Restaurant News

Chefs on the grill

We asked 65 of Australia’s leading chefs what they were throwing on the barbie this summer. Forget corn cobs and charred sausages – here’s what they had to say.

1Ben Russell, Aria, Brisbane I love cuttlefish on the barbie. With some chorizo sausage, lemon juice and chopped parsley it rocks. Serve it with parmesan croûtons if you want to get really fancy.

When Spanish mackerel is around I love to simply grill a piece along with some wedges of fennel and serve it with some toasted almonds, capers and a splash of verjuice. And I'll be taking a  piece of pork neck, brining it overnight in cider, golden syrup and a little salt, cooking it slowly for a few hours on the barbie and serving it with some char-grilled apples and rocket leaves.

2Peter Doyle, Est, Sydney I'll be grilling red and yellow capsicums, removing their skins, mixing them with Niçoise olives and olive oil and serving them with grilled pork and fennel sausages drizzled with salmoriglio.

3Greg Malouf, MoMo, Melbourne I have an old Turkish favourite in mind: lamb's liver skewered with sumac and Turkish black chilli, grilled then wrapped in Arabic bread with parsley and lemon. I'll also be cooking mushrooms in foil with shankleesh cheese and spring onions, or fresh baby octopus on the grill with ras el hanout spice mix and garlic paste.

4Brigitte Hafner, Gertrude Street Enoteca, Melbourne I do a lot of seafood in summer, such as squid marinated in kecap manis and fish sauce. Grill the squid and toss it with a green papaya and mint salad. Oily fish such as kingfish or red mullet is perfect char-grilled with a paste of fresh green chilli, tomato and coriander. Or marinate chicken in ground white pepper and coriander seeds, grill it, toss it in a salad of Chinese cabbage and dress it with sesame oil and soy.

5Robert Marchetti, Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, Sydney This year I'm making double-smoked bacon out of my Berkshire pigs. I'll be grilling rashers that are a bit more than an inch thick over wood coals and eating them with lots of hot mustard. Yum! For dessert it'll be leftover panettone, sliced and grilled till the butter melts, dusted with icing sugar and dunked in an Espresso Martini. Naughty! (And then at the end of January I'll be spending my afternoons cleaning all the burnt sugar and blackened bacon fat from the barbie to work off the kilos I've put on.)

6Neil Perry, Rockpool group, Sydney and Melbourne Grill chicken legs and king prawns and toss together with spring onion and coriander for an awesome salad. Make a spicy dressing of chilli oil, sesame paste, sesame seeds and oil, soy, black vinegar, a touch of sugar, ginger and garlic. Toss the lot together and serve. Delicious.

And I can't keep my favourite fish off the grill this summer. Gently grill some Coorong yelloweye mullet fillets, and pound together Chinese black olives, black beans and salted radish, adding oil and rice vinegar, then drizzle it over the fish. Yum.

7Mark Best, Marque, Sydney Cut the backbone out of the best chook you can afford, flatten the bird out and soak it for 12 hours in brine (about five per cent brown sugar and five per cent salt). Fire up the Weber with hardwood charcoal and grill the chook bone-side down for 40 minutes, and prepare to weep. I also shuck extra-large green-lip abalone, season them with Murray River salt, pepper and licorice root, wrap them in wakame and then chill them for 24 hours. I take them out of the fridge, throw them on the barbie for five a side, then slice 'em thin and get 'em in.

I'll also be filleting a spanking fresh bonito and grilling each quarter skin-side down. Slice it and serve with freshly pickled ginger and Tasmanian wasabi root.

8Shannon Bennett, Vue de Monde, Melbourne I love merguez sausage meat taken out of its casing and mixed with caramelised onions, tomato sauce and Dijon mustard, then wrapped in pizza dough like a pasty. If you've got the luxury, throw them into a woodfired oven. But failing that, you can put them onto a flat plate in a Weber and cook them like gyoza. Cheese is optional.

If I'm cooking for large numbers, doing things en papillote (aka cooked in a tinfoil pouch) is a definite winner. Try a combination of fresh prawns and fish with shaved fennel herbs, lemon juice and butter.

