Annie Smithers

is the owner and chef of du Fermier in Trentham, Victoria. Her latest book is Recipe for a Kinder Life. She is a food editor of The Saturday Paper.

By this author

Food November 05, 2022

Ruby chard galette

There is something about this tart that reminds me of my secondary school days. Both in good and bad ways. One of the things I was most looking forward to in my transition from primary to secondary school was the notion of a school canteen. I always had …

Food October 15, 2022

Asparagus and maltaise sauce

Seasonality is a quirky thing. If you get the moment just right, momentary culinary combinations that bring great joy can be found. Two of my absolute favourites are Seville orange and quince, and asparagus and blood orange. Asparagus truly represents …

Food September 24, 2022

Brined fish with lemon beurre blanc

Dishes go in and out of fashion. Sauces are sometimes the flavour of the minute and then head into obscurity.  Treatments of proteins change as surely as the years and the decades. But some classic combinations deserve to never go out of style. Fish. …

Food September 03, 2022

Puff pastry

Of all the pastries I’ve made over the years, it is puff pastry that truly has won my heart. Even after nearly four decades of preparing it, my breathing still quickens with the fear of it not being as good as it could be. Then as I taste it my heart …

Food August 13, 2022

Grillade des mariniers du Rhône

The barges of the Rhône. Trawling up and down that enormous river that runs from the Swiss Alps all the way to the Mediterranean, cutting a swath through France. And from the Rhône spring numerous tributaries that meander through the French countryside …

Culture July 23, 2022


The origins of particular foods, drinks and specific dishes are a fascination for many. Everyday items such as cornflakes and Nutella have origin stories. Many of these origins come from failures, mistakes or simple serendipitous events.  Oscar Farinetti …

Food July 23, 2022


Now the citrus season is in full swing, I am forever on the lookout for delicious ways to use the excess fruit. And while crostoli feature only a bit of zest, they are a worthy addition to my table. Crostoli come in many forms and are known by many names. …

Food July 02, 2022

Cappelletti in brodo

“The Tortellini in Brodo that first night was a dish they would talk about for years. Oh, how it nourished them and pleased them, gave them resilience for all the unexpected moments to come,” writes my friend Sarah Winman in her book Still …

Food June 11, 2022

Chicken Kiev

There is so much dispute about where the chicken Kiev comes from. The French claim it as theirs, but so do the Russians, of course. The Americans have a say, suggesting immigrant Russians served it in their restaurants to lure in homesick countrymen. …

Food May 21, 2022

Pumpkin and ricotta crespelle

I’m a big fan of how traditional recipes get around in Europe. While most of us think of crepes as a French thing and pasta as an Italian thing, you will often find pasta on a French cafe menu and crepes on Italian menus. Crepes, or the Italian version, …

Food April 30, 2022

Red capsicum relish

Autumn is the season for so much preserving. By the time I get to winter I’m often exhausted by the cavalcade of fruit and vegetables that have passed through the kitchen door needing to be jammed, jellied, bottled and preserved. My arms ache from the …

Food April 09, 2022

Steak tartare and burgers

mince verb verb: mince; 3rd person present: minces; past tense: minced; past participle: minced; gerund or present participle: mincing 1. cut up or grind (food, especially meat) into very small pieces, typically in a …

Food March 19, 2022

Chocolate chip cookies

How do we find favourite recipes these days? There are, of course, books and magazines for inspiration, and newspapers, but so much of our world is now online. For me, inspiration is often found in the images that flit by while scrolling through this …

Food February 26, 2022

Pesto & pistou

She says pistou, I say pesto. It is always the same in our house, where there is one vegan and one omnivore. Summer is the season for all the green sauces. Salsa verde, chimichurri, pistou and pesto. In our house, though, we gravitate to the two basil-based …

Food February 05, 2022

Crumpets with hot-smoked trout

I have come to crumpets very late in life. While the store-bought variety has been in pantries my whole life, I have never been drawn to them, until I had to make some for a comparative yeast batter exercise. Now I have a fascination for them. For most …

