December, 2018

September, 2018

August, 2018

  • Cracking the code on cheffy terms

    28 August, 2018 Cracking the code on cheffy terms

    Sometimes fine-dining menus can seem like more of a maze than a relaxing pre-dining experience. Here, we breakdown some of the cheffy terms you’re likely to come across and include recipes so you can test them out at home.
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  • Cooking the classics

    27 August, 2018 Cooking the classics

    We consider those classic recipes we go back to time and time again.
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  • IGNI: The first year

    06 August, 2018 IGNI: The first year

    VIDEO: Acclaimed chef Aaron Turner's stirring account of love, loss and starting again.
    Read more…

May, 2018

February, 2018

  • How a chef cooks for those he loves

    13 February, 2018 How a chef cooks for those he loves

    Skipping the crowds in favour of a lovingly prepared meal at home is your best bet for a romantic Valentine’s Day. This is chef Jock Zonfrillo's idea of a nice night in.
    Read more…

January, 2018

December, 2017

October, 2017

September, 2017

  • Win a pro toastie pack

    18 September, 2017 Win a pro toastie pack

    Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this kit, including a no-mess Breville press, a copy of Darren Purchese's Chefs Eat Toasties Too and a subscription to Cooked.
    Read more…

August, 2017

July, 2017

June, 2017

  • Winter entertaining with Gill Meller

    08 June, 2017 Winter entertaining with Gill Meller

    Gill Meller is in the country, his first time to Australia, showcasing his beautiful book Gather with a series of dinners and classes. We caught up with him to find out what's on the menu for his Aussie guests.
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April, 2017

February, 2017

January, 2017

December, 2016

October, 2016

September, 2016

August, 2016

July, 2016

June, 2016

May, 2016

April, 2016

March, 2016

February, 2016

January, 2016

December, 2015

November, 2015

  • Christmas basics: the perfect custard

    27 November, 2015 Christmas basics: the perfect custard

    We're looking at those staple recipes that can make or break your Christmas spread. First up, the much-misunderstood sweet seductress, custard.
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  • Halfway Home

    16 November, 2015 Halfway Home

    I’ve been sugar-free for a total of two weeks, and things are going surprisingly well...
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  • Bubbles or nothing

    11 November, 2015 Bubbles or nothing

    Out to impress this party season? To take your entertaining game to the next level, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Halliday Wine Companion to share tips on matching sparkling wines to a range of show-stopping canapes.
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  • The anatomy of the perfect burger

    11 November, 2015 The anatomy of the perfect burger

    Looking for your next weekend challenge? Why not have a crack at making your own cheeseburgers from scratch? Chef Daniel Wilson shares the secret recipe to recreating his famed Huxtaburger, from bun to patty and everything in between.
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  • No Sugar November

    04 November, 2015 No Sugar November

    This month while the boys are growing staches, I’ll be growing a conscience about all the confectionary I consume.
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October, 2015

September, 2015

May, 2015

April, 2015

March, 2015

February, 2015

January, 2015

December, 2014

November, 2014

October, 2014

September, 2014

August, 2014

July, 2014

June, 2014

May, 2014

April, 2014

March, 2014

February, 2014

  • Margaret Fulton's expert guide to preserves

    27 February, 2014 Margaret Fulton's expert guide to preserves

    Jams, pickles, chutneys, sauces, compotes and conserves are the best way to preserve abundant produce so you can enjoy your fruit and veg all year round. Margaret Fulton shares her guide to the art of preserving.
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  • Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2014 | Our picks

    27 February, 2014 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2014 | Our picks

    The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, running from February 28 to March 16, begins in just over a week. We’ve put together our picks of the fest.
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  • Philippa Sibley's expert guide to sweet pastry

    24 February, 2014 Philippa Sibley's expert guide to sweet pastry

    Master of the dough Philippa Sibley shares her step-by-step guide to making sweet shortcrust pastry, taking you through everything you need to know to perfect the art of peerless pâte.
    Read more…

  • In season | Eggplant

    21 February, 2014 In season | Eggplant

    The unsung hero of the nightshade family, eggplant is found in cuisines the world over. From Sicily to South East Asia, the Middle East to the Mediterranean, many signature dishes feature the versatile aubergine. We sing the praises of the humble eggplant.
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  • Everything you need to know about cuts of pork

    17 February, 2014 Everything you need to know about cuts of pork

    Meat expert and chef Adrian Richardson explains the different cuts of pork, and what you should use them for.
    Read more…

  • Sticky business | A guide to meat on sticks

    14 February, 2014 Sticky business | A guide to meat on sticks

    Skewers, kebabs, shaslicks, yakitori … Whatever you call them, meat just tastes better when cooked on a stick. We share our tips to help you ace the skewers at your next barbecue.
    Read more…

