The February issue

Our clean eating issue is out now, packed with super lunch bowls, gluten-free desserts and more - including our cruising special, covering all luxury on the seas.

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Australia's top 20 rieslings
22.02.2017

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.

Recipes by Christine Manfield
21.02.2017

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.

Normandy landings
20.02.2017

To travel to Normandy along the Seine is to take it by stealth, writes Larissa Dubecki, who ventured forth in search of chateaux and Calvados.

Cirrus, Sydney review
20.02.2017

Cirrus moves the Bentley team down to the water and into more lighthearted territory without sacrificing polish, writes Pat Nourse.

How to grow rocket
20.02.2017

A vegetable patch without rocket lacks a great staple, according to Mat Pember. The perennial performer is a leaf for all seasons.

50BestTalks brings World’s best chefs to Sydney and Melbourne
16.02.2017

Massimo Bottura and more are coming to the Sydney Opera House.

Toby Wilson, Sean McManus and Jon Kennedy to open Bad Hombres
16.02.2017

Expect Mexican-Asian flavours and an all-natural wine list from two of Sydney’s edgier operators.

Local Knowledge: Moscow
16.02.2017

Director of Shakespeare theatre company Cheek by Jowl Declan Donnellan walks us through the essential sights and his favourite cafes and restaurants of his hometown.

Meatsmith, Melbourne

Andrew McConnell

Andrew McConnell

Andrew McConnell is getting down to the grassroots with his next business venture, an upmarket butcher shop with a heritage-breed focus and a support cast of his own charcuterie, sauces and marinades.

Taking over Smith Street's former Soul Food Café, Meatsmith - a partnership with Troy Wheeler, head butcher for the past 10 years at Hawksburn's upmarket Peter Bouchier - is due to launch its wholesale arm in May, with the retail side opening in July or August.

"Without Troy I wouldn't ever attempt a project like this," says McConnell of jumping the divide from restaurants (Cumulus Inc, Cutler & Co, Luxembourg and Supernormal) to produce. "I'm definitely the chef and he's definitely the butcher, but it makes a good combination. There will be placements for all my chefs to go and work with Troy, and with things like making our own charcuterie I really like the fact it's still closely connected to what I do every day."

The fit-out by Herbert & Mason (responsible for the likes of Maurice Terzini's Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta in Bondi) will stick to the traditional butcher-shop mould, with a small wine shop "selling the boutiquey wines we like to drink", says McConnell. A grocery selection will be "a combination of things we do ourselves - the Builders Arms' mustard and relish, our own rendered duck fat - or else the best of the best in things such as anchovies".

Meatsmith has its seeds in McConnell's 2012 relaunch of the nearby Builders Arms Hotel, where Wheeler lent his expertise for the dry-aged meat.

"It's good to find someone with a similar vision for heritage breeds and focusing on Victorian producers," says Wheeler. "I've been speaking to a lot of small producers of things like Old World chicken breeds instead of generic chicken and heritage sheep and beef breeders to really bring something different to the table."

McConnell fans will also be pleased to see precooked items ready to go: "The Cumulus Inc lamb shoulder, for example," he says. "You can take it home and cook it in half an hour instead of eight."

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