Food January 15, 2022

Rolled chicken with potatoes

Entertaining can be so much more enjoyable if all the work is done in the preparation stage, rather than when your guests are present and having fun and you are stuck in the kitchen. Or, worse, when they are all crowded around you, giving you a nasty …

Food December 18, 2021

Pork shoulder and pineapple

Debate rages around whether pineapple should be a pizza topping. The idea of this tropical fruit paired with ham makes some people recoil in horror. Yet pork and pineapple seem to have a long and proud association. Think sweet and sour pork in the Sino …

Food November 20, 2021


I have been making shortbread as a Christmas gift for many years now. I have no recollection of where this particular recipe came from, but I have always enjoyed the fact it is not too sweet and has a lovely firm crunch to the biscuit. On many occasions …

Food October 30, 2021

Comté choux

Imagine a recipe you can master and then trot out in three different guises as we head back into the world of cooking for visitors at home. This may even become your new best friend as you embark on pre-Christmas entertaining. Such is the magic of choux …

Food October 09, 2021

Elizabeth David’s onion tart with green pea sauce

Cooking inspiration comes in many forms. Often I will have a ragtag collection of vegetables that need to be used and I simply type their names into a search engine and see what gets spat out. More often, though, I will be compelled to pull a volume from …

Food September 18, 2021

Spring greens and shredded lamb shoulder

Just like the sunlight streaming through my windows, the fresh flush of spring greens are streaming into greengrocers and farmers’ markets across the land. Now is the start of the glorious run of asparagus, peas, both shelling and in pods, and broad …

Food August 28, 2021


When travelling, it is often street food that catches people’s hearts. In most places in the world, apart from the ones that specialise in drive-through fast food, the history, culture and flavours of any given region or country seem to be on best display …

Food August 07, 2021


It seems many of us have returned to a winter of discontent. Bright sparks are few and far between. As restaurant kitchens slumber or pivot, with a near-hysterical glint, to takeaway offerings, I have retreated to my farm looking for some external source …

Food July 17, 2021

Duck breasts stuffed with prunes

As the monotony of coronavirus seems to put life on repeat, there are many things we are all missing. For me, and my friends and customers, the travel question remains scratchy. Months ago it was a question of when; now we wonder about the prospect of …

Food July 03, 2021

Potato cakes

Even the most ordinary of foods seem to have lost some of their magic in recent times. As with the regular summertime lament that tomatoes don’t taste like they used to, when was the last time you had a really good potato cake? Nowadays potato cakes …

Food June 19, 2021

Bee stings

A bee sting cake is a staple of the German cake stand. It is usually baked in a cake tin and then split and filled with a vanilla pastry cream. It’s not a cake, though; it’s actually a bread. In my version here I like to make oversized individual …

Food June 05, 2021

Pumpkin stuffed with farro, chestnut and mushrooms

Pumpkins are everywhere in my life at the moment. The restaurant is decorated with an array of beautiful specimens, the racks on the verandah are full of them and there are crates of little ones stacked neatly out of the weather. As with so many vegetables, …

Food May 22, 2021

Quince jelly

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but all eyes see beauty differently. For the past few years I have had the great pleasure of working with Earl Carter, the man whose vision is behind The Saturday Paper’s food page photographs. Our shoot …

Food May 08, 2021

Pistachio and raspberry mille-feuille

Nothing says “I love you” more to my mother than a bit of pastry frippery for afternoon tea on Mother’s Day. And what could be better than a slightly more modern take on the vanilla slice? A lovely pistachio and raspberry mille-feuille. While the …

Food April 24, 2021

Pomegranate molasses

The pomegranate tree is a delightful specimen in any garden, and at this time of year its amazing fruit is ready to be harvested. It is a fruit that fascinates me on every level. From its etymology to its symbolism, it is full of wonder. Its English …

Food April 10, 2021

Green tomato cake and green tomato and zucchini relish

As we have tripped over the autumn equinox, it is time to start farewelling the vegetables that have filled our summer and early autumn months. It is also the time to start thinking about what to do with green tomatoes. I have to confess that my first …