I like broccoli and cauliflower stems cut lengthways so they look like profiles of trees, cooked over charcoal for two minutes on each side then doused in loads of lemon dressing and chopped tarragon to serve as a side with poultry or game - especially squab pigeon.

9Adriano Zumbo, pâtissier, Sydney I'll be soaking long slices of fresh pineapple in light palm sugar and lime juice and char-grilling them on the barbie. Try serving them on a fresh coriander purée with young coconut sorbet and shaved frozen mango drizzled lightly with chilli oil.

I'm into boiling sweetcorn in the husk with a few saffron threads then pulling off the husk and char-grilling the corn on a hot barbie and basting it with vanilla butter till it's toasty, then seasoning it with salt and pepper.

10Anthony Puharich, Victor Churchill and Vic's premium Quality Meat, Sydney I'll be caramelising some fresh figs and teaming them with spiced veal liver that's been cooked rare on the barbie. It's also pretty hard to beat a good peppered flank steak (the French call it bavette) with thick-cut duck-fat chips.

I love to butterfly a leg of lamb, marinate it in lemon and salt for a few hours, barbecue it medium-rare and dish it up to friends with a fresh simple tomato, herb and feta salad.

11Brent Savage, Bentley Restaurant & Bar, Sydney For me, barbies are all about the seafood: charred octopus with almond skordalia and fried basil or grilled whole sardines on grilled bread with yoghurt, dill and cucumber. And, of course, there's always grilled pimientos de Padrón deglazed with sherry and garlic for the vegevores.

12Aaron Turner, Loam, Drysdale I love garfish barbecued whole and served with a freekah, parsley and lemon salad. Or cuttlefish on the char-grill in loads of fresh chilli, served in a fresh baguette smothered with aïoli.

For a summer barbie, nothing beats whole squab marinated in black vinegar, ginger and garlic slowly grilled over smoking olive wood. I'll also be tossing cuttlefish on the char-grill in loads of fresh chilli, to serve in a fresh baguette smothered with aïoli. Try flash-fried abalone with a chopped salad of cucumber, tomato and garden herbs. Or charred young asparagus with coddled egg, capers and anchovies: easy. And grilled cantaloupe, ricotta and wild fennel makes a fantastic summer salad.

13Jowett Yu, Ms G's, Sydney This summer I'll be grilling thin slices of ox tongue and serving them with wedges of lemon and a Korean dipping sauce of sesame oil, pepper and salt.

14Peter Gilmore, Quay, Sydney I'll be cooking a lot of whole fish over the summer: I encase them in rock salt and wakame, wrap the lot in foil, and cook them on the barbie.

I'm also planning on building a wood-fired pizza oven in the back yard so I don't have to travel too far for a good Margherita.

15Teage Ezard, Ezard and Gingerboy, Melbourne I'll be serving barbecued pork belly that's been marinated in Shaoxing wine, garlic, ginger, star anise, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and Sichuan pepper. It'll be teamed up with caramelised barbecued honeycrisp apples, fresh spring onion and ginger.

16Ayhan Erkoc, Celsius, Adelaide Grill some yabbies and cucumber (yes, cucumber) and plate them up with a salad of radish and parsley. For something sweet afterwards, try grilling some fresh apricots; slice them and make a salad with shavings of halva, pistachios and top it all with yoghurt sorbet.

Slow-roast a lamb leg in the Weber and then carve it up with potatoes cooked in the coals and a red onion and sumac salad.

17Tony Tan, Unlimited Cuisine Company, Melbourne How about smoky eggplant laced with crushed sesame seeds, a smear of gochujang (the Korean chilli paste) and lime teamed with a slab of Chinese-style roast pork with crackling? And, if you fancy, you can wrap them in lettuce, rice paper or bread.

I'll also be smothering a whole snapper with coconut, chopped tomato, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin and coriander seeds and grilling it over banana leaves. Any table salad, especially tomato, pineapple chunks and mint, with this dish is delish.

I love a slab of seriously aged steak salted and grilled over vine cuttings, served with pimentos de Padrón and tempranillo so I can fantasise I'm back at Etxebarri.

