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 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, …