David Moyle

is a chef. He is a food editor of The Saturday Paper.

By this author


Food February 19, 2022

Bunya nut fruit salad

The Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, with its mixture of established hardwood trees and tree fern undergrowth, resembles in parts Jurassic Park. Subtropical vines flesh out the mid-canopy in our big scrub that once dominated the region. The …

Food January 29, 2022

Golden chicken soup (calendula fever)

I have lately spent a lot of my time in cafes pushing single viola flowers off poached eggs and choking on dried petals in my smoothies. The trend that started with nasturtium flowers has run deep into anything non-toxic. Flowers in food – or rather, …

Food January 08, 2022

Grilled quail with dried tomato and betel leaves

When it comes to the snack department it’s fairly common to serve them on crackers or croutons. Think parfait or cheese or the classic kabana and pickled onion. While this is classic for a reason it tends to render the vessel as just that. Or step …

Food December 04, 2021

Avocado mole

Avocados have a history far beyond being mashed on toast. I was recently schooled in the varieties and applications at an avocado orchard connected to Tintenbar Distillery by the owner Rob Walsh, who is a distiller and farmer. Tasting the difference in …

Food November 13, 2021

Îles flottantes (floating islands)

A good meringue is cooking sorcery. To those who have watched a soufflé go from a fluffy success in the oven to a deflated plate of sadness when served, I offer my sympathy. To achieve perfection in cooking, we sometimes need to cheat. The addition of …

Food October 23, 2021

Scallop pie

I have made many a pilgrimage along the coast of Australia in my search for my ideal fish and chips. This quest has led me to small town bakeries and iconic beachside chippers with offerings that rarely vary from venue to venue. On the coast of Tasmania, …

Food October 02, 2021

Marinated eggs with pancetta vinaigrette

I have always had such a preconceived notion as to what constitutes breakfast. In fact, this applies to most of my meals. Salad for dinner was certainly not on my radar, and the concept of a breakfast that didn’t include some toast or milk seemed completely …

Food September 11, 2021

Golden syrup dumplings

In the northern rivers district of New South Wales at this time of year, ash regularly falls from the sky. It’s the result of burning sugarcane – a crop that is fairly prolific in this area but perhaps not as much as it used to be. Burning sugarcane …

Food August 21, 2021

Preserved sardines and squid (conservas)

I’m not sure if it’s a seasonal thing, but last week I ate five meals of tinned sardines. Ten years ago I would not have viewed this as decadent, but the quality of some of the seafood conservas coming out of Spain and Portugal in particular is staggering. …

Food July 31, 2021

Oyster mushrooms and buckwheat porridge with miso, seaweed and truffle

Black truffles, or Tuber melanosporum, are kicking. The first frosts have hit our truffle-producing regions, promoting maturity in the subterranean fungi. While prices are intimidating – per kilogram they can cost many thousands of dollars …

Food July 10, 2021

Radicchio, walnut tarator, blueberries and roasted blood sausage

The debate over combining fruit with savoury dishes can become almost as passionate as that concerning religion. It’s all in or not at all. Like pineapple on pizza – the idea can be met with disgust or delight in equal measure. But – shock, horror …

Food June 26, 2021

Roasted kohlrabi with lamb and prune sauce, and raw kohlrabi with macadamia cream

Having fled the latest Melbourne lockdown, I am lucky enough to be in a place where seasonality is less of an issue when buying fresh produce. What is readily available only during spring in the southern climes is now ripe for the picking in the subtropical …

Food June 12, 2021

Chou farci (stuffed cabbage)

Cabbage is hardly the sexiest ingredient. But I am finding real joy in celebrating the staples. The likes of potatoes and cabbages all deserve their time to shine and take centrestage for even a fleeting moment. Like anything, the key is in the ingredient …

Food May 29, 2021

Hand-rolled semolina pasta with scallop blanquette

Making pasta is commonly associated with machinery and complex home set-ups, but it is possible to make pasta purely by hand. Small rolling pins or specific hand-shaping tools will allow for the myriad shapes and styles to add to your repertoire. With …