This summer, I'm grilling bug tails drenched in tamarind, palm sugar and spring onion oil and serving them with chunks of mango and lime. Another good one for the grill is rum-spiked mango cheeks and toasted coconut ice cream.

18Dan Hunter, Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld Out our way it's hard to beat a flank of Greenvale Homestead beef. I go with sesame oil, soy, mirin, a bit of brown sugar, chopped spring onion, loads of garlic, grated radish and a squeeze of lemon and lime. Before you barbecue the meat, let it sit at room temperature for a few hours to absorb the marinade.

Fish-wise, when the boys from Robe are driving through Dunkeld on their way to drop southern rock lobsters at Tullamarine we occasionally get one. These are split lengthways, rubbed with a mixture of olive oil, cider vinegar, garlic and parsley and cooked through on the flesh. We usually drown them again in the refrito before serving.

19Tim Pak Poy, The Wharf Restaurant, Sydney Mushrooms are a must: grill them cap-side down to retain their juice then toss them with lightly charred spring onion and soy.

I'm doing summer vegetables from the growers' market: grill whole red capsicum and eggplant, peel them and then dress and eat them while they're still warm. Skewers are great too - wrap prosciutto around cherry tomatoes and alternate them with snowpeas.

20Warren Turnbull, Restaurant Assiette and District Dining, Sydney I'm particularly interested in Middle Eastern spice mixes at the moment, so this summer I'll be grilling spatchcocked quail seasoned with ras el hanout and serving it with a peach and saffron chutney.

I'll also be barbecuing green harissa prawns and wrapping them in grilled flatbread with haloumi and a spring onion and mint salsa.

21Richard Ptacnik, Otto, Sydney Ideas for barbecuing at my place include lobster with garlic and black-pepper butter served with a salad of grilled zucchini, fennel, tomatoes, capsicum and basil.

I'm a fan of pepper-crusted wagyu Scotch fillet plated up with grilled tomatoes, radicchio, balsamic and buffalo mozzarella.

22Andrew McConnell, Cutler & Co and Cumulus Inc, Melbourne Order a kilo of chicken wings from your butcher - ask for the middle section only (no wing tip, no little attachment joint) - and put these in a freezer bag along with a tablespoon of vegetable oil and sweet soy, two teaspoons of salt, a teaspoon of white pepper and some smashed coriander roots if you have them. Massage the wings through the bag, coating each piece well, then suck the air out of the bag and tie it off with a double knot. Leave it for a few hours to marinate before placing it in a steamer, bag and all. Steam for an hour and a half, then put it in the fridge to cool until you're ready to grill (this can all be done the day before). Grill the wings over a low heat until they're golden-caramel and crisp; the meat should fall off the bone. If you can't be bothered steaming the chicken wings, by all means skip this step - they're almost as delicious simply marinated and grilled.

23Danny Russo, The Italian Kitchen & Bar, Sydney Coming from an Italian family there's always tonnes of panettone left over from Christmas, so I like to make a grilled panettone sandwich. Char-grill some halved ripe figs until they're caramelised and slip them between slices of lightly grilled panettone with a good serve of vanilla gelato. Then say hello to the gym in the new year.

Or how about ripe figs cut in half and wrapped up in fatty pancetta and grilled on the flat plate until the pancetta starts to crisp and then place on a platter with some fresh radicchio and drizzle with truffled honey? Or fresh yabbies split in half and marinated with lemon zest and fresh herbs, grilled and served with grilled peach and watercress salad with Trebbiano dressing and a splash of oil? A great summer dish.

Ripe peaches cut into wedges and drowned in chilled red wine are always a barbie favourite of mine. Or you could marinate pork spare ribs with fennel seeds, cumin, garlic, oil and lots of love for 24 hours, then slow-cook them on the barbie and serve them with a fennel and rocket salad for something really finger-lickin' good.

24Christopher Whitehead, Mad Cow, Sydney I'll be marinating flat-iron steak (oyster blade with the sinew removed) with chimichurri, grilling it rare and serving it thinly sliced with a jicama, chilli and lime salad.

For dessert, I'll be scoffing my version of espresso martinis - coffee granita, crème de cacao cream, coffee liqueur ice-cream and chocolate coffee shards.