Food March 27, 2021

Saddle of lamb

Easter soon will be upon us, and with it a four-day break whose meaning seems to have changed for many as life becomes more secular. The traditional foods we eat at Easter have also changed as an increasing number of people eschew the consumption of meat. …

Food March 13, 2021

Roasted beetroot with miso, sesame seeds and silken tofu

It’s been a crazy cold summer here in central Victoria. Sometimes late in the afternoon, the temperature drops into single figures. So my standard batch of easy after-work summer dinner dishes have seemed a little less appropriate. And now that autumn …

Food February 27, 2021

Summer tarts

Produce gluts are now upon us. For all the home gardeners out there, this is the time of year that tomatoes and zucchinis become slightly problematic – there are just so many of them. Whereas tomato growing is not guaranteed to be full of joy – some …

Food February 13, 2021

Quail with nectarine and rose petals

The novel and subsequent film Like Water for Chocolate immortalised the combination of quail and rose petals as a romantic dish. So with Valentine’s Day upon us, what could be a more fitting union to revisit? Quails have been domesticated …

Food January 30, 2021

Strawberry meringue cake

I am not sure whether it is the mousse or the meringue that is the hero of this dish. They are delicious together but also wonderful apart. This type of meringue is known as a Swiss meringue, which is made when the egg whites and the sugar are combined …

Food December 19, 2020

Christmas pork

This year has left me longing to live a quieter, simpler life. One where I tread more gently upon the earth. So for Christmas, I’m looking for an old-fashioned favourite. This variation of a roasted pork loin fits the bill nicely. First, make sure …

Food December 12, 2020

Hot-smoked ocean trout with green salad

As the year draws to its inevitable close, my thoughts turn to Christmas. For me it will be a more muted celebration, as this year we suffered loss on so many levels that we would never have thought possible before 2020. It will be a chance for my sister …

Food November 28, 2020


Dry biscuits. I remember the standards from when I was a child. Saos and Saladas. Ritz, Savoy and Jatz. And Vita-Weats. All still readily available and all living up to their name. Dry by name and dry by nature. The word biscuit has its roots in Latin, …

Food November 14, 2020

Chicken mousseline sausages with petits pois à la française

Of all the pretty green spring vegetables, it is peas that bring me the most pleasure. I find them at their most sublime when they’re small and sweet and tender, so early in the season I harvest them as soon as the little globes start forming in their …

Food October 24, 2020

Almond raspberry slice

I came across a very unnerving statistic the other day. Apparently 24,000 cookbooks are being published annually. This doesn’t include the bloggers and other contributors to recipes on the internet, or, of course, weekly columns such as this one in …

Food October 10, 2020


I’m not sure if it’s a professional hazard, or if I’m just a bit odd about numbers, but I love restaurant maths. I was never a good mathematical scholar when I was at school, but my basic arithmetic has always been solid and I’m not too shabby …

Food September 26, 2020

Chicken chorba

The colour yellow. Not a colour I wear very often, except for the odd raincoat, but a colour that is all around me at the moment in the form of daffodils and wattle. It is a cheering colour, especially when it acts as the harbinger of warmer weather. Yellow …

Food September 12, 2020

Girdle scones

I feel a little like I have fallen down a rabbit hole and joined Alice’s tea party in Wonderland. It started when I asked a long-suffering locked-down Melbourne friend if there was anything she particularly wanted me to write about. Her suggestion was …

Food August 29, 2020

Standing rib roast with potatoes, brussels sprouts and Yorkshire pudding

2020. A year that’s grinding its way past notable occasions to its inevitable end in 125 days. A year of broken dreams, fear, frustration and grief. Grief for all we’ve lost; grief for what we might yet lose. For most of us, a year like no other. I’m …

Food August 15, 2020

Vegan cauliflower pie

There are some food combinations that are absolute winners. One is cauliflower and cheese – especially when the cheese component is a good gruyere. Add a little truffle, sage and browned butter and you have a real winter treat. That does not suit everyone, …

