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 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 The promise of long warm nights has suddenly been replaced by the reality of autumn creeping in, a cold night here and a cool wind there.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 …