25Cheong Liew, Botanical, Melbourne Rub calamari with turmeric and black pepper, flame it and serve it with lime and coconut milk and pawpaw salad.

I'll also be flame-grilling black pig belly marinated with orange liqueur, lemongrass, and caramel, serving it with herb salad and green dragon chilli sauce in a focaccia. For dessert it'll be grilled finger bananas on skewers with palm sugar syrup and durian ice-cream.

26Vince La Montagna, Vincenzo's Cucina Vera, Adelaide Summer! I'm looking forward to a day of dry-aged chital venison loin chops with juniper salt ash-grilled on olive branches and finished with fresh thyme and a drizzle of aged balsamic. Perhaps before the venison, some local Gulf St Vincent king prawns skewered with rosemary cuttings and wrapped in my house-cured black pig pancetta. I'll roast them over hot ash with extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt and maybe a squeeze of citrus.

27Lauren Murdoch, Bistro Felix, Sydney I'm going to be grilling cuttlefish and tossing it with some anchovies, chilli, garlic, sherry vinegar, lots of parsley and rocket and a good olive oil.

28Alla Wolf-Tasker, Lake House, Daylesford I'll be barbecuing flapping fresh trout from just down the road. It's wonderful with a smear of pesto in the cavity, a drizzle of fruity local olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Wrap it in foil and whack it onto the barbie for around eight or 10 minutes. Turn once, and it's ready when the dorsal fin pulls out easily. I'll pair it with a salsa of roughly chopped very ripe local heirloom tomatoes, a few caperberries and a robust dressing.

29Jeremy Strode, Bistrode, Sydney On a lazy summer day Jane [Strode] and I will be wrapping whole whiting in a parchment paper bag, adding fresh herbs, lemon and olive oil and baking it on the barbie. Accompanied, of course, by a glass of our favourite rosé.

30James Hird & Todd Garratt, Buzo, Sydney Throw cleaned mussels marinated in paprika and garlic and parsley stalks onto the barbie's flat grill on raging heat then deglaze generously with manzanilla sherry. Eat the mussels off the grill as they open, and cool your palate and fingers with the remaining ice-cold manzanilla.

A barbie for the Buzo crew involves paella: some Calasparra rice, chorizo, mussels, onion and garlic, white wine simmered over a wood fire. A glass of albariño and you're done. We also love to throw beer-braised beef short ribs over the open flame, glazing them with cooking liquor and sherry vinegar. With a longneck of Reschs, they're gold.

31Dan Hong, Lotus, Sydney I'll be slathering skate wings with sambal belacan, wrapping them in foil and chucking them on the grill. Serve them with a squeeze of lime and a cucumber and coriander salad.

32Kurt Sampson, Pata Negra, Perth I'm barbecuing asparagus, dressing it with lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil, and tossing it with medjool dates, parsley and flat-grilled haloumi.

So far this summer I've been grilling large slabs of Stockyard sirloin rubbed with berbere, the Ethiopian spice mix, serving it with toum and a piquillo, red onion and tomato salad.

33Mark McNamara, Appellation, Marananga I'm all about flat-iron steaks (preferably wagyu) cut from the oyster blade fillet, simply seasoned, grilled rare on a flat plate and served with a salad of cannellini beans, flat-leaf parsley, a little shallot and a good drizzle of new-season's olive oil.

34Guy Grossi, Grossi Florentino, Melbourne I've just finished my kitchen reno at home and the outside barbie area is probably the highlight; it has a built-in woodfired pizza oven. I'll be drinking chardonnay and marinating baby octopus with chilli, garlic, lemon and parsley. Flame it quickly, and eat it with some radicchio and crusty bread.

35Shinichi Maeda, Sake, Brisbane I'll go fishing and I'll season the fillets of the bonito I catch with salt and pepper, marinate them with sesame oil, then lightly grill both sides - just enough to get some colour. I'll mix together dark soy, finely chopped ginger, garlic and red chilli, then cut the bonito into bite-sized pieces, drizzle them with the sauce and some finely cut spring onion, and put some lime on the side. Too easy!

