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.

Taming the Wilderness

Heading to Canada’s far-flung places means a whole lot of adventure with life’s luxuries on the side.

Cooking breakfast like a chef

Direct from our Fare Exchange column and recipe vault, we've picked the best breakfast recipes from chefs cooking around Australia. From croque-monsieur to Paris Brest, you won't find poached eggs on toast here. All of the dishes are the perfect accompaniment to your morning coffee.

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."

Stay at Brae

A sketch of the suites at Brae

A sketch of the suites at Brae

Want to be among the first to have a sleepover at Brae? Bookings for the new suites at the award-winning restaurant in country Victoria open this week, with the rooms ready for their first occupants from the middle of February.

Owner-chef Dan Hunter is noticeably energised by the project. For starters, he's filled the gap that's been left wanting in the Brae business model - quality accommodation for diners who want to fully explore the killer wine list without having to negotiate the 90-minute drive back to Melbourne after dinner. But Hunter is also fired up by the prospect of the suites hewing so closely to his original vision for the Birregurra property.

"We never wanted the suites to be about statement architecture," he says. "But we did want the buildings to be beautiful and to be part of the landscape so that they reflect what we're doing in the restaurant."

James Legge from Six Degrees architects says that they wanted the buildings to "fold into the landscape", to frame the rural views and also be protected from the extreme weather the region experiences in both summer and winter.

Extensive landscaping and the use of materials such as bricks, timber and steel (which reflect the materials used in the original buildings on the property), plus environmentally friendly features like solar power and harvested rainwater mean the buildings sit lightly on the land.

The interiors are "warm and robust with a sense of luxury" and feature a skylight over the bed for star-watching, private outdoor areas, large bathrooms, cocktail bars replete with decanted spirits and cocktail recipes, fully stocked, temperature-controlled wine fridges, and turntables with a selection of vinyl (James Brown, Patti Smith, Dylan, Bowie and The XX in the mix).

Breakfast will be included with the accommodation and is geared around produce from the property and the idea that after the "massive food experience" of the night before, light, clean and healthy is the way to go.

Everything from bread and pastries to muesli will come from the restaurant's wood-fired ovens and there'll be house-cured meats, preserves made from produce growing in the fields and orchards, and house-made ricotta drizzled with Brae honey. Fresh juice and plunger coffee are also part of the deal, as is locally produced milk.

"I want it to feel a bit like a farm stay," says Hunter, "but with added luxury and a bit of adult fun."

Suites $515 for two per night including breakfast; off-peak rates are available midweek. Brae, 4285 Cape Otway Rd, Birregurra, Vic, (03) 5236 2226


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