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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.

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.

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.

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."

Most popular recipes summer 2017

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

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.

Sleep in a Grampians olive grove this autumn

Under Sky are popping up with a luxe camping hotel experience at Mount Zero Olives this April.

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.

Maha's $1 million renovation

Shane Delia, Maha, Melbourne

Shane Delia, Maha, Melbourne

Shane Delia is almost bouncing out of his high-top sneakers showing off his million-dollar renovation at Maha, the once dark and moody basement diner that has just reopened in a blaze of white and teal.

"I've been planning this renovation for years," says Delia, who parted company with Made Establishment restaurant group in 2013 to run Maha on his own. "It's all about the detail for me… the sound engineering, the lighting, the comfort at the tables. I want our customers to feel the difference."

Architects Mills Gorman oversaw a five-week refit that included knocking out walls, changing the entry and shrinking the bar to up the seating in the dining room from 100 to 130.

Gone are the timber panelling, sombre lighting, ochre tones and shisha pipes, replaced by a spacious, modern feel that's all glowing white ceiling panels and luxe touches including sandblasted solid oak tables with bronze trim and soft velvet seating in shades of teal and blue.

The raised front room that once housed shisha pipes is now a bright semi-private dining area sporting an oversized portrait of a Bedouin girl by aerosol artist Adnate. The work is based on a photo Delia took while filming his SBS food series Spice Journey.

The old Maha lives on through Delia's excellent Middle Eastern food. The format of set menus designed to share remains (there's a choice of two, four, five and six courses), but the fancy new gold-leaf menu hints at fresher, cleaner flavours such as the smashed radish, smoked pepper, almonds and mint that now accompany his trademark slow-cooked lamb shoulder.

Delia is also convinced his new Unox oven in the revamped kitchen produces a more succulent version of his famous lamb dish. "I have no idea why," he says. "It just tastes more intense and the texture is amazing."

The new Maha is more open and relaxed, and this is reflected in the new front-of-house uniform: faded teal aprons, black jeans and Converse sneakers teamed with stripy black-and-white socks in the same flowing design as the new Maha logo. The socks are even available for purchase, along with a range of Delia's spices and condiments.

"I told you I was all about the detail," Delia says with a grin.

Maha, 21 Bond St, Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9629 5900


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