The February issue

Our clean eating issue is out now, packed with super lunch bowls, gluten-free desserts and more - including our cruising special, covering all luxury on the seas.

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Recipes by Christine Manfield
21.02.2017

As the '90s dawned, darling chefs were pushing the boundaries of cooking in this country. A young Christine Manfield, just starting out at this heady time, soon became part of the generation that redefined modern Australian cuisine. She shares some of her timeless signatures from the era.

Cirrus, Sydney review
20.02.2017

Cirrus moves the Bentley team down to the water and into more lighthearted territory without sacrificing polish, writes Pat Nourse.

How to grow rocket
20.02.2017

A vegetable patch without rocket lacks a great staple, according to Mat Pember. The perennial performer is a leaf for all seasons.

50BestTalks brings World’s best chefs to Sydney and Melbourne
16.02.2017

Massimo Bottura and more are coming to the Sydney Opera House.

Toby Wilson, Sean McManus and Jon Kennedy to open Bad Hombres
16.02.2017

Expect Mexican-Asian flavours and an all-natural wine list from two of Sydney’s edgier operators.

Local Knowledge: Moscow
16.02.2017

Director of Shakespeare theatre company Cheek by Jowl Declan Donnellan walks us through the essential sights and his favourite cafes and restaurants of his hometown.

On the Pass: Danielle Rensonnet
16.02.2017

Bellota chef Danielle Rensonnet talks us through the current menu at the restaurant and her favourite summer ingredients.

Melbourne's Tomato Festival is back in 2017
15.02.2017

Returning for another year, Melbourne’s Tomato Festival is ripe with cooking demonstrations, talks, and produce stalls dedicated to plump produce.

Philippa Sibley signs on at Syracuse

Philippa Sibley

Philippa Sibley

'What Philippa Sibley did next' has long been a game for Melbourne's restaurant-spotters. As peripatetic as she is highly regarded, in recent years Sibley revved up the crowds at Albert St Food & Wine and Prix Fixe before moving on again. But having signed on to turn around the food fortunes of glam CBD hangout Syracuse, Sibley says that this time she's there for a long time as well as a good time. "I have a positive feeling about this one."

A handsome Victorian bank renovated by Con Christopoulos and partners more than 20 years ago into the city's best looking wine bar, Syracuse has been owned since 2011 by husband and wife Richard and Nancy Moussi. Sibley says she's going to "go in with fresh eyes and rip the shit out of it. The room's beautiful and there's a huge bar area I want to put in an oyster bar with crabs, charcuterie, really Frenchy."

Syracuse might be named after a city in Sicily but Sibley will be sticking to her trademark broader remit of Mediterranean. "A bit French, a bit Italian. I can't be too Italian apart from the fact I can make a great risotto."

As befitting a chef typecast for her talent in patisserie, Sibley will be making a big dessert push as well. Don't expect to see her version of the Snickers, though - a creation aired on MasterChef that ended up proving a culinary albatross. In good news for lovers of her exceptional sorbets, however, she'll be "dragging my Pacojet along with me".

Sibley starts at Syracuse mid-May; in the meantime punters can get their hands on a small range of goods she's been working on over the past few months, including coconut-based dairy-free ice-creams and sorbets just released at Fredericks Fine Grocer in Richmond, and a chutney called Only A Ginger? (made from apricot, yellow tomatoes, yellow mustard and saffron, inspired by ginger-haired performer Tim Minchin). In the near future, you can also look out for a range of jerky including duck with mandarin, juniper and smoked almond. "Test batches were so delicious," says Sibley, "but I'm going to need a bigger dehydrator."

Syracuse, 25 Bank Pl, Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9670 1777, syracuserestaurant.com.au

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