The summer issue

Our summer-packed January issue is out now - featuring our guide to summer rieslings, strawberries and seafood recipes, as well as a look at the best of Bali.

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AA Gill's final column for Gourmet Traveller

We mourn the loss of a treasured member of the Gourmet Traveller family who passed awayon December 10, 2016. British writer AA Gill was a contributor to the magazine from July 2004. Gill’s travel column was as insightful as it was witty, funny as it was thoughtful – he was without peer. This is the final piece he wrote for Gourmet Traveller; it appears in the December issue, 2016. - Anthea Loucas Bosha, Editor

Recipes with peaches

Whether caramelised in a tarte Tartin, paired with slow-roasted pork on top of pizza or tossed through salads, this sweet stone fruit is an excellent addition to summer cooking.

Black Star Pastry to open in Carlton, Melbourne

Instagram’s most famous cake, plus a few other sweet hits, is heading south.

Knives and Ink chef tattoos

What is it about chefs and tattoos? A new book asks the inked to answer for themselves.

Berry recipes

Whether it's raspberries paired with chocolate in a layer cake, or blueberries with lemon in a tart; berries are a welcome addition to any dessert. Here are delicious recipes with berries.

Seabourn Encore luxury cruise ship

Australia is about to get its first glimpse of Seabourn Encore, a glamorous new addition to the Seabourn fleet.

Ben Shewry's favourtie souvlaki restaurant in Melbourne Kalimera Souvlaki Art

Attica’s chef isn’t happiest when eating soils or smears on his days off, it’s souvlaki. We follow him to his favourite spot.

Coconut crab and green mango salad

"This salad bursts with fresh, vibrant flavours and became a signature on my Paramount menus," says Christine Manfield. "I capitalised on using green mangoes in many dishes as they became more widely available. Blue swimmer crabs from South Australia have the most delicious sweet meat. It's best to buy them whole, cook them yourself and carefully pick the meat from the shell - a tedious task but it gives the best flavour. This entree also works well with spanner crab meat (you can buy this in packs ready cooked from reliable fishmongers). The sweetness of the crab, the richness of the fresh coconut and the sourness of green mango make a wonderful partnership. It's all about harmony on the palate and using the very best produce."

Transformer, Melbourne

Transformer, Fitzroy, Melbourne

Transformer, Fitzroy, Melbourne

Read our restaurant review of Transformer, Melbourne here

Transformer is quite possibly the restaurant meat-free Melbourne has been waiting for. It's the Vegie Bar gone haute. A stunning design courtesy of Breathe Architects has turned the double-fronted warehouse into a gloriously mood-lit, plant-strewn space wrapped around an interior courtyard. It's date-night territory, far from the clang and yoga pants of Vegie Bar.

A compact wine list flirts with the organic without going steady; cocktails are full of snips from the garden; and the menu doesn't bludgeon diners over the head with mission statements.

Chef Luke Florence knows how to use tofu but he's sidestepped any mock-meat products. Around half the menu is vegan - a spelt and seed steamed bao wrapped around fried tofu with spicy mayo might win a few converts - while his richly textured salads show that vegetables are the new norm.

When Laki Papadopoulos and Mark Price opened the Vegie Bar on Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Bob Hawke was Prime Minister of Australia and Home and Away had just gone to air. It's taken them 27 years to open Transformer, the grown-up version of their perennially humming vegetarian and vegan café, but it's not like they've been idle.

In the interim the pair has opened Rice Queen, St Jude's Cellars, and Panama Dining Room. They're sticklers for a certain square kilometre of Fitzroy real estate, including this run-down former transformer factory behind the Vegie Bar.

It could have been a raw-food restaurant, Papadopoulos admits. "I really got into that for a while a few years ago. But I found it impossible to sustain. The gloss wore off really fast." These days, he prefers "flexitarian".

"Life's a bit too short to have hard-and-fast rules about what we eat. It's a bit like the weather - we all change. The brief in the end was just good food."

Transformer serves the sort of food Papadopoulos says he searched for fruitlessly on an eating tour of California and New York last year.

"A lot of vegetarian food has pretty poor standards. We actually found the best vego options were at meat restaurants. Hopefully here you won't notice there's no meat."

Transformer Fitzroy, 99 Rose St, Fitzroy, Vic, (03) 9419 2022, transformerfitzroy.com.au

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