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 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 …”