The Christmas issue

Our December issue is out now, featuring Paul Carmichael's recipes for a Caribbean Christmas, silly season cocktails and more.

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Mango recipes

Nothing says summer like mangoes. Go beyond the criss-cross cuts - bake a mango-filled meringue loaf with lime mascarpone, start off the day with a sweet coconut quinoa pudding with sticky mango, or toss it through a spicy warm weather Thai salad.

Chilled recipes for summer

When the mercury is rising, step away from the oven. These recipes are either raw, chilled or frozen and will cool you down in a snap.

Shark Bay Wild Scampi Caviar

Bright blue scampi roe is popping up on menus across Australia. Here's why it's so special.

Dark chocolate delice, salted-caramel ganache and chocolate sorbet

"The delice from Source Dining is a winner. May I have the recipe?" Rebecca Ward, Fitzroy, Vic REQUEST A RECIPE To request a recipe, email fareexchange@bauer-media.com.au or send us a message via Facebook. Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address. Please note that because of the volume of requests we receive, we can only publish a selection in the magazine.

Summer feta recipes

Whether in a fresh salad or seasonal seafood dish, feta's creamy tang can be used to add interest to a variety of summer dishes.

Koh Loy Sriracha Sauce, David Thompson's favourite hot sauce

When the master of Thai food pinpoints anything as his favourite, we sit up and listen.

Paul Carmichael's great cake

"Great cake, also known in Barbados as black cake or rum cake, is a variation of British Christmas cake that's smashed with rum and falernum syrup," says Momofuku Seiobo chef Paul Carmichael. "This festive cake varies from household to household but they all have two things in common: tons of dried fruit and rum. It's a cake that should be started at least a month out so the fruit can marinate in the booze. Start this recipe up to five weeks ahead to macerate the fruit and baste the cake."

What the GT team is cooking on Christmas Day

We don't do things by halves in the Gourmet office. These are the recipes we'll be cooking on the big day.

Penfolds Magill Estate Restaurant returns

When Penfolds Magill Estate Restaurant reopened in late August after a 21-month hiatus and an extensive refit, its stated ambition to be among Australia's leading restaurants ensured it would attract close scrutiny. And does it make the cut? It's not there yet, but it could be on its way. 

The interior fashioned by designer and restaurateur Pascale Gomes-McNabb makes a strong initial impression. Clusters of bespoke dark furnishings now draw the eye as much as the views across the vines to Adelaide's skyline. Bare blackwood tables and low-slung leather wingback chairs are dramatically offset by slashes of red-hot neon and clusters of Emma Lashmar's illuminated glass orbs suspended above the tables. The décor softens the mood of a once-austere room - it's more casual and relaxed. 

New executive chef Scott Huggins, previously of Nihonryori RyuGin, Tokyo, and the Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld, strives for harmony, balance and the pure expression of hero ingredients rather than dazzling spectacle within his five- or eight-course dégustation menus ($135 or $185; $265 or $435 with matched wines). Lightly cured belly of bluefin tuna with asparagus smoked in hay, egg yolk and dehydrated olive crumbs is a shining example. Gentle flavours ensure the luscious tuna texture remains the highlight of this dish. Less cohesive, perhaps, is a lightly poached Coffin Bay oyster in cucumber purée topped by frozen pebbles of bitter apple, the contrasting warm and cold elements seeming awkward rather than intriguing. Pastry chef Emma Shearer impresses though, with a dessert of toasted hay-infused ice-cream offset by crumbled walnut and a dark wafer of coffee and linseed. 

The main course shows Huggins's intentions best: wagyu striploin (seared, chilled, rested in 62C oil, sprayed with soy and rosemary then grilled over charcoal) is modestly seasoned and embellished with roasted sesame dressing and confit baby garlic as a foil beside powerhouse red wines: Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon for the five-course menu, or 2008 Grange with the eight-courser. It's a tough gig for any ambitious chef; Penfolds wines are always going to be the star of this show.

Penfolds Magill Estate Restaurant, 78 Penfold Rd, Magill, SA, (08) 8301 5551

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