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The World's Best sommeliers are coming to Australia
28.03.2017

For the first time, the world's top international sommeliers will take part in the World's 50 Best Awards too.

Seven Italian dishes that shaped fine dining in the 2000s
28.03.2017

Italian food in the restaurants of Australia blossomed into maturity in the new millennium, as the work of these trailblazers shows – dazzling and diverse, a successful balance between adaptation and tradition.

Steam ovens: a guide
27.03.2017

Billed as the faster, cleaner way to cook, are these on-trend ovens all they’re cracked up to be? We take a close look at their rising popularity, USP versus the traditional convection cooker and how each type rates in terms of form, function, and above all, flavour in this buyer’s guide.

Our chocolate issue is out now
27.03.2017

Our April issue is out now. In his editor's letter, Pat Nourse walks you through what to expect.

Roast pork with Nelly Robinson
27.03.2017

Nelly Robinson of Sydney's nel. restaurant talks us through his favourite roasting joints, tips for crisp roast potatoes and why, when it comes to pork, slow and steady always wins the race.

Water carafes
24.03.2017

More than mere vessels, these pieces bring a cool breeze of style from the fridge to the table.

The benefits of live yoghurt
23.03.2017

Step away from the “dessert yoghurt", writes Will Studd. The real unadulterated thing is much more rewarding.

All-Star Yum Cha
22.03.2017

What happens the morning after the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards? We treat the chefs to a world-beating yum cha session, as Dani Valent discovers.

Flour and Stone Recipes

Baker extraordinaire Nadine Ingram of Sydney's Flour and Stone cooks up a sweet storm for Easter, including the much loved bakery's greatest hit.

Fast autumn dinners

Autumn weather signals the arrival of soups, broths, roasts and more hearty meals.

Roasted cauliflower salad with yoghurt dressing and almonds

The cauliflower is roasted until it starts to caramelise, which adds extra depth of flavour to this winning salad. Serve it warm or at room temperature.

1980s recipes

Australia saw some bold moves in the ’80s, and we’re not just talking hairstyles. Greater cultural references started peppering the menus of our restaurants, and home-grown ingredients won a new appreciation. The dining scene was coming of age and a new band of pioneers led the charge.

New cruises 2017

Cue the Champagne.

All Star Yum Cha

What happens the morning after the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards? We treat the chefs to a world-beating yum cha session, as Dani Valent discovers.

Melbournes finest meet Worlds Best

Leading chefs descend on Melbourne in April for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. We asked local hospitality folk who they’d abduct for the day and where they’d take them to show off their city. There may be coffee, there may be culture, but in the end it’s cocktails.

Savoury tarts

Will your next baking project be a flaky puff pastry with pumpkin, goat's curd and thyme, or a classic bacon and Stilton tart? As autumn settles in, we're ticking these off one by one.

Christine Manfield guests at Berta

Christine Manfield and Jamie Irving at Berta, Sydney

Christine Manfield and Jamie Irving at Berta, Sydney

The clock is ticking, Sydney. Christine Manfield has just five more weeks left in her cameo at Berta, and that means just five more Tuesday-night Sagra dinners. On the strength of last night's showing, that means you have just five more chances to get in on one of the best deals you'll see in Australian dining in 2015: a generous four courses from one of the most distinctive chefs of a generation, for just $65.

Under Berta's founding chef O Tama Carey, Berta's Sagra nights gained a cult following for their inventive celebrations of a single ingredient each week, and Manfield, who shares the kitchen with new chef Jamie Irving (pictured), has embraced the tradition.

Though Manfield said she thought choosing eggplant, her favourite ingredient, for her maiden voyage last night was cheating, the army of her fans who marched through the door for the two seatings were rapt.

The antipasti made a very welcome opening salvo, not least the sweet-sour spiced eggplant and peppers stained with turmeric, and focaccia spread with salty eggplant butter.

Pappardelle tossed with a ragù of eggplant and slow-braised duck followed, its duck liver-boosted richness complemented neatly by a nebbiolo grown in Lombardy, and then a fillet of wild kingfish, fat and juicy on a bed of warmly spiced honey and harissa eggplant.

And to close? A clean, crisp pear and ricotta chocolate tart freshened up with yoghurt sorbet, all the more delectable for its pairing with a glass of Piedmontese brachetto.

The challenges presented by the size of the kitchen and brigade were refreshing, Manfield said. "I kept wanting to add another element to the dishes, but had to keep batting my hand away." The result was a winning balance of Berta's trademark restraint and Manfield generosity.

Next week it's the Sagra of Autumn Milks, which will make use of cow, goat's and sheep's milk in curds, whey, cheeses and more. On Tuesday 12 May, Manfield won't be in the kitchen, but Irving will present a menu of grains and greens they've designed together, then on the 19th she's back for quince. The 26 May Sagra will be "going nuts" and then, for the finale of her time at Berta, it's the Sagra of Wild Things (From the Sea).

Manfield will be cooking alongside Irving and sharing duties writing the regular à la carte menus over this period too, of course, but there's something special about these mini-festivals - not least their outstanding value.

As Manfield says with a twinkle in her eye, "See you next Tuesday."

Berta, 17-19 Alberta St, Sydney, (02) 9264 6133

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