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

On tour with Luke Nguyen

Sarah Gamboni
29 August, 2016

We chat to Luke Nguyen ahead of the launch of his new TV series and cookbook, Luke Nguyen's Street Food Asia.

How long were you on the road?
Filming takes around six weeks, but that’s the short part of it. The research and pre-production takes month of talking to locals and trying everything – it’s a great experience and a lot of fun. I knew Saigon back-to-front anyway, but for Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, I had to make multiple visits and try hundreds of different dishes.

I love the address details you give, “Look for this number on that street, then opposite lies a tiny alleyway, home to the best pho in Saigon”. How do you find these hidden gems?
A lot of it is being on the ground and speaking to locals. They’ll say, “Visit this stall, it’s where my grandma used to go.” I want people to travel to a city and try 10 of those dishes on a street food crawl – you’ll feel like a local and will have explored the real city. I also want to show local people where to eat. If I’m in Saigon, I want the Saigonese to try it out, so you have to mingle with the locals to find those authentic places.

How do you overcome the language barrier?
People may be hesitant about the language, but here the language is food because it’s all there in front of you. The beauty of street food is it’s one big open kitchen – it’s a cooking lesson, it’s theatrical, and you’re immersed in the local way of life. Sometimes when you’re waiting in line, you start to converse with the locals and learn more about the dish. That was the case in Thailand when we happened upon a hugely popular pork stall in Bangkok. We were lining up for ages with a guy who spoke very good English and he was able to fill me in.

What was one of your highlights of the tour?
Meeting up with one of my old chefs from Red Lantern, Gade. She was one of my superstar chefs but then she moved back to Bangkok, so I asked her where she would you go on the weekend and she said the floating market. Normally I’d think the floating markets were too touristy, but this one was a three-hour drive from Bangkok, and it was where the locals went. We went out there and sat on the edge of the water, where all these small boats were lined up, cooking the best seafood – it was squishy and exciting, and it was such a great experience!

Any lowlights?
We have lowlights all the time – although not when we’re filming; that’s why we do so much research beforehand. One particular disappointment was a market in Saigon. It took me two hours to find it, but then the food was underwhelming – I loved the adventure of finding it, but because the food let me down I didn’t want to share it with viewers.

So there were plenty of places you ate at that didn’t make the cut?
Yes, hundreds, and that’s the secret to the show – I want to share the absolute best places. In Jakarta, there are a million places serving nasi goring, but I don’t recommend your average one. I show you the best nasi goreng gila, which means crazy fried rice. It’s called crazy because it has more than 20 different ingredients. It was the same for satay sticks. I must have eaten at 45 satay places in Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, but I only show one and it had to be bloody good: the best char flavour and the best sauce. Every place and every dish has to have a story. It's not just about the food, but the people and the history behind it.

I know this is like choosing a favourite child, but what were the standout dishes of this trip?
I’ve tried a million pad thais, so I ummed and ahhed about showing one. We’ve all tried it, but a local said to me, go check this one out in Bangkok. This place was heaving with people. All the woks were outside in the street, with the flames jumping high. Their style was a very wet pad thai, with a bright orange prawn butter sauce, which was, like, wow. It just blew me away. In Jakarta, I loved the sambals. There’s a dish that translates as smashed chicken that’s first poached in stock, then fried until crisp. They then smash it up in a mortar and pestle to break up all the bones and serve it with sambal – I loved the theatre behind it.

Is there anything you wouldn’t eat again?
There are ingredients that I probably wouldn’t want to eat again, such as chargrilled bat. I’ve tried it and I wouldn’t order it myself, but if offered it would be rude not to eat it. I think it’s important to try things that are out of our comfort zone.

Watch, read, cook, eat

Luke Nguyen’s Street Food Asia is an eight-part series, screening on Thursday nights on SBS at 8.30pm, starting this Thursday 1 September. Keep an eye out for Luke’s new cookbook on, featuring all of the recipes from the series, plus more that didn’t make it to the show, launching in November.

To celebrate the series, Luke is also hosting an eight-week pop-up restaurant at The Star in Sydney, showcasing his favourite dishes from the show. 

Discover more tempting recipes from Luke Nguyen on

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