Annie Smithers
is the owner and chef of du Fermier in Trentham, Victoria. She is a food editor of The Saturday Paper.

By this author

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, …