I don't know anything easier than the traditional barbecue style in my home town in  Hokkaido. Just place a fresh fish fillet (we use mackerel) on some foil, season it with sake or beer, and top it with roughly cut summer vegetables such as spring onion, cabbage, asparagus, okra or onion. Cover the fish and vegetables with a mixture of white miso paste, roughly chopped ginger, garlic, and chilli, fold the foil to seal and cook it on the barbie. For dessert, mix white miso and sugar with enough water to make a sweet dipping sauce. Cut fresh figs in half, dip them in the sauce then grill on the barbie - just enough to add a warm and smoky flavour. Squeeze lemon on top. You won't be able to stop at one.

36David Swain, Fino, Willunga This summer my sons and I intend to chuck Japanese-inspired skewers of eel and tommy ruff (aka Australian herrings) over hot charcoal and then serve them with daikon, mustard greens and homemade teriyaki sauce.

37Guillaume Brahimi, Guillaume at Bennelong, Sydney Lay out a large piece of foil, place a two-kilo piece of snapper on top, then cover with olives, quartered fennel bulbs, diced potatoes and tomatoes, a couple of bay leaves, a bunch each of thyme and basil, a clove of garlic, salt and pepper, and finally drizzle the snapper with olive oil before wrapping it and cooking it on the grill over medium-high heat for 25 minutes. Enjoy it washed down with a crisp Australian sauvignon blanc.

38Jacques Reymond, Jacques Reymond, Melbourne I take prawns with their shells left on and cover them with palm oil, chilli, garlic and ginger and simply grill them on banana leaves. For dessert I like halved figs, slightly salted and peppered, grilled on the flat-top of the barbecue, then put in a salad bowl with mint, coriander, crème de cassis, Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise and coffee granita.

I like a two-kilo piece of beef rump marinated with oyster sauce, soy sauce, garlic, onion and bay leaves for half an hour then cooked on a char-grill on a low heat for 45 minutes.

39James Privett, The Cut Bar & Grill, Sydney How about whole sardines gutted and stuffed with preserved lemon and thyme, then wrapped in vine leaves and grilled till the vine leaves go crisp and take on a flavour like fried capers? Serve with extra-virgin olive oil, good bread and a ripe tomato, radicchio and celery leaf salad.

40Christine Manfield, Universal, Sydney My favourite summer salad: cook eggplants whole over hot coals, peel when blackened, chop flesh with garlic, ginger, chilli and coriander leaves and season with salt and lime juice.

A summer favourite of mine is marinating small squid in satay spice paste, enough to just coat the squid, and cooking it briefly over hot coals, serving it with an Asian-style coleslaw.

Split a whole organic chicken down its backbone and open it out, rub oil, sea salt and lots of cracked black pepper over it and place it skin-side down over the heat, then sit a baking tray with a couple of bricks on top to flatten it out while it cooks. Looks like road-kill, tastes divine.

41Giovanni Pilu, Pilu at Freshwater, Sydney I love char-grilled thickly cut sourdough bread topped with roasted cherry tomatoes and drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil - the kids love it, too.

42Matt Stone, Greenhouse, Perth
Marron simply split and barbecued and served with nahm jim and a green mango salad is a real crowd-pleaser.

43Shaun Presland, Sake, Sydney I'll be planking this summer. I soak 20cm x 40cm planks of cedar (or whatever other timber smells good; untreated of course) in water during the morning. I season gutted-and-scaled whole baby trout with equal parts soy, sake and mirin for 20 minutes, then put the fish on the planks ribs-side down with the belly sides splayed to hold them up. I heat my Weber up with the coals piled in the middle and put these fish-laden planks on either side of the coals so the fish cook with indirect heat. Whack the lid on and give them 20 minutes. The wood imparts its flavour by heating up (reaching a temperature just under the flame point), and the fish cooks beautifully. The best thing about this dish is the plank goes straight to the table from the barbie, with the addition of lemon cheeks, a splash of soy and some grated daikon on the way. You can throw some micro-herbs over the top if you feel that the world is not green enough. In a perfect world, the planks are washed and dried in the sun to be soaked and used another day. Oh, and wear some tough oven mitts or have sturdy barbecue tongs at hand.