Food August 01, 2020

Slow-roasted pork shoulder with braised red cabbage

There is something magical about the relationship between cabbage cooked with a little vinegar and the fattier meats, such as pork and duck. The inherent sweetness of cabbage and the bite of the acid sits beautifully against the richness and softness …

Food July 18, 2020

Macadamia nut tart

Midwinter heralds the best of Australian oranges. They bring a lovely cheer to the drab, grey days. And for many, this certainly is a winter of discontent. Not only does Australia produce fantastic oranges – perfect as a healthy snack, as an accompaniment …

Food July 04, 2020

Pot-roasted chicken

It is no secret that a good roast chicken is one of my favourite things. I smear chickens in butter and roast them. I soak them in buckets of brine and then roast them. But in the depths of winter I love nothing more than to pot roast them. A pot-roasted …

Food June 20, 2020


What would you do if you found out that your neighbour was making vodka from another neighbour’s potatoes? Well, if you are anything like me, you would have a sudden and burning desire to make pierogi, the wonderful Polish take on a double-cooked dumpling. I …

Food June 06, 2020

Carrot cake

Having too many carrots is not a problem I usually face. Like many growers and producers across the land, the coronavirus pandemic has thrown our ordered existence into chaos. I grow a lot of carrots. The earth that I farm is rich, deep, volcanic soil …

Food May 23, 2020

Roasted autumn vegetables and kohlrabi slaw

My vegetable garden is a little like a good vinaigrette – about three quarters happiness and one quarter consternation. The consternation is like the acidic component of the vinaigrette – absolutely essential, as it balances the fullness and the softness …

Food May 09, 2020


If you’re to believe what you read on social media these days, everyone is becoming a baker during isolation. Of course, I have done a lot of baking in my life, so my interest was piqued when I happened across a link to an English baker, Adam …

Food April 25, 2020

Quail roasted in milk

The technique of cooking meat in milk, or milk products, is used throughout the world. From Central Asia, where meat is often marinated in scented yoghurt before being turned into curry, to the American Deep South’s chicken soaked in spiced buttermilk, …

Food April 11, 2020

Cornichons and quick red onion pickle

It would be somewhat of an understatement to suggest the humble home lunch platter is of little importance. A month ago, few of us would have given it much thought. Today, as most of us are confined to our homes, it is of utmost importance. Of similar …

Food March 28, 2020

Blackberry pie

Sweet, sweet childhood memories. These are the things we often cling to when the future is uncertain and frightening. Innocence. Simplicity. Uncomplicated times. I think of such moments and my mind conjures an image of the blackberry pie that went hand …

Food March 14, 2020

Eggplant dip and miso-roasted Japanese eggplant

I hadn’t realised until a couple of years ago what a long and glorious history the eggplant has across many cultures. As a vegetable to eat, it has not always been a favourite of mine. As a vegetable to grow, sometimes it has presented as downright …

Food February 29, 2020

Chocolate fondants

The word fondant has multiple uses in the French cooking vernacular. In no particular order it could be a white icing, a gooey chocolate pudding or a way of cooking potatoes. The icing version is what you often find atop fancy French vanilla slices: …

Food February 15, 2020

Vegetable biryani

There is something a little stultifying about early February. The festive season is a distant memory, the holidays are over and the daily grind of work, school and office lunches and desperate stops at the shops on the way home to cobble together dinner …

Food February 01, 2020

Nougat parfait with praline and grilled peaches

I like to think this recipe solves several of my kitchen conundrums at once. First, it deals with the vexed issue of leftover egg whites. Second, it provides a sound iced dessert for people who don’t have an ice-cream churn. And third, it fulfils the …

Food December 21, 2019

Vegan Christmas recipes

Christmas doesn’t have to be about turkey, ham and roast pork. One of the things I have learnt living in a vegetarian household for the past three years is that Christmas is about celebration, and that the meat-free dishes need to be as festive and …

