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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Food-truck tribulations
29.03.2017

Chicken or pork? Kelly Eng takes on a food-truck challenge but fails to cement her millennial credentials.

Take me to the river
29.03.2017

For serial cruisers who have done the Danube and knocked off the Nile, less familiar waterways beckon.

Gourmet Institute is back for 2017
29.03.2017

Fire-up the stove, tie on your favourite apron and let’s get cooking, food fans. This year’s line-up is brimming with talent.

The Royal Mail Hotel is changing
28.03.2017

Executive chef Robin Wickens has a stronger influence at the Royal Mail Hotel's upcoming restaurant, slated to open later this year.

Adventuring along America's north-west rivers
28.03.2017

The rivers of America's north-west running through Washington state and Oregon form the arteries of epic landscapes and bold discovery routes. Emma Sloley follows in the wake of Lewis and Clark.

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.

Fast autumn dinners

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

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.

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.

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.

Lemon tart

It's really important to seal the pastry well to prevent any seepage during cooking, and to trim the pastry soon after cooking. Let the tart cool in the tin before removing it, or it will crack.

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.

Spelt cashew and broccoli bowl with yoghurt dressing

This nicely textured salad transports well, making it ideal for picnics or to take to barbecues. The broccoli can be kept raw and shaved on a mandolin, too.

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.

Murray River travel guide

The Murray is much more than just a dividing line between New South Wales and Victoria.

The Murray River, Australia's longest river and once a thriving commercial trade route, is now the lifeblood of a fertile agricultural region and a favourite playground of anglers and boaties. Vineyards, olive groves and acres of sunshine lend it a Mediterranean feel at times, but the pioneering spirit of the early settlers is always there, never more clearly than on a cruise downstream by century-old paddle steamer.

MILDURA

The Murray's best-known dining room is Stefano's at Quality Hotel Mildura Grand, where slow-food enthusiast Stefano de Pieri and chef Jim McDougall fashion sophisticated set menus from the finest seasonal and local produce. Stay overnight in one of the Mildura Grand's suites, and save room for a meal at the Spanish Bar and Grill. It's not Spanish at all, but it does serve rather good steaks cooked over red gum and mallee roots.

Mildura has a thriving festival scene for its size - listen out for the International Music Festival, Wentworth Arts Festival, the popular Mildura Writers' Festival, and the Jazz Food and Wine Festival.

DINE & WINE

There's good eating to be had along the river's route at farm-gate kiosks selling olive oil, fruits and vegetables, honey and cheeses. Get acquainted with the local producers at the Hume Murray Farmers' Market, held every second Saturday in the Victorian border city of Wodonga. In Echuca, book ahead at Oscar W's for a memorable meal overlooking the river and the world's largest paddlesteamer fleet. Taste delicacies such as Nanneella milk-fed veal and saltbush lamb from Womboota while enjoying one of the country's finer wine selections.

The riverland wine industry is growing more sophisticated with each vintage. Check its progress at Trentham Estate, a family-owned vineyard that produces consistently good value wines about 15 minutes from Mildura on the banks of the Murray. At the other end of the Victorian border, just outside Echuca, Cape Horn's boutique wines are backed by 150-years of Murray viticulture. Taste single grape varietals such as verdelho, shiraz and petit verdot  - not to mention their olive oil  - at Stevens Brook Estate in neighbouring Moama.

Detour off the Murray Valley Highway to visit Monichino Wines at Katunga, renowned for its Piedmontese-style barbera and other Italian varietals. East of here lies Rutherglen, famous for the quality of its fortified wines such as muscat and topaque, though local winemakers are also dab hands at chardonnay, shiraz, marsanne and sangiovese. 

ACTIVATE

Get an aerial view of Sunraysia's lakes and sunbaked plains with a dawn balloon flight over Mildura. There are myriad houseboat operators along the Murray, but few offer the chic finishes of Rich River Houseboats' eight-person Icon, or their Ultimate 1 and Ultimate 2 five-suite cruisers where even the bathrooms have floor-to-ceiling views.

For a closer, more relaxed look at river life, grab a canoe or kayak and paddle under your own steam.

There are no fewer than 41 listed golf courses along the Murray's length, from Victoria and New South Wales down to South Australia. The 18-hole championship course at the Murray Downs Golf and Country Club in Swan Hill is one of the best regarded; beware of water hazards.

This online feature was published on the Gourmet Traveller website in October 2012.


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