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.

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.

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.

What Dan Hunter did next

The outgoing Royal Mail Hotel chef speaks to GT's Michael Harden about the eatery he's about to open and why he left Australia's highest-profile regional restaurant.

"Creatively, I just want to be in charge," explains Dan Hunter of his newest venture. "I don't want to have to be considering external factors that don't necessarily help the operation, or always having to consider what someone else thinks. This is about running something that's a true reflection of my ambition and personality."

Hunter, the Australian-born, Mugaritz-trained chef who brought international acclaim to regional Victoria's Royal Mail Hotel, is talking about Brae, formerly Sunnybrae, the restaurant and cooking school run for decades by paddock-to-plate pioneer George Biron.

While working for someone else was partly the reason for change, it was also about having to accommodate three different outlets - plus regular functions - at the Royal Mail. "I really wanted to put all that effort into just one outlet," he says.

Hunter had been looking for his own place for a couple of years, but with some fairly specific requirements - room for vegetable gardens and to build accommodation, and somewhere that wasn't more than 90 minutes from Melbourne ("this is a touch over that, but it's pretty close"). When he heard that Biron was looking to sell Sunnybrae, everything fell into place.

"The garden was really important," Hunter says. "The beauty of this property is that they've treated [the land] organically for 25 years, so we can open and be operating with a garden straightaway."

That means by the end of the year, after the house is given a major renovation. "Something a little more contemporary," he says, courtesy of business partners the McCorkell Brown Group in collaboration with Six Degrees architect James Legge. Purpose-built accommodation is on the cards, but will not be part of the package until the end of 2014.

Until the accommodation becomes available, Hunter says the opening hours will be as much about lunch (Friday to Monday) as dinner (Thursday to Sunday). The food at those meals will, he says, be "stylistically similar" to what he cooked at the Royal Mail. "I'll be focusing as much on produce and product as technique, as always, and just extending a little bit."

He says he doesn't intend to go backwards creatively or offer a simplified version of the cooking for which he's become known "just because it's too hard. I think there's an opportunity in Australia to have the highest quality dining experience in a regional area, to have a regionally focused, but internationally recognised restaurant".

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