Food November 30, 2019

Non-traditional tiramisu

Panettone, I’m sorry, but you just don’t ring my jingle bells. I know you arrive in beautiful packaging, with your gorgeous proportions, but, frankly, you always come across as a bit dry for my taste. Italians the world over may wince at my words, …

Food November 16, 2019

Mince pies and Fergus Henderson’s Eccles cakes

A little more than a month ago, on the other side of the world, the inimitable St. JOHN restaurant celebrated its 25th anniversary. There are few restaurants that have had their logo copied more or their influence reach further than London’s St. JOHN. …

Food November 02, 2019

Simplified coulibiac

It seems as though cooks just can’t stop fiddling with historical dishes. Here is a prime example. Coulibiac is a very fancy and labour-intensive fish pie from Russia. So fancy, in fact, that Escoffier made it popular in France in the late 19th century. I …

Food October 19, 2019

Simple brined roast chicken

It’s time to start thinking about the “entertaining” season. As the year starts to wind up, there are parties, Christmas, New Year’s celebrations and holidays in the not-too-distant future. For some home cooks, feeding people en masse can be exhilarating; …

Food October 05, 2019

Stuffed rainbow trout with dill and broad bean pilaf

The science of taste is complex. We take for granted the extraordinary job our tongue does. Its ability to identify sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami tastes and transmit these to the gustatory cortex for evaluation is not something many of us think …

Food September 21, 2019

Jam doughnuts

I seem to have had a long affinity with strawberry jam. As a child, I had a terrible speech impediment – not only was I late to speaking but, when I did start, most of my words were unintelligible at worst and laughable at best. I am still reminded …

Food September 07, 2019

Stuffed leeks

As the first glimmers of spring arrive in pockets of Victoria, I still have a long wait before I can enjoy the “classic” spring vegetables. Our little farm is situated atop a hill and, while the soil is fabulous and the water plentiful, being more …

Food August 24, 2019


It’s blood orange season. Which means I’m busily making the most of one of the truly seasonal citrus fruits. I feature blood orange on the dessert menu, use blood orange segments in salads, and make copious amounts of blood orange cordial. I’m using …

Food August 03, 2019

Apple and prune flaugnarde

I would normally just go ahead and name this dish apple and prune clafoutis. But it’s not. It has exactly the same custard mix as a clafoutis and it is poured over fruit and baked. But it’s not a clafoutis. A clafoutis comes from the Limousin region …

Food July 20, 2019

Persian vegetable stew

There is something about these long, grey, cold days that makes me revisit my favourite television series. While there is so much new television coming at us from every angle, there is something comforting about old favourites. They are often like food, …

Food July 06, 2019

Oat crumble, oatcakes and steel-cut oat pilaf

The wild oat, Avena fatua, is a common plant that is as tall as its relative the cereal oat. It is also a pernicious weed that has infested sowing fields for centuries, is difficult to remove and is absolutely useless as a grain crop. No wonder …

Food June 22, 2019

Beef bourguignon

For me, there is always a correlation between classical music and classic recipes. While it may be argued that the music of Lully or Bach or Saint-Saëns simply reflected the trend of the moment, the sheer longevity of classical music sets it apart. Modern …

Food June 08, 2019

Roasted quince with spiced quince cake and whipped ricotta

The days are shorter, the skies are blacker, and winter is upon us. The vestiges of late autumn fruit still linger at the greengrocer. If you are not a preserver but have pantry shelves lined with quinces for “tomorrow”, there is still time to indulge …

Food May 25, 2019

Iranian noodle soup

As the weather turns cooler, the perennial question arises of what to feed my vegetarian friends when they come to dinner. Summer is easy – composed salads, grazing plates, light pastas – but as we move towards winter we often rely on the rich stews …

Food May 11, 2019

Pain perdu

There are some seemingly basic dishes that if cooked in a run-of-the-mill way become just that. Run of the mill. Ordinary. French toast is a perfect example. The American version that populates many cafe breakfast menus is a slice of sandwich bread dipped …

