Last year Gourmet Traveller opened its first bricks-and-mortar store in collaboration with one of our favourite shops, Sydney's Sorry Thanks I Love You. We loved bringing the pages of the magazine to life (and the fact we extended it by more than a week tells us you loved it, too.) But a year on, how could we possibly top the 40-plus Australian makers we featured last year? You go twice the size and recruit some of the country's most influential tastemakers to lend a hand.
Opening on 20 November and running until Christmas Eve, this year's Christmas boutique will celebrate the work of the country's best chefs, producers, distillers and makers. And even better, it will pop up at two Sorry Thanks I Love You boutiques: at The Rocks and Martin Place. And those not in Sydney, fear not: the entire range will be available to purchase online from 20 November.
This year we're tightening our focus on cooking and eating in the lead-up to Christmas with a selection of our favourite kitchen staples and treats. Small-batch and limited-edition are still the names of the game: from Malfroy's Gold honey, Mörk hot chocolate and PS40's house-made sodas to Eat Me chutneys, LP's smoked maple syrup and New Farm Confectionery chocolate baubles. Familiar favourites such as Continental Deli's salted caramel, T Totaler teas and handmade chocolate from Sue Lewis and Sweet Stone will be back - along with specialty goods from pop-up first-timers Reuben Hills coffee, Ciccone & Sons gelateria and Seedlip.
We've also recruited winners from the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards to nominate their choice of makers and producers, so everything has a story to tell - whether it's the Alto olive oil chosen by chef Danielle Alvarez from our New Restaurant of the Year, Fred's, or the delicate Zalto glassware that our Sommelier of the Year, Caitlyn Rees, can't live without. Best New Talent winner, Josh Niland, shares his secret weapon, too: the stainless-steel fish weight and Olsson's salt he uses day in, day out at Saint Peter. And Restaurant of the Year chef Jock Zonfrillo, of Orana, rounds up a couple of talented Barossa winemakers.
But the fun doesn't stop there. You'll find boutique spirits from Four Pillars Gin, Bar Liberty, The Everleigh Bottling Co and Adelaide Hills Distillery (plus plenty of other natural wines from DRNKS), alongside small-batch preserves from Melbourne's Meatsmith, Sydney's Cornersmith and more. There'll be a calendar of tastings, workshops and special events, too.
Some of the producers are established names, others are emerging, but every item has been tried and tested by the Gourmet Traveller team. Soon they'll be under the one roof and ready to take their place on your table.
The GT x Sorry Thanks I Love You Christmas Boutique runs from Monday 20 November to Sunday 24 December at Sorry Thanks I Love You, 140 George St, The Rocks, NSW, and Sorry Thanks I Love You, GPO Building, ground floor, No 1 Martin Pl, Sydney, NSW. Or shop online at sorrythanksiloveyou.com/gourmettraveller