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.
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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.
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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.
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  • 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

For the love of Latin America

Gillian Saxon
12 October, 2015

Newcomer Lady Carolina is set to deliver Mr Wilson’s spice-laden fare to Melbourne’s north. We catch up with the chef to chat about his latest muse.

Recognised as Australia’s foremost authority on Latin American food, chef Paul Wilson says his love affair with the cuisine first began during joint family holidays to Spain, where he was introduced to the unique flavours of the Basque region. He later discovered that the Basque cuisine had similar ingredients and textures to those found in Mexico, Cuba and Peru, which inspired Paul’s further culinary travels through Latin America.

“Looking back through history you realise that the Spanish were some of the first travellers. As they swept through Latin America they left their mark – taking all the unique ingredients, cooking techniques, religion and culture – leading to this wonderful melting pot of Latin food. Only America has seen the best of it until now, but in Australia we are beginning to realise it’s a vibrant food culture,” Paul says.

He believes, “It’s time for Latin American food to have its day in the sun”, and local diners are voting with their feet as Paul opens his third Latin American inspired restaurant in Melbourne, Lady Carolina. Lady Carolina joins Paul’s incredibly successful Mexican incarnations of Acland St Cantina and the Newmarket Hotel, but this time he has decided to keep things fresh and exciting by adding Peruvian and Caribbean dishes to the menu.

“We want you to feel like you’ve stepped out onto the streets of Havana when you come to our restaurant,” Paul says of Lady Carolina. He is referring to Fidel Castro’s state-sanctioned paladares of the 1960s: private restaurants that operated out of people’s homes offering a vibrant atmosphere and traditional home-cooking to local customers. It’s a successful formula Paul hopes to replicate, describing the new restaurant as “a Latin American epicentre featuring the food of Mexico, Peru and Cuba” that celebrates food and drinks with equal gusto, “just like the Latin Americans do”.

The Lady Carolina menu features five distinct sections and flavour profiles that Paul calls the ‘rockstars’ of Latin American cuisine. These include a cevicheria matched with pisco cocktails, a dedicated vegan and vegetarian section, a luxe street food section serving tacos, alpaca burgers and rum mixers, as well as a guacamole bar riffing on the Mexican staple five ways. Wilson has also purpose-built a barbacoa where all the meats are cooked in a traditional Aztec format with aromatic herbs and spices, including his signature dish lechon asado, suckling pig with orange mojo. The barbecued meat is served with fresh salads, tortillas and moles.

“Moles and other essential sauces and condiments on the menu form the building blocks of Latin American food,” Paul says. The recipes for these are also celebrated in Paul’s cookbook, Cantina. “If you can master the basics – a great red mole or adobe sauce, or a pomegranate mojo – then you can cook anything, and everything will taste sweet, spicy, sour and aromatic. These key sauces tell you a story about what region they’re from, what they’re best served with and what you can do with them,” he says.

With the popularity of Latin American fresh produce growing, Wilson agrees it’s easier than ever to source the more obscure ingredients for these dishes. “There is so much produce that grows in Cuba, Mexico and Peru that also grows in Australia because of our wonderful diverse climate,” Paul says.  In fact, he sources much of his produce from local hobby farms including exotic fruits such as achacha (similar to a lychee) and tomatillo, as well as purple corn from Queensland used to produce Lady Carolina’s signature dessert, purple corn pavlova. “Latin American food is definitely here to stay,” Paul says, and we think he might be right.

Gillian is a freelance food writer based in Melbourne. Her food and travel blog My Square Frying Pan features rustic style recipes made for sharing, and accounts of her adventures near and far.

Browse recipes from Paul Wilson's book, Cantina

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