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 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 …