The Christmas issue

Our December issue is out now, featuring Paul Carmichael's recipes for a Caribbean Christmas, silly season cocktails and more.

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Mango recipes

Nothing says summer like mangoes. Go beyond the criss-cross cuts - bake a mango-filled meringue loaf with lime mascarpone, start off the day with a sweet coconut quinoa pudding with sticky mango, or toss it through a spicy warm weather Thai salad.

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.

Shark Bay Wild Scampi Caviar

Bright blue scampi roe is popping up on menus across Australia. Here's why it's so special.

Dark chocolate delice, salted-caramel ganache and chocolate sorbet

"The delice from Source Dining is a winner. May I have the recipe?" Rebecca Ward, Fitzroy, Vic REQUEST A RECIPE To request a recipe, email or send us a message via Facebook. Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address. Please note that because of the volume of requests we receive, we can only publish a selection in the magazine.

Koh Loy Sriracha Sauce, David Thompson's favourite hot sauce

When the master of Thai food pinpoints anything as his favourite, we sit up and listen.

Paul Carmichael's great cake

"Great cake, also known in Barbados as black cake or rum cake, is a variation of British Christmas cake that's smashed with rum and falernum syrup," says Momofuku Seiobo chef Paul Carmichael. "This festive cake varies from household to household but they all have two things in common: tons of dried fruit and rum. It's a cake that should be started at least a month out so the fruit can marinate in the booze. Start this recipe up to five weeks ahead to macerate the fruit and baste the cake."

Gifts under $100 at our pop-up Christmas Boutique

Whether it's a hand-thrown pasta bowl, a bottle of vodka made from sheep's whey or a completely stylish denim apron, our pop-up Christmas Boutique in collaboration with gift shop Sorry Thanks I Love You has got you covered in the $100 and under budget this Christmas.

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.

Paloma Picasso's Marrakech

Paloma Picasso in Marrakech

Paloma Picasso in Marrakech

Jewellery designer Paloma Picasso fell so in love with "the landscape, the colours… the designs and the beautiful blue skies" of Marrakech that in 2006, she and her husband Dr Eric Thévenet decided to call it home. Today, the city plays a vital role in her work, with the olive groves around her house serving as inspiration for some of her designs for Tiffany & Co. We caught up with Ms Picasso to find out where she eats, shops and passes the time in the ochre city.

Describe a typical day in Marrakech for you.
The wonderful thing about our daily life here is it's hard to predict what's going to happen. There really is no such thing as a typical day. Every day is different: we swim, we cycle, we play tennis, good friends may pay a visit. The favourable weather helps keep options open.

What would you recommend every visitor to Marrakech must do?
Of course, one must experience the medina for its ancient charm and frenetic energy. Visit the ironmongers in the souk to experience traditional craftsmanship. The colourful mountains of spices and olives that line the souk are also very beautiful, not to mention the delicious dates, figs and numerous carts selling fresh orange juice. For centuries the souk has been the meeting place for Marrakechi - it's the magical spirit of Marrakech. Another fascinating place is the Majorelle Gardens (Rue Yves Saint Laurent), designed by French artist Jacques Majorelle. He came here in the early 1900s and was spellbound [by Marrakech]. His fascination with the city, and other places in Morocco, is reflected in the colourful landscapes he painted. [The gardens] were lovingly restored by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé.

Where are your favourite places to eat?
Eric and I occasionally go into the medina for tea at La Terrasse des Épices or go to the Beldi Country Club on the road to the dam for a change of scenery.

How about special occasions - where do you celebrate?
We'd normally go to Riad Madani. This is owned by our dear friends and it's a smaller, more boutique hotel than some of the famous larger ones, but no less elegant or charming. Here, we have delicious food surrounded by beautiful décor and artefacts from around the world.

Where do you shop in the city?
The medina offers wonderful shopping experiences if one can avoid the tourist traps. Mustapha Blaoui (142-144 Bab Doukkala, Marrakech) is definitely a favourite of ours for décor and also just for the experience of being in what appears like Aladdin's Cave. In the Gueliz we rely on Scènes de Lin for luxurious special orders of linen and tabletops.

Are there places worth investigating in the countryside?
Absolutely. A daytrip to the quaint town of Ouirgane in the Atlas Mountains is a nice way to enjoy the countryside. Visiting the Atlas Mountains will also give you an opportunity to experience the Berber culture. Another idea would be to go to Essaouira on the coast. That's the fabulous thing about Marrakech - within a couple of hours' drive you can either be high in the mountains or down by the sea.

Where's the best place to stay?
The iconic La Mamounia remains a classic in the great tradition of old-world luxury hotels, and it's nicely located near the medina. There's also the elegant Royal Mansour Hotel.

In what way does the city influence you creatively?
My Zellige jewellery range was directly inspired by the geometric shapes and intricate patterns that can be found throughout Marrakech. One can find the patterns, for example, in the tiles adorning fountains or in the beaded tassels seen throughout the medina. I've used these lattices, patterns and shapes to design medallion and tassel pendants, bangles, rings and earrings. Another one of my collections, Villa Paloma, was also inspired in many ways by Marrakech and the Moroccan countryside, particularly by the lush flowers and vegetation, fountains, terraces and the golden light of a desert oasis. The garden is a gateway to nature. I wanted to create jewellery that captures the infinite beauty and diversity of the area's gardens.

What is the inspiration for the Olive Leaf collection?
The [Olive Leaf] collection is inspired by the olive branch as a symbol of peace, abundance and longevity. It captures elements from the olive groves surrounding my home in Morocco - a place of serenity - and also represents a link to my name. "Paloma" means dove in Spanish, and most people are familiar with the symbolic image of the dove carrying an olive branch as a peace offering. The jewellery I've created pays tribute to both the dove's noble mission and gardens as a refuge of peace and tranquility.


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