

Christine Manfield, Universal, Sydney
How about I bring a couple of jugs of Goldie Hawn from the Universal cocktail list - Belvedere vodka, Aperol, peach bitters and lemon - ready to pour over crushed ice? And a huge bowl of raspberry ripple, like a deconstructed pavlova: chunks of meringue and marshmallow with raspberries and raspberry sauce swirled through vanilla cream and crumbled vanilla nougat?

Scott Heffernan, Smolt, Hobart
For the barbecue season, nothing beats homemade spiced humitas and chapa bread - and I'd also bring a salad of celeriac, asparagus and globe artichoke from my garden.

Matt Stone, Greenhouse, Perth
How about I bring along an asparagus and quinoa salad? I'll roast the asparagus with red chillies, shallot, garlic and a handful of almonds, add some quinoa, chopped parsley and lemon zest. Then I'll dress it just before serving with olive oil and lemon juice and season with sea salt.

Dan Hunter, Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld, Vic
How about I bring Lennox Hastie - do you mind if he cooks?

Brent Savage, Bentley Restaurant & Bar, Sydney
How does a salad of lobster, pink fir apple potato, pickled green garlic and globe artichoke sound? And I'll also bring some compressed fruit with custard and meringue.

Iain Todd, Ethos Eat Drink, Hobart
What if I bring my home-grown heirloom tomatoes with salt and olive oil, and a pavlova with Tassie cherries and ginger? And a big bucket of Pimm's, mint and ginger syrup, soda water, cucumber, strawberries and blood plums? And a salad of crisp iceberg lettuce dressed with vinaigrette and black sesame?

Craig Will, Stillwater, Launceston, Tas
I'm hoping the protein on the barbecue will be a slab of dry-aged Tasmanian beef and I'll bring along my gutsy chimichurri sauce. It has just the right balance of parsley, oregano and garlic from my garden with vinegar and chilli, topped off with some gorgeous Lentara Grove olive oil from just up the road. And how about I bring a salad too? A generous bowl of mixed greens from the garden or from Bruce's Yorktown Organics (just up the river) with my creamy buttermilk vinaigrette topped with some toasted nuts and grains for crunch would work perfectly with the Tassie beef.

Jowett Yu, Ms G's, Sydney
I'm bringing Buffalo wings - made with Frank's Red Hot sauce - with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.

Alla Wolf-Tasker, Lake House, Daylesford, Vic
How about I bring a large jug of our house-made wild damson cup? Yes, it's a bit like a Pimm's Cup - although the colour is a deeper red and yes there's a fair bit of lovely alcohol in it. But it's the base that makes it special. It's a damson cordial we make from damsons growing in local long-abandoned orchards. And yes, it requires some tree climbing and hand picking. It's a real treat on a hot sunny day and deliciously good for you.

Jonathan Barthelmess, Manly Pavilion, Sydney
I'll bring prosecco, lemon sorbet and a bunch of mint.

Pasquale Trimboli, Italian & Sons, Canberra
You can't beat a white peach Bellini to ignite the appetite. Very Italian and always a favourite with the ladies.

Luke Burgess, Garagistes, Hobart
How about I bring a few magnums of Vodopivec Vitovska '02? One is never enough.

Barry McDonald, Fratelli Fresh, Sydney
I'll bring mangoes, white peaches, blood plums, apricots, and a large wedge of three-year-old Reggiano.

Jason Jujnovich, Divido, Perth
I'll bring some great cheeses, such as a Spanish queso tetilla. Tetilla means "nipple"; it's so named because of the shape of the cheese with its nipple-like peak on top. It's quite a talking point around the barbie - oh, and it tastes great as well. Or a nice la tur from Piedmont? This is a mixture of cow's, goat's and sheep's milk all in the one creamy concoction. I know cheese is traditionally enjoyed at the end of the meal, but in my circles we like to eat it as antipasti with a few beers or choice glasses of wine.

Jim Berardo, Berardo's, Noosa, Qld
I'll bring some very sweet Georgia Vidalia onions to grill.

Jeremy Strode, Bistrode CBD, Sydney
I'll bring some handmade sausages from Feather & Bone with Jane's tomato jam.

Colin Fassnidge, Four in Hand, Sydney
How about I bring a salad of our house-made buttermilk curd mixed with some freshly shaved fennel, fresh peas, mint and lemon juice, with a bit of radish on the top?

