The February issue

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Curtis Stone's strawberry, elderflower and brioche summer puddings

"Think of this dessert as a deconstructed version of a summer pudding, with thinly sliced strawberries macerated in elderflower liqueur and layered between slices of brioche," says Stone. "A dollop of whipped cream on top is a cooling counterpoint to the floral flavours."

Fig recipes

Figs. We can't get enough of them. Here are a few sweet and savoury ways to add them to your summer spread.

Most popular recipes summer 2017

Counting down from 20, here are this summer's most-loved recipes.

Australia's best rieslings

We’re spoilt for variety – and value – in Australia when it comes to good riesling. Max Allen picks the top 20 from a fine crop.

Chorizo hotdogs with chimichurri and smoky red relish

A hotdog is all about the condiments. Here, choose between a smoky red capsicum relish or the bright flavours of chimichurri, or go for a bit of both.

Top Australian chefs to follow on Instagram in 2017

A lot has changed since we first published our pick of the best chefs to follow on Instagram (way back in the dark ages of 2013). Here’s who we’re double-tapping on the photo-sharing app right now.

Christine Manfield recipes

As the '90s dawned, darling chefs were pushing the boundaries of cooking in this country. A young Christine Manfield, just starting out at this heady time, soon became part of the generation that redefined modern Australian cuisine. She shares some of her timeless signatures from the era.

Mascarpone

Café Nice, Sydney

Read our 2015 review of Café Nice

On a fine Sydney afternoon, our chat with the principals of Café Nice is not happening. The sun streams through the windows, picking up the yellow highlights in the paintwork and the glints on the mirrors and the wings of the framed specimens in the butterfly room. A vast cruise ship docked at the quay, visible past the ferry terminal, provides the distant backdrop, and the striped blue awning billows gently.

The problem is, no one wants to leave. Corks are pulled on more bottles of rosé, les desserts are given another look, and it looks like the interview is just going to have to wait. It's that sort of place.

The afternoons, says proprietor Barry McDonald, are what Nice is all about. To recreate the magic of Nice (and, by extension, the magic of Café Nice), he says, the lazy sun of the later day is where you have to start. "I think that's part of the feel. Preferably outdoors. And you've got to have a rosé."

The restaurant, on the Circular Quay site that was once home to Merrony's, is a step westward, thematically speaking, for McDonald, who is best known for his Fratelli Fresh providore brand and its Sopra restaurants. In opening Café Nice with his daughter Nina Gravelis, McDonald is tipping his hat to a place he loves, and, with the aid of Sopra chef David Young, channelling a side of French cooking that doesn't find much expression in Australia.

"I don't think anyone else in Sydney is doing this kind of food. What we're trying to show people is that it's not really French food, it's Niçoise. And there is a difference. It's a lighter, fresher food - a lot of olive oil, a lot of vegetables, a lot of seafood." It's not what we're used to in terms of French food, he says, but it translates well to an Australian setting. "Café Nice is all about casual food, casual dining, beautiful light French wines and a bit of fun."

Café Nice, 2 Phillip St, Sydney, NSW, (02) 8248 9600.


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