Food May 15, 2021

Pot-au-feu/ bollito misto

Pot-au-feu in France, bollito misto in Italy. This “peasant” hotpot of cheaper cuts is an absolute staple in many European households. It’s a bit of a contradiction of a dish, as at no point in the process does it show any semblance of the absolute …

Food May 01, 2021

Dancing grass crumpets

I’m making a huge assumption but, due to last year’s Covid-19 lockdowns, I figure most people now have access to a sourdough starter/mother. If you don’t have your own, I recommend sweet-talking a friend into lending you some of theirs and building …

Food April 17, 2021

Peter’s pickled peppers

One of the best things I ate in a time before Covid-19 was a pepper pickled by a guy named Pete. Pete took some peppers at their peak (although I can’t be sure if Pete picked those particular peppers), passed them through a wood-fired oven and popped …

Food April 03, 2021

Smashed cucumber salad

Texture in salad is key. For me, the point of these kinds of salads is to lift the rest of the dishes served in a set by providing freshness. And the key to freshness is that hydrating crunch. On paper, this list of ingredients sounds at odds, but the …

Food March 20, 2021

Crayfish noodles

It may seem ludicrous to serve an entire crayfish tail for a home meal given the history of the premium price. But we are in strange times that have unintended benefits for consumers. Crayfish, along with several other products, have been effectively …

Food March 06, 2021

Nectarine and thyme granita with plums and ice-cream

Stone fruit generally arrives at the beginning of summer, whereas in a shaded corner, at altitude, in a southern orchard, those last remnants of ripe fruit can appear as late as the beginning of autumn. Previously, I have written about how fickle truly …

Food February 20, 2021

Fresh corn polenta

The “three sisters” – corn, beans and squash – are the key crops of a method of companion planting first used by indigenous North Americans. All grow symbiotically and are harvested at a similar time to provide fresh produce or larder goods when …

Food February 06, 2021

Chicken liver parfait

It can be daunting, no doubt. The thought of working with offal generally means liver parfait is limited to being a deli purchase. But this simple recipe has been my saviour in many situations where I’ve needed a handheld or picnic-style snack. When …

Food January 23, 2021

Zucchini paste with toasted nori and capers

At the moment, many home veggie gardeners are experiencing a glut of zucchinis, squash and other vining vegetables. Even just one or two plants can produce a massive quantity. Fortunately most will be picked as flowers or as young and tender fruit, and …

Food December 05, 2020

Grilled dry curry fish

I know it is significantly easier to use a curry paste from a jar, and no doubt some shop-bought products are excellent. But with food processors and a fairly ready availability of fresh base ingredients, it’s hard to beat a paste made fresh. A good …

Food November 21, 2020

Roasted green asparagus and pickled white asparagus with tarama

Asparagus is a vegetable indelibly linked to gourmet French cuisine. It was the fancy dish in a sauce of I don’t know what. A celebratory vegetable course that communicated the chef’s pedigree. My first picking of asparagus highlighted how little …

Food November 07, 2020

Confit mushroom salad

Fungi are a fascinating food product. In recent years some incredible varieties have begun flooding the Australian market, but even so we are really only skimming the surface of their potential. We have gone from just using generic button or field mushrooms …

Food October 17, 2020

Tiramisu

The ubiquitous tiramisu turns up on so many menus. You’ll find it everywhere from dinner parties to street-side Italian(ish) cafes. I’ve seen it with strawberries, or set with gelatine into fancy freestanding shapes, then topped with flourishes to …

Food October 03, 2020

Red mullet escabeche

Escabeche is a versatile method/dish that can apply to fish, meat, vegetables and even leafy greens. The origins of escabeche cross many borders, with it found in Latin American cuisine and also in African dishes. This version is less an escabeche and …

Food September 19, 2020

Fish and chips

Pretty much every coastal country town has a fish and chip shop, and more often than not one is indistinguishable from another – they were all built around the same time, are often painted blue or feature blue signage in a familiar script, and have …