Food April 27, 2019

Potato roll

Potatoes are such an excellent marker of the seasons for me. Late winter, and into spring, you will find me carefully lining up my potato “seeds” in egg cartons, their little eyes pointing skyward to start a process only known to potatoes: chitting. …

Food April 13, 2019

Chocolate marquise dacquoise sandwich

Approaching holiday periods involving a lot of entertaining can be a little overwhelming at times. It always pays to have a couple of standby recipes that can be made days in advance, and that keep well, are easy to serve and are absolutely delicious. This …

Food March 30, 2019

Fried mackerel with rhubarb and capers

Slimy. It’s not a word that sounds great on a menu or on a sign in a fishmonger’s window. No wonder the slimy mackerel has been renamed blue mackerel. But as a marketing ploy, it’s not working with the sporting fishermen’s online bulletin boards. …

Food March 16, 2019

Cured ocean trout on a buckwheat blini with crème fraîche and salmon roe

The success of a meal often comes down to the smallest detail. In the accompanying recipe you will note “a small amount of clarified butter” among the ingredients. It’s a quiet instruction, yet it is pivotal to the dish being the best version of …

Food March 01, 2019

Lemon verbena bavarois with peaches and biscuit crust

Some years it seems that as quickly as summer arrives, it is gone again. The promise of long warm nights has suddenly been replaced by the reality of autumn creeping in, a cold night here and a cool wind there. Then it’s hard to remember the warm nights …

Food February 16, 2019

Zucchini soup, and zucchini and parmesan fritters

Earlier in the summer I gave a friend a tour of my vegetable garden and hothouse. As she glanced across the rows of small vegetable seedlings making their brave way in the world, her gaze fixed upon the zucchini plants. A 15-metre row of small, innocuous-looking …

Food February 02, 2019

Roast duck with peaches

Heston Blumenthal translates his meticulously researched version of food from the court of King Henry VIII into his iconic “meat fruit”. The Chinese have had an affinity with ducks and plum sauce since imperial times. But a bit of cultural cringe …

Food December 22, 2018

Galette des rois, and plum pudding with Armagnac custard

The Magi. Melchior, Gaspar and Balthasar. These men remind us that Christmas is not all about December 25. In our increasingly secular and commercialised society, it seems 2000-plus years of stories and traditions have all morphed into the festive extravaganza …

Food December 08, 2018

Crumbed pork chops with celeriac remoulade

I like to think this recipe will make many of you “carry on like a pork chop”. It is just so more-ish that it is hard not to behave foolishly and jibber-jabber about its deliciousness, emulating the chop spluttering in a hot pan. The brine softens …

Food November 24, 2018

Fennel tortas and lemon pot de crème

Many of us have eaten them. Either in Spain, or when we have lashed out and bought a packet of Inés Rosales tortas, individually wrapped in their instantly recognisable white and blue paper. There is something about tradition and the sense of handmade …

Food November 10, 2018

Spring omelette

Eggs. They are fundamental to my style of cooking and have been a much-loved human food source since the dawn of humankind. Today, the most common egg we eat is the chicken egg. So, what actually makes up an egg? The shell, the white and the yolk, all …

Food October 27, 2018

Spring linguini on pea purée

Dietary requirements, food intolerances, religious decrees and plain old proclamations of personal dislikes are now all in a day’s work for anybody in the food service industry. More than ever before, hospitality workers need to be able to decode dozens …

Food October 13, 2018

Amaretti semifreddo

There’s nothing like a change in seasons to send you longing for treats banished due to lack of seasonality. When I put out a call in the kitchen the other week for what sort of sweet thing I should write about, my lovely dishwasher replied with, “Oh, …

Food September 29, 2018

Vegan sausage rolls

Australian sporting culture has its own traditions, especially in the month of September. As the AFL and NRL reach their zenith, there is many a function being planned that involves large television screens and a lot of shouting at said screen. I have …

