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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Grilled apricot salad with jamon and Manchego

Here we've scorched apricots on the grill and served them with torn jamon, shaved Manchego and peppery rocket leaves. Think of it as a twist on the good old melon-prosciutto routine. The mixture would also be great served on charred sourdough.

Farro recipes

Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.

2017 Australian Hotel Awards: The Finalists

This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.

Chorizo recipes

Where would Spanish cuisine be without the chorizo? This versatile smallgood lends its big flavours to South American stews, soups, and salads, not to mention the ultimate hot dog. Let the sizzling begin.

Hunter Valley NSW travel guide

Our guide to the best of the region.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

Pea and ham soup

Aløft

There's nothing new about Nordic interiors - blond timbers, concrete surfaces, warm, mid-century charm without the twee - and thank heavens for that. It's a style that augments the beauty of everything around it, in this case, gorgeous Hobart harbour, which makes up one whole wall. What is new here, however, is the food - by veterans of Garagistes, which once dazzled diners down the road, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Gordon Ramsay worldwide. There's a strong Asian bent, but with Tasmanian ingredients. In fact, the kitchen's love of the local verges on obsessive - coconut milk in an aromatic fish curry is replaced with Tasmanian-grown fig leaf simmered in cream to mimic the flavour. Other standouts include a gutsy red-braised lamb with gai lan and chewy cassia spaetzle, pigs' ears zingy with Sichuan pepper and a fresh, springy berry dessert. While the food is sourced locally, the generous wine list spans the planet. 

Club Concorde's supersonic flights

Illustration by Tom Bingham

Illustration by Tom Bingham

An ambitious vision for a new and affordable age of supersonic flight is taking off.

As inveterate travellers, Australians are easily seduced by the prospect of supersonic travel. Now entrepreneurs spruiking a son of Concorde are reviving the dream of transglobal flight with travel times halved.

There has been a flurry of high-flying talk recently. Aircraft manufacturer Airbus embarked on a "conceptual" study of sub-orbital "hypersonic" aircraft designs last year and another three consortia (not counting Club Concorde, a group aiming to revive the airline) are working on next-generation supersonic transport, tackling what is seen as the last major hurdle for conventional flight: a design that eliminates the sonic boom, a shock wave so destructive that flights faster than sound are currently banned over land.

But technological limits aside, Concorde was grounded primarily by its exorbitant fares.
Enter 35-year-old Silicon Valley entrepreneur Blake Scholl with a radically simple idea for supersonic flight made possible by technological advances achieved in the past 20 years. He has assembled a team of aerospace engineers and designers to create a smaller, lighter, faster and more fuel-efficient carbon-fibre version of the Concorde that he says will be profitable based on the equivalent of standard business-class fares. For instance, he envisages return fares between London and New York of $6,500, a quarter of Concorde's equivalent fare.

"The world is hungry for innovation in travel," says Scholl, a pilot and former Amazon web developer who founded Boom Technology in 2014 in Denver, Colorado. "We haven't gone faster for 50 years - not in a way that a lot of people can afford."

Boom aims to launch commercial flights on a 40-seat supersonic plane by the early 2020s. Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic announced in March it had taken options on 10 aircraft, while another European carrier wants to buy 15. One of Branson's subsidiaries, The Spaceship Company, will be involved in Boom Technology's certification program.

Scholl was barely an adult when Concorde was grounded in 2003, three years after it crashed in Paris, killing all 109 passengers and crew and four people on the ground. The end of Concorde coincided with an industry slump triggered by the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US in 2001.

"I started this company because I never got to fly on Concorde," Scholl says. "Even if I could have flown, I couldn't have flown routinely [because of the price]. And that's what I want to bring to the world."

Developed from a one-third scale model Boom aims to have flying next year, the company's supersonic jet will be aimed at the trans-Atlantic market operated by Concorde, but also trans-Pacific markets.

The company says all its trans-Pacific flights will involve one fuel stop. The plane's relatively small size means it won't fly non-stop from, say, San Francisco to Tokyo or LA to Sydney, but Scholl says it will be a Formula One-style pit-stop. "You land, you do a high-pressure refuel, you take off and everyone stays in their seats," Scholl says.

Even with the refuelling stop, Boom is pitching a flight from Sydney to LA of just six hours at Mach 2.2, or 2,335 kilometres an hour, more than halving the current flight times:13.5 hours to LA and up to 15 hours to Sydney - and for about $9,000 round trip.

In the much larger markets between the US west coast and Asia, flight times are even more appealing: San Francisco to Tokyo in as little as 4.7 hours, with a fuel stop, compared with about 11 hours now.

"If you look at long-haul business class, there are 20 million passengers who fly on routes that are mostly over water - trans-Pacific, trans-Atlantic. Plus Hong Kong to Sydney is a viable route," Scholl says. "It's a huge market - big enough to justify this airplane."

Scholl approaches supersonic flight as an accountant rather than as an enthusiast. "Our philosophy is to be very conservative in technology and markets," he says. "We're not assuming any market growth. We're no assuming any price premium on supersonic or any regulatory change. The more conservative we are, the faster we can get this thing to market."

Scholl wants to change the world. "Most people alive today didn't live through the last speed-up," he says. "They forget what happens when you make the world smaller and how it changes business or personal relationships... It's hard to predict ahead of time how that would change the world, but we know for sure that it will."

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