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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.

Hot Plates: Igni opens in Geelong

On the table at Igni

On the table at Igni

It's been a while between drinks for fans of Aaron Turner's award-winning cuisine. Not that we've been without the chef's food since he closed Loam (a GT Regional Restaurant of the Year) in 2013. After almost two years in Tennessee, he returned to us to fry Nashville-style hot chicken, first at Belle's Hot Chicken in Fitzroy and then at the Hot Chicken Project in Geelong. It was something but it wasn't the same, particularly when we knew how inventive and skilful Turner could be with his flavour and texture combinations.

Now he's opened Igni and it's still not the same - it's better.

Turner has teamed up with two of his colleagues from Loam, Drew Hamilton and Jo Smith, and together they've fashioned a comfortably sophisticated little gem out of a nondescript building in the gritty backblocks of Geelong's CBD, mixing polished concrete and plywood with charcoal grey upholstery, abstract art and a wall of windows screened by sheer grey curtains. An open kitchen is dominated by a central charcoal grill that plays a central role in much of the menu.

Igni is dégustation only (five or eight courses, though that's more guide than absolute), and every table receives a different combination of dishes arranged after a conversation with the waitstaff. It's a situation that can quickly lead to dish-envy when you see your neighbours tucking into suckling pig cooked over charcoal and served with parsley-root purée and garlic shoots, but it's just as easy to be smug about your calamari, served raw, sliced into thin ribbons, tossed with saltbush berries and finished with a warm marron and chicken stock. The snacks that start the meal - a five-flavour punch of crisp saltbush leaves with vinegar powder, zucchini flowers stuffed with mussels, chicken skin topped with cod roe, house-made guanciale and dreamy, umami-laden beef jerky - are democratically supplied to every diner, dodging the potential inter-table warfare.

There's an agile and well-priced single-page wine list put together by Smith, who can also arrange a similarly well-priced wine matching, which usually includes labels not on the list. If you've been hearing the rumours that Geelong may be having a moment, Igni is the perfect excuse to go and see for yourself.

Igni, 2 Ryan Pl, Geelong, Vic, (03) 5222 2266; open Wed-Sat 6pm-11pm, Sat-Sun noon-4pm.

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