Food September 08, 2018

Provençale fish soup

“This is the most beautiful fish soup recipe – it hails from Provence, France – which uses the bones and, sometimes, the head of the fish. It’s easy to forget when you buy an expensive fillet of fish that there’s a whole head and skeleton going …”

Food August 25, 2018

Saffron and currant buns

“For years I had hoarded a recipe clipping for these buns, and at last I had a good excuse to trot it out and make some. After they were removed from the oven and had cooled a little, I slathered them with butter. The crumb was close, the texture was drier …”

Food August 11, 2018

Candied peel

“I know I’m courting controversy and might even lose some of you immediately with the next statement, but here we go. Candied peel is absolutely delicious. I can hear the howls of horror in my head. I’ve come to conclude that it must be one of the …”

Food July 28, 2018

Oxtail parcels

“There are times when I really feel my 20th-century Australianness, and not always in a good way. Often it is when I am thinking about, or cooking, offal. With my suburban Anglo-Saxon upbringing, I was not brought up with even a notion of nose-to-tail …”

Food July 14, 2018

Gnocchi Parisienne with roasted pumpkin and sage butter

“I think the basic technique of choux pastry is a prime example of why cooking never loses its shine for me. It reminds me of the continuous mirror images that fascinated me as a child, a constantly repeating effect. But with choux it is always tumbling …”

Life July 14, 2018

One chef’s battle to rebalance the scales

For one half of The Saturday Paper’s food editing team, the gruelling hours and stressful conditions of cooking for others eventually took its toll – both mentally and physically. Then she decided it was time to regain control.

Food June 30, 2018

Duck confit and ventrèche

“There is something magical about the relationship between flesh, salt and fat. Long before refrigeration and factory farming, there was a time and a place for the life of an animal to end and its flesh to be preserved for the coming months. I have a great …”

Food June 16, 2018

Potato terrine with Gruyere and garlic

“This potato terrine appeared on our menu over the weekend of our local celebration of the potato and such was the response to this unlikely hero that it reappeared the following week, a fate that has befallen no other entree in five years of operation. …”

Food June 02, 2018

Apple pithiviers

“Pithivier is more a work of design than an absolute on how and what it’s made of. There are a few absolutes, though. It must be made with puff pastry. It must be circular. And it must have the rays of the sun etched into the top of the pastry so that, …”

Food May 19, 2018

Spiced lamb shanks with quince

“I came across this recipe some years ago and it has become my favourite to move on to once I’m over the ‘sweet’ quince thing. It features Persian overtones, Moroccan influences and rich flavours that are perfect as the nights get colder.”

Food May 05, 2018

Chocolate cake with Swiss meringue buttercream

“There’s nothing like an impending ‘state occasion’ such as Mother’s Day to bring out the wannabe cake-maker in me. While this recipe looks disturbingly long and convoluted, it’s actually very simple. The base recipe is a version of chocolate …”

Food April 21, 2018

Potato gnocchi with brussels sprouts, hazelnuts and kaiserfleisch

“The tiny spud-pickers’ cottages dotted around the farms are testimony to a world where creature comforts were non-existent. And now at the beginning of May each year, when the harvest of potatoes is settling into full swing and the temperature is starting …”

Food April 07, 2018

Ham crepes

“I grew up eating fantastic crepes. My mother was a dab hand at them, and I would wait at her elbow as she twisted and turned and rolled the batter around in her special crepe pans. Every so often she would flip a warm crepe onto my plate, on which I would …”

Food March 24, 2018

Smoked cod and potato soup

“Smoked cod and potato soup has become my favourite Easter tradition and one of my favourite soups. The flavour exchange between the cod, potatoes and garlic is one of life’s great pleasures and brings a richness to the somewhat sombre Good Friday offerings. ”

Food March 10, 2018


“Kasoundi is like a magic addition to so many things. It’s a sort of spiced tomato sauce, originating in the Bengal region of India but bastardised and plagiarised until it became a sort of staple on school fete counters the country over. Or so I thought. …”

Food February 24, 2018

Pork pie

“The French have made a fine art out of pâté en croûte. Then there is the English pork pie. Both are delicious in their own way. This version bridges the rivalry and is a happy middle ground between the Plantagenets and the Valois. ”

