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Top 35 recipes of 2016

2016 was all about slow-roasting, fresh pasta and comfort food. These are the recipes you clicked on most this year, counting back to number one.

Decadent chocolate dessert recipes for Christmas

13 of our most decadent chocolate recipes to indulge guests with this Christmas.

Christmas vegetarian recipes

The versatility of vegetarian dishes means they can be served alongside meat and seafood, or enjoyed simply as they are. With Christmas just around the corner, we’ve put together some of our favourite vegetarian recipes to appease both herbivores and carnivores alike.

Best travel destinations in 2017

We're thinking big for travelling in 2017 - and so should you. Will we see you sunrise at Java's 9th-century Borobudur Buddhist temple, across the table at Reykjavik's newest restaurants or swimming side-by-side with humpback whales off Western Australia's coast?

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.

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.

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.

Christmas ham recipes

The centrepiece of any Christmas feast, hams can be glazed with many ingredients. Here are our favourite combinations.

Aaron Turner's new Geelong restaurants

Aaron Turner

Aaron Turner

Aaron Turner is back - for real this time. After closing Loam, his acclaimed Bellarine Peninsula restaurant, in 2013, Turner left Victoria for an extended break overseas, a hiatus he punctuated by teaming up briefly with his friend and fellow chef Morgan McGlone last year to open Melbourne diner Belle's Hot Chicken. Now the young talent is back on our shores to stay, with not just one but two restaurants set to open in Geelong in the coming months.

The Hot Chicken Project, the first of the ventures, will open in May with a menu that's not a huge leap from the one Turner helped design at Belle's. He spent much of his time in the US in Nashville, where he developed a burning passion for the city's signature cayenne-spiced hot chicken, and that's again the focus here, along with southern-style sides. "The menu format is the same as any hot chicken joint in Nashville," Turner says. "It's just something I really enjoy making and it's delicious."

He characterises the drinks list he and his partners have in mind as "booze for the people". It takes in the natural wines Turner himself likes drinking, but not in a doctrinaire way, and they're a part of the package rather than its sole focus. "I just want good booze, by good people", he says, citing the local pinot noir from Anthony Brain's Livewire project as a likely inclusion.

The second of the restaurants, Igni, a 50-seater slated to open in spring, is more ambitious - something of a return to the style of food he was doing at Loam when it was named the GT Regional Restaurant of the Year in 2012. Turner says he wants it to be much more relaxed for the diner while maintaining the same high standards in the kitchen. He's teaming up with ex-Loamers Andrew Hamilton and Joanna Smith for the venture, so the approachability and the quality of the service are as central to the business plan as the cooking, he says. "We're just going to get the bar-vibe happening, stick a char-grill in there and see what happens."

Eager to discard the trappings of fancy-restaurant culture, Turner is focused on making the most of a simple, usable space. "It's just a simple black building that backs onto a Bikram yoga place," he says. "We're thinking about putting in a window so everyone can watch."

Could this be Geelong's time to shine? Turner is philosophical. "Well, if nothing else, it's a good place to stop on the way to and from Brae."


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