Food September 05, 2020

Oranges with olive oil, pistachio and black pepper

This recipe is all about the pistachio spice mix. For as pleasant as it is to enjoy this orange salad, the kicker is that you now have excess spice mix that can be kept in a sealed jar for months. It works equally well on your morning porridge as it does …

Food August 22, 2020

Smoked bone marrow butter with braised lentils

I can pinpoint one particular moment when my perspective on food changed. It involved a conversation in the media driven by a prominent food writer regarding the “value” of bone marrow and the concept of charging money for what is seen as a waste …

Food August 08, 2020

Oyster omelette

Where exactly does an omelette sit in meal classification? It is just as appropriate to serve one for breakfast as it is for dinner. It also makes a great brunch, lunch or late supper. Perhaps, then, that makes an omelette the perfect go-to meal – at …

Food July 25, 2020

Braised root vegetables with Vegemite, brown rice and radish salad

Vegemite occupies a very specific place in the Australian culinary landscape – and has done for quite some time. It is synonymous with the whitest of bread and buttery toast and very little else. But it’s time for Vegemite to step out of the shadows …

Food July 11, 2020

Whole roasted cabbage with smoked pipis and garlic cream

We have passed through the winter solstice and with the promise of longer periods of sunlight comes the vision of verdant spring greens and new life. The reality is that we are smack bang in the time of cool soil, where what grows beneath it is what gets …

Food June 27, 2020

Beef ktzitzot with pickled turnip

Beef mince holds a certain nostalgia for me. And I’m sure I’m not alone when I say it fuelled a considerable percentage of family meals growing up. Creative use of mince was the pillar of home economics and sometimes a subtle pathway into other food …

Food June 13, 2020

Banana pancakes

Sadly, most bananas at this time of year are destined for a morning smoothie. Or if they’ve been forgotten for a few days or frozen for a few months, they might turn up as the hero ingredient in one of the most-represented dishes of the Covid-19 lockdown: …

Food May 30, 2020

Poached chicken and pomelo

For as long as I can remember, Sunday is the only day of the week that provides me with some semblance of a routine. And one constant is a weekly food shop that almost always involves buying a whole chicken. Taking the time to prepare a whole chicken …

Food May 16, 2020

Tuna sashimi

Talking about the preparation of large pelagic fish such as this southern bluefin tuna is intimidating for two reasons. First, because Japanese culture and cuisine goes to reverential lengths to honour the beauty of this fish. Second, because bluefin …

Food May 02, 2020

Not borsch

As a younger chef, I’d go to enormous lengths to ensure a dish’s authenticity. I would spend hours researching and drilling for extra information on certain cuisines and their origins, fearful of inadvertently falling into the trap of cultural appropriation. …

Food April 18, 2020

Quail eggs with celery heart remoulade

Remoulade is a go-to dish regularly pulled from my bag of tricks. It sits somewhere between a dressing and a salad and can hold so many variations. Beetroot remoulade, sorrel remoulade, kohlrabi remoulade, and on it goes. The parameters are effectively …

Food April 04, 2020

Coconut sticky rice with grilled mango

Summer is over. But we can still enjoy the last of the fruits we associate with the season and, hopefully along with them, a few more warm, sunny days. End-of-season and tree-ripened fruit that have had a longer “hang time”, perhaps in cooler climates, …

Food March 21, 2020

Tripe with olives and roasted tomato

The inside of a cow’s stomach looks a lot like a swimming cap. Sometimes it is measured in “caps” in markets – as in, “Two caps of tripe, please.” This continues our odd use of language when referencing meat products. If I put on a dish of …

Food March 07, 2020

White beans with lamb ribs and green goddess sauce

I’ve always loved cooking with dried beans. Somewhat maligned as boring and bland, they are a staple in my pantry. And while some people consider them just a filler or a vehicle for sauce and other flavours, I like to occasionally give them a turn as …

Food February 22, 2020

Whitebait fritters

Whitebait is the immature species of several small schooling fish caught almost exclusively with a cast net. The demand for these little baitfish has never been high in Australia, unlike in New Zealand, where they are a popular menu item. Depending on …

Food February 08, 2020

Grilