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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.

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.

Hunter Valley NSW travel guide

Our guide to the best of the region.

Stokehouse City

Stokehouse Pop-Up, Melbourne

Stokehouse Pop-Up, Melbourne

St Kilda landmark restaurant Stokehouse is moving to the Melbourne CBD. Or at least temporarily. The building the restaurant occupied for more than 20 years burned down in January and a pop-up has been operating in a temporary structure near the site since February, but owners Frank and Sharon Van Haandel announced today that they'd be closing it on 11 April. They're moving the business to 7 Alfred Place, to take over from Hotel Comme, which they also own, from mid-May until the St Kilda site reopens in 2015. Comme's last service will be Sunday 20 April.

"The impact that the fire has had on the group has forced us to make some extremely tough decisions and it is incredibly sad to say goodbye to the amazing team at Comme, and we wish to thank them for their contribution and hard work," said Frank Van Haandel. "Under these exceptional circumstances, I believe that this is the best way forward and we are excited to bring Stokehouse to the city."

The new pop-up, Stokehouse City, will mimic St Kilda's upstairs-downstairs arrangement, with casual dining on the ground floor and a more refined offering above. Pascale Gomes-McNabb, the architect of Stokehouse's lauded renovation in 2010, has signed on to design the interiors; Anthony Musarra and Oliver Gould remain general manager and chef respectively.

The Van Haandel Group was recently in the news elsewhere after announcing that it would not proceed with plans to open a Stokehouse at the Sydney Opera House.

Stokehouse City, 7 Alfred Pl, Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9525 5555, stokehouse.com.au

Looking for more Melbourne dining options? Check out our list of the best restaurants in Melbourne.

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