Food February 10, 2018

Coeur à la crème

“There is something about the process of making coeur à la crème that I find unashamedly romantic. The joy of the processes becomes a sort of food alchemy to get lost in. The ultra-fine pattern the muslin leaves on the set cream. The little one-purpose-only …”

Food January 27, 2018

Barbecued brined pork loin with potato salad and grilled zucchini

“The process of brining meat should never be overlooked. This is a recipe for brined pork loin, where the skin has been removed. Pork loin is a cut that can often be dry when it is cooked, but by brining the meat, it can be transformed.”

Food December 16, 2017

Nougat de Montélimar

“Nougat is common in Middle Eastern cuisine and Italian cuisine, but this version originated in the south of France. It’s chewy and more-ish, so be careful when you’re getting into the Christmas spirit in your kitchen that you remember you are making …”

Food December 09, 2017


“Christmas is a time when many of us feel compelled to give people gifts and, as the year starts to collapse in on itself, the urgency builds. Where to go shopping? What to buy? Will they like it? Can I afford it? My advice? Forgo those sterile shopping …”

Food November 25, 2017

Cured kingfish

“It was some of Charles Fourier’s wilder notions that created the fodder for my banquet menu. In my research I found lovely stories about old hens, his love of a funny little cake called a mirliton, and his much discussed notion to re-engineer the Earth’s …”

Food November 18, 2017

Basic cheesecake

“There are very few things better than a fresh-baked cheesecake. For me, it is all about the perfect, creamy texture. Here, it is topped with cream, baked rhubarb and strawberries. But there are many variants. A simple dusting of nutmeg. A lovely crisp …”

Food November 04, 2017

Chicken sandwiches and chicken noodle soup

“So why should we eat chicken sandwiches on Melbourne Cup Day? Because they are delicious, they are reasonably healthy, easy to transport and, let’s face it, they tend to soak up alcohol. For me, the perfect chicken sandwich starts with a gently poached …”

Food October 21, 2017

Lamb cutlets and selected spring greens

“Green and pink. Pink and green. Two of my favourite spring colours. Whether it be the beginnings of the berry season, the soft downy centres of broad bean pods, or the subtlety of spring lamb, they are colours that keep reappearing in the palette of my …”

Food October 07, 2017

Poached eggs with asparagus and morels on toast

“Ostensibly, I would think of this recipe as a breakfast dish. Having said that, though, some days when the week has been long and harsh and comfort is needed, there is nothing better than poached eggs for dinner. Asparagus, morels, eggs, chervil. Spring …”

Food September 23, 2017

Strawberry tarts

“To anyone who will listen, I am often heard banging on about the importance of mastering basic techniques. Often we will come across a recipe that will interest us but may be scant on instructions, or even a picture of something delicious on a picture-only …”

Food September 09, 2017

Cotechino sausage with braised lentils

“Cotechino is not hard to make, if you have a mincer and a sausage filler and a good butcher. This sausage requires a much larger casing than you would use for your humble snag, but is an easy one to master if you’re a beginner. Having said that, there …”

Food August 26, 2017

Caramelised onion and Gruyere croquettes

“Here we have one of my very favourite pairings: caramelised onion and Gruyere, bound together with mashed potato, lovingly rolled into the classic cylinder shape, gently egged and breadcrumbed, and then fried until they are just right.”

Food August 12, 2017

Blood orange fool and Madeira cake

“Blood orange season encourages me to make a fool. Fools are synonymous with the English summer, but the lush creamy texture has a comfort factor that is right at home in any season. Here, I have paired it with a Madeira cake, another plain English classic.”

Food July 29, 2017

Pumpernickel sandwiches with bacon and marmalade

“Pumpernickel is a curious beast. A dark, soft loaf hailing from the Westphalia region of Germany, traditionally, it was cooked in a sealed container in a steam-laden oven. This more modern version hails from the United States, where it is a little lighter …”