Ryan Squires, Esquire, Brisbane
I'll bring a cast net so we can coal-fire some tiny bait fish with sea salt. I remember a barbecue I was invited to in Napa. My friend's magnificent garden grew everything I needed for guacamole except a fresh baguette. All I had to do was pick, wash and chop, from the avocados in season on the tree to the fresh tiny chillies. I mean, I picked everything! Sometimes the simplest things are the best. It's a memory that has never left me, and guacamole goes with about anything over a barbecue. Apart from that I'd bring a bottle of Mount Tamborine limoncello and a bag of ice. Even the Italians regard it as one of the world's best - so bloody refreshing on a hot summer's day. A couple of large lemon leaves would be handy as well. Wrap little bits of fish in them or even charred meats and grill for a while until the leaf burns. The oil and fragrance are unbelievable.

Paul Wilson, Albert Park Hotel, Melbourne
I'll bring my famous mustard made with huitlacoche (Mexican corn fungus), which invigorates the humble barbecue, or maybe a panettone summer berry pudding and a bottle of Joseph sparkling red.

Jacques Reymond, Jacques Reymond, Melbourne
I usually never bring any food if I'm invited to someone's house because I don't want them to believe that I do not trust what they have prepared for me. If I know they appreciate wine I will always pick one of my best bottles kept in my private cellar.

Phil Wood, Rockpool, Sydney
How about I bring a Brussels sprout coleslaw with roasted hazelnuts, and a peach, mint, macadamia and balsamic vinegar salad? And some White Rabbit dark ales.

Peter Gilmore, Quay, Sydney
How about I bring you a whole lot of home-grown heirloom tomatoes and make you a simple tomato salad?

George Calombaris, The Press Club, Melbourne
I'll bring my cracked wheat salad from Hellenic Republic. Yum.

Hadleigh Troy, Restaurant Amusé, Perth
How about I bring a pav? Everyone loves pavlova no matter how dishevelled it becomes in transit.

Andrew McConnell, Cutler & Co., Melbourne
I'll bring some of my homemade ginger beer and a quality bottle of vodka.

Richard Ptacnik, Otto Ristorante, Sydney
How about I bring a tiramisù? As a chef I love to relax on my days off so it's a nice dish I can prepare at home before coming. I always bring along a bottle of Hendrick's gin, a few bottles of tonic and a bag of lemons as well. I love the simplicity of the drink. And the rest takes care of itself.

Vince LaMontagna, Vincenzo's Cucina Vera, Adelaide
How about I bring a box of handmade sfogliatelle, and Campari to make a mean pitcher of Negroni?

Peter Doyle, Est., Sydney
I'll bring a salad of avocado, heart of palm, cucumber, pink grapefruit and mint, and a raspberry trifle.

Justin North, Bécasse, Sydney
How about I bring some of my favourite frozen Champagne and strawberry jellies?

Martin Benn, Sepia, Sydney
I'll bring a beautiful fresh sashimi-grade bonito and my new Japanese filleting knife, and a little orange oil to brush the bonito fillets.

Stefano Manfredi, Balla, Sydney
Some decent wine - I'm thinking of top cru prosecco like Silvano Follador Cartizze Brut di Valdobbiadene. While we're at it I'd also like to bring some ice-cold Graci Etna Bianco, a Sicilian wine made from the carricante grape.

Scott Minervini, Lebrina, Hobart
Are you grilling red meat? Then perhaps a bottle of aglianico or a dusty Chianti Classico, or some of my pork-chilli-fennel sausages, or some caponata that is beautifully developed. Or a potato salad made from freshly dug pink-eye potatoes.

Dan Hong, Ms G's, Sydney
I'll bring some tinned lychees, rambutans, longans, nata de coco jelly, cendol, coconut milk and shaved ice, mix it all up and make a refreshing dessert.

Jock Zonfrillo, Penfolds Magill Estate Restaurant, Adelaide
How about I bring pre-made Bramble cocktails and some homemade marshmallows to toast over the embers for dessert?

Teage Ezard, Ezard, Melbourne
I'll bring a salad of summer crab, mango, Vietnamese mint, chilli and fried shallot, finished with a beautiful fresh nuoc cham dressing. And you can leave me in charge of making Negronis.

Kiren Mainwaring, Dear Friends, Perth
How does Gidgegannup marron and a bottle of John Kososvich bottle-aged chenin sound?

Mark Best, Marque, Sydney
How about I bring three small pigs on the hoof and a case of 2001 Cristal just to keep things gangsta?

Matt Wilkinson, Pope Joan, Melbourne
I'll bring this damn Weber I've had for 10 years; I still can't get the coals to stay alight so you can show me how to work it properly. Or some witbier and my lime foam for us to drink.

Neil Perry, Rockpool, Sydney
How about I bring over some Ibérico ham, Iggy's bread, tomato salad, potato salad and a couple of bottles of Rockford basket press shiraz. Then all you have to do is cook a good steak.

Related link - Homes to Love: how to care for your barbecue

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