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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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.

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.

2017 Australian Hotel Awards: The Finalists

This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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. 

Chorizo recipes

Where would Spanish cuisine be without the chorizo? This versatile smallgood lends its big flavours to South American stews, soups, and salads, not to mention the ultimate hot dog. Let the sizzling begin.

Hunter Valley NSW travel guide

Our guide to the best of the region.

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.

Ben Shewry's What Grows in the Garden

There's nary a chef who shows up at a food festival these days without some sort of intro roll or other AV fluffing, but Ben Shewry is way out in front. The Attica chef is no stranger to the production of short films - in fact, he's formed a production company in Melbourne with his pals Johnny Abegg and Colin Page (who also shot Shewry's 2012 book, Origin). Their first outing suggests that their interests lie a fair way left field of the usual chop-and-chat material. In fact, the video is so graphic that we can only show you a snippet above - hop on over to Awakau Road Films' channel for the whole thing.

In the meantime, the culinary auteur gave us the lowdown on the new string to his bow.

Gourmet Traveller: So, Ben, what the hell?
Ben Shewry: Well, I was kind of tired of seeing the old "chef makes a beautiful film about his garden filled with poetry, classical music and tweezers". It was also terrific fun to typify some of those age-old angry chef stereotypes.

Is this you working out some issues?
This is actually a pilot for a real-life reality TV series about me and what a great boss I am. I was caught on film by hidden cameras being myself. I should probably feel ashamed. But then again, my staff did murder me.

How long did this all take?
Well, it took me maybe a week to write it. Johnny Abegg (a partner in Awakau Road Films and good mate) and I fleshed it out for a couple of days. Then two full days shooting at Rippon Lea Estate in 40-degree heat. (Yes, that compost pile was steaming. And, no, my wife wouldn't let me back in the house that night with rotten organic matter coming out of my nostrils). About a week or two of editing, a few months of procrastinating, a few more months of music rights negotiating and here we have it.

Were there many volunteers among your staff to play the part of your murderer?
They were lining up thick and fast, but there could only be one.

And who is that under the sack getting whacked with the tennis ball?
That's Matt Boyle, one of my recently qualified young chefs. He's also the werewolf-type character and the one who rallied the staff to turn against me. Later in the film he's seen feeding my body parts into the wood chipper. Kids these days, eh? Treat them with love but they just want to make a burger out of ya.

Is that a Thee Oh Sees number you've got as the soundtrack?
Man, I can't tell you how much of a pleasure it was to get the music rights to that song. The Thee Oh Sees are one of my favorite bands of all time and the founder of the band, John Dwyer, was incredibly generous.

What's next for you, cinematically speaking?
I've recently founded a little film company called Awakau Road Films with three great friends - Johnny Abegg (director, cinematographer, editor and all-round brilliant film-maker), Colin Page (second camera, prop designer and still photography) and Tad Lombardo (producer and manager). I guess I'm the trouble-maker in a way: I write the stories or content and then we all do our best to get into a deep vein of creativity. The whole thing is done on our own time on limited budgets and that's the really fun part, creating little stories out of nothing. The next production from Awakau Road is more serious. Johnny and I are definitely drawn to the darker and more realistic side of storytelling. The more raw and real the better.

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