Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

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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.

Bar Liberty opens in Fitzroy

Bar Liberty's grilled prawns and macadamia

Bar Liberty's grilled prawns and macadamia

Bar Liberty does gonzo rather well, which is good news for its Fitzroy/cusp-of-Collingwood audience. The signage, for instance: take a ladder, add some black spray paint and, hey presto, the previous tenant's shingle is suitably modified. Or the fried-egg mural on the outer wall - Bar Liberty is in a street-art hotspot and the local collective has agreed to keep to a food theme. And let's not forget the replica 1956 Ford Thunderbird Bourbon dispenser.

Bar Liberty, which opened on Johnston Street last week, comes via a newly formed hospo-trade supergroup, but it hasn't disappeared up its own fundament with self-importance. Attica alumni Banjo Harris Plane and Michael Bascetta have teamed up with Rockwell & Sons' Casey Wall and Manu Potoi (who also did time at Attica - yes, it's complicated) and opened the kind of bar they'd like to hang out in.

Bar Liberty's Instagram feed describes it as "a place for everyone, to drink everything" and the catholic instincts are keenly felt across a drinks offer that has as much to say about beer, sherry, sake and spirits as it does Harris Plane's 130-strong wine list. The former GT Sommelier of the Year winner has a love affair with chenin blanc, riesling, rosé and skin-fermented, low-intervention wines, but he's also pulled out all the stops sourcing broadly and deeply into some serious back-vintages.

They're no slouches on the cocktail front, either. The trend for pre-bottled cocktails has freed them up to get inventive on the technique. Take the Millions of Peaches, Peaches For You: peaches are charred under a cloche with the smoke from lemon thyme, marinated overnight with Bourbon, then mixed with orange bitters and lime juice. Bottle and serve.

Wall also has a few tricks up his sleeve, the ex-Cutler & Co chef busting out techniques put on ice by the more streetwise Rockwell & Sons. Snackage includes thin slivers of fried potato topped with puréed mussels, pickled red onion and lovage powder, and cured scallops and lightly fermented buttermilk teaming up with herb oil and dried cavolo nero. Among the bigger dishes you'll find "risi and corn", a rich and cheesy dish of charred fresh corn kernels, both fermented and fresh corn juice, pecorino and plenty of black pepper.

It's a Scandi-ish space, without getting too wearyingly ascetic about it, and there's plenty of room to grow, with a rear courtyard potentially in the works and the upstairs to be turned by September into a - well, they won't say, but watch this space. Vive la Liberty.

Bar Liberty, 234 Johnston Street, Fitzroy; kitchen open Wed-Sat 5pm-11pm, Sun noon-9pm; bar open until 1am Mon-Sat, 11pm on Sundays.

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