  • In season | Figs

    06 February, 2014 In season | Figs

    Figs evoke the flavours of exotic decadence. Sweet and visually striking, figs make for a decadent tart topper, a sumptuous sticky jam or a delightful savoury venture with cold meats. We share some of our favourite fig recipes.
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  • Guide to styling handmade edible gifts

    05 February, 2014 Guide to styling handmade edible gifts

    There's nothing more thoughtful than a handmade edible gift. April Carter shares her tips and tricks for making beautiful and delicious treats for those you love.
    Read more…

January, 2014

December, 2013

November, 2013

The News Feed: The Fat Duck in Melbourne, meat on sticks in Sydney, whiskey in Perth

Claire Davie
17 September, 2014

The Fat Duck in Melbourne: scoring a table to be a game of chance

Photo by: Alisa Connan

It’s no secret that Heston Blumenthal is relocating his three Michelin-starred The Fat Duck in Melbourne for six months from next year. But now the details we’ve all been waiting for have been revealed: when does it open and how, exactly, do we snare a table?

Crown has named February 3 as day one for Heston’s first international restaurant. As to the booking system, it says anyone who would like a reservation will need to register for an online ballot. All available reservations for the restaurant’s entire six-month visit will be allocated through the ballot process. No further reservations will be added once successful applicants have been randomly selected and the ballot process complete.

The ballot website is and entries open on Monday October 8 at 9am (and close midnight Sunday October 26). Crown says that at the end of the registration period, an impartial third party will “indiscriminately select” successful applicants. And a note: whether you are first or last to register has no influence on the outcome.

New for The Fat Duck in Melbourne is the Chef’s Table, which will give four guests per service a seat in front of the pass, where they can interact with chefs throughout service (bookings for this will work in the same way).

Other key facts: Set menu cost is $525 per person (not including drinks); the restaurant will accommodate 50 guests a service; tables will be for either two, four or (limited numbers of) six; and about four hours will be the duration of this “multisensory gastronomic journey of history, nostalgia, emotion and memory”.

Once The Fat Duck returns to Bray, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal will take its place permanently.

Doughnuts go posh, crowds go wild

In terms of poshed-up baked treats, cupcakes and macarons are getting a bit long in the sweet tooth (and the sooner we forget about last year’s frankenfood cronut, the better). But it looks like the latest global baking trend – doughnuts made from premium ingredients in sophisticated flavour combinations – has started to take hold in Australia. Hobart cafe Small-fry, which makes 12 flavours of ‘boutique’ doughnuts with fillings and toppings handmade from scratch, is selling out of the 72 doughnuts made each morning in their tiny kitchen within an hour or two of them going on sale. And the social media frenzy which accompanied the opening last week of Melbourne’s Shortstop Coffee & Donuts was such that by the fifth day of operation, the cafe had received so many pre-orders through their online shop that they had sold out of that day’s capacity of 600+ doughnuts before the doors had even swung open. Melbourne is spoiled for choice when it comes to posh doughnuts, with Doughboys Doughnuts and Raph Rashid’s All Day Donuts also serving up the goods.

Yakitori time for Sydney

In izakaya news, the talk of the town in Sydney is Chaco Bar, which opened last month in Darlinghurst. Former Toko and Mamasan head chef Keita Abe’s cosy bar offers a impressive range of yakitori skewers from the binchotan grill (including chicken livers, gizzards and heart pipes for the more adventurous diners) as well as notable non-skewer dishes such as spicy John Dory dumplings and six-month aged banana brandy coconut granita. The sake and housemade liquors will start flowing once they get their liquor licence.

Bourbon-style whiskey in Perth

Located in an East Perth warehouse, Whipper Snapper Distillery is Australia’s first dedicated bourbon-style whiskey distillery. That’s whiskey with an ‘e’, as their products are a salute to American bourbon, based on a moonshine recipe passed down from a US WWII pilot. Their launch product Crazy Uncle Moonshine is now available, but their whiskey needs another two years in American barrels before seeing the light of day.

Melbourne gets a taste of East Africa and Crete

Standing tall amidst the usual burger/barbecue joints and Southeast Asian street food openings come two interesting new venues, charting roads less travelled in the Melbourne dining scene. Guy Holder and Angie Giannakodakis, co-owners of excellent Carlton bistro Epocha, have just opened a restaurant in Camberwell in partnership with their floor manager Disa Dimitrakakis. It’s called Elyros and it’s a Cretan-inspired wine bar and dining room, dishing up meze to accompany wines from small producers around the world. And in the city, newcomer bar Polépolé (Swahili for “take it easy” and pictured above) is serving cocktails, ten different African beers and ciders (proceeds from which go to not-for-profits Women for Women in Africa and YGAP) and East African-inspired bar snacks.

Claire Davie writes the blog Melbourne Gastronome. She tweets @melbgastronome and her favourite thing to cook right now is Chui Lee Luk’s Oyster omelette.

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