44Greg Doyle, Pier, Sydney I baste a nice piece of tuna with chermoula, grill it on the barbecue, and serve it with a salad of raw zucchini, red cabbage and chervil dressed with white balsamic. For dessert I dust freshly sliced pineapple and peach halves with icing sugar and grill them on the barbie until they're caramelised. I put a big dollop of vanilla ice-cream on top, and another dusting of icing sugar, and splash them with Campari to add a bit of zing.

45Russell Blaikie, Must Winebar, Perth; Must Margaret River, Margaret River I do a summer stint every year at Must Margaret River. I stay with my family at a fabulous beach shack in Prevelly where I perch a large paella pan over the burners of the barbie to make a seafood paella that is shared (along with large quantities of serious wine) with about 20 friends. The backyard cricket always gets a little competitive around sundown.

I'll be sprinkling baharat spice on a boned and butterflied leg of David Hohnen's free-range Arkady lamb to put on the beach-house barbecue at Prevelly (while I'm working at Must Margaret River) accompanied by hordes of local friends and large quantities of serious wine.

46Lachlan Colwill & Emma Shearer, The Manse, Adelaide For our barbies we marinate pork ribs in Korean black bean, chilli and garlic, grill them and then sprinkle them with fresh chopped coriander to serve.

For dessert, what about bananas covered in sugar and grilled until they're caramelised, served with ginger ice-cream and fresh slices of dates?

47Eugenio Maiale, A Tavola and Omerta, Sydney This summer at my place it's all about luganega, the coiled Italian pork, fennel and orange sausage, cooked on my custom grill. The fat drips down onto the hot embers and returns in the form of smoke to flavour it - it goes great with radicchio and mustard pear. Of course, this all has to be done with an Italian beer in one hand.

48Michael Ryan, Provenance, Beechworth My partner Jeanette recently bought me a Japanese konro grill and some binchotan charcoal, so we've been doing some yakitori, home-style. I love using the konro - such an even, gentle, radiant heat. My favourite? Chicken skin. How can something so wrong be so right? It's just chicken skin on skewers, grilled slowly over some fine charcoal with some salt, some beer. Love it.

Grilled corn: soak the corn, still in its husk, in cold water for an hour. Put it on the grill and cook it for about half an hour or until the husks start to colour. Serve with butter of course, maybe even some sort of fancy compound butter.

49Nick Holloway, Nu Nu, Palm Cove Family faves would have to be big fat prawns, heads off, tails on, peeled and skewered, grilled over flame until just cooked and a bit smoky, then rolled in floral honey, fresh za'atar and lime juice while they're still sizzling.

50Daniel Wilson, Huxtable, Melbourne I'll be grilling pork chops and topping them with a salad of thinly sliced pickled white peaches, witlof and shiso, dressed with a hazelnut vinaigrette.

I'll also be rubbing skate with Malaysian curry paste, slapping it on the barbie then squeezing a lime over it and serving it with a wilted beanshoot and grated coconut sambal. I'll also be dusting fresh pineapple rings with chilli salt and then grilling them and topping them with a salad of prawns, pomelo, mint, lime and cashew nuts.

51Martin Benn, Sepia, Sydney Split some large marron, brush them with salty miso butter, cook them shell-side down on the bars, and keep basting them with the butter until the flesh is just cooked and translucent. Finish with fresh lime juice and a sprinkle of chives. Finger-licking good.

52Morgan McGlone, Flinders Inn, Sydney This summer I'm going to be on my balcony grilling chicken hearts Brazilian churrasco-style with vinaigrette and farofa (that's toasted manioc flour and bacon), slapping them on buttered baps, sipping on Bohemia cerveja and Capirinhas and listening to samba and Seu Jorge. Viva Brasil!

53Alfie Spina, Ash St Cellar, Sydney I'll be inviting the family over for an Italian Sunday barbecue. I'll be roasting capsicums on the open fire, and topping them with roasted tomato, anchovy and pangrattato.

I'll also be barbecuing wagyu rump-caps and serving them with rosemary roasted potatoes and salmoriglio, and doing marinated pork skewers with white beans and anchovy dressing.

