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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May, 2017

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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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

Meet Joanna Smith of IGNI restaurant

11 October, 2017

Co-owner of restaurant IGNI in Geelong, Victoria, and the mastermind behind its wine list, Joanna Smith has a laidback style when it comes to food and drink pairings. 

Favourite wine memory? A barrel tasting with Doug Neal, who’s the winemaker at Paradise IV in the Moorabool Valley. We tasted eight or nine barrels and then he blended them together to give us what was basically a finished wine. It was interesting to see someone with such a knack for putting those pieces together.

What’s the wine philosophy at IGNI? Generally I go on gut instinct, so it’s whatever comes across the table in terms of the bits and pieces that reps bring in. I look for styles and producers I’ve not tried before, or textural, food-friendly, lighter-alcohol wines. We try to have a balance of classic and experimental styles.

Do you have any go-to local producers? Sierra Reed is one [of Reed Wines]. She’s originally from California, but now based in nearby Torquay. She sources the fruit for her wines from Victoria and South Australia. She seems to have an innate ability to edit her wines and see their purpose without overworking them too much. Her style is somewhere between traditional and more boundary-pushing producers. Another is Dane Johns, who is based in Gippsland and sourcing fruit from Chalmers. He plays around with unusual grape varieties and skin contact, really trying to reimagine styles of wine from north-east Italy and Eastern Europe.

What does the wine list at IGNI look like? It’s two pages – one side is white wines and bubbles, the other side is pinks, reds and sweet wines. We offer most of those by the glass. We use a few of them in our pairing, but a lot of our matched wines are off-list because we try to come up with a unique experience for guests who choose that option. My thinking is you’re only having half a glass of wine with each course, so let’s make it something surprising; something that will work well with the food, but that you’re less likely to order by the bottle or glass.

What’s a favourite food and wine match from the menu? We’ve been serving old-vine Chablis from Christophe that has a beautiful structure to it – it’s rich and mineral at the same time. That’s paired with a tartare of either mackerel or King George whiting from Corio Bay in a mustard leaf and cucumber sauce.

How important is wine to the IGNI experience? There might be three or four main ingredients on the plate and, to me, you’re adding a fourth or fifth with the wine. Aaron Turner and I work very closely, which is great because we have a similar approach. The staff and my co-owner Drew will also give their opinion on the matches before they go on the menu or get signed off by Aaron.

Is there a wine you’ve tried recently that you’d love a case of? Any of the Radikon wines from Friuli, Italy – those are spectacular. It would be great to have 12 on hand.

Do you have a never-fail food and wine match? Champagne goes with everything!

And your after-work knock-off? Blackman’s Unfiltered Lager is a little tinnie, which is perfect after a night of beautiful wines. Blackman’s is based in Torquay with a satellite brewery in Geelong.

IGNI: A restaurant's first year by Aaron Turner is now on Cooked. Watch the book trailer

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