54Alistair Wise, Sweet Envy, Hobart On the sweet side, we'll probably roast some peaches on the flat plate, maybe with some rapadura sugar for a little more shizzle, with loads of mint jelly, and a beer and raspberry sorbet.

The only thing I want in summer is meat: short-cut beef ribs marinated in beer and then dry-rubbed and slow-cooked on the grill with plenty of smoke. It has to have our mandatory barbecue sauce slathered all over the ribs to soften some of those crisp bits before you begin to gnaw at the bone. We only bother to make the sauce once the peaches and tomatoes are good, doing one huge pot to last the year (and to bribe a few people who like it enough to part with their brews for the meat component). 

55Jock Zonfrillo, Penfolds Magill Estate, Adelaide New Year's Day is a big day for the Weber at our house. To start, there'll be Kangaroo Island marrons split in half and topped with with a sea parsley, chilli and green olive butter.

56Scott Minervini, Lebrina, Hobart In my downtime I'm making thick pork and fennel sausages with chunky cubes of back fat that slowly melt into the meat over a slow barbecue - good with barbecued potatoes and wilted silverbeet.

57Nobuyuki Ura, Sushi E, Sydney What do I put on the barbie? Fresh lobster with a ginger and spring onion sauce, and richly marbled wagyu beef with a miso and soy sauce.

58Thomas Lim, Duke Bistro, Sydney I'll be keeping it magical by rubbing my skate wings with ras el hanout and char-grilling them with some scampi on the half shell, then dressing both in some spiced-tea butter while drowning myself in a few G & Ts. Living is grilling.

59Tetsuya Wakuda, Tetsuya's, Sydney I was recently at a winery in Tasmania where the winemaker also happened to be a diver and had some very fresh lobsters. We cut them in half, painted them with a little olive oil and put them on the hot grill shell-side down. When you smell the shell starting to burn - that crustacean smell - you tent them with some foil. Another two minutes and they'll be cooked perfectly. Take them off, put them on a plate with a small amount of salt and pepper, some lemon juice and some olive oil and they're done. It's the easiest thing ever, and so succulent.

60Luke Burgess, Garagistes, Hobart I'll be throwing smoked jack mackerel on the barbie and dipping them in mayo made with new-season garlic and savoury.

61Josh Emett, Maze, Melbourne I'll be caramelising a peeled whole pineapple, basting it with sweetened rum and vanilla bean as it cooks, and serving it with coconut ice-cream.

I like to grill garlic, chilli and parsley-slathered skewered king prawns quickly and then serve them with a salad of avocado and mango. Or halved quails marinated overnight in honey, soy and ginger, slow-roasted pink and served with light salad and plenty of spring onions.

Grilled gently on my barbie will be fantastic local green and white asparagus, enriched with hollandaise and served as a decadent starter. And I'm thinking amazing coloured baby peppers, blackened whole,  finished with olive oil and rock salt and eaten with a large steak.

62Martin Boetz, Longrain, Sydney & Melbourne I'll be poaching chicken Marylands in coconut cream flavoured with a little palm sugar and fish sauce, lemongrass and lime leaves for 20 minutes. I let them cool then grill them until they're golden and caramelised, and reduce the poaching liquid to use as a sauce with lime wedges on the side. I also grill small egg bananas - the small, sweet Thai variety - until they burst, then drizzle them with palm sugar syrup and coconut cream.

63Dan Puskas, Sepia, Sydney I love my old Weber. This summer I'll be using it to barbecue cured slimy mackerel, serving the fish with slices of grilled eggplant, feta, parsley, almonds, lemon and olive oil.

64Matt Moran, Aria, Brisbane & Sydney It's hard to beat tuna marinated in soy, chilli and coriander, char-grilled and served with roast capsicum, baby olives and salsa verde. Or Rangers Valley sirloin splashed with Australian extra virgin olive oil, quickly char-grilled on a hot barbecue and dressed with chimichurri.

65Simon Johnson, Simon Johnson stores nationally We're charring wagyu skirt and making the most divine Asian beef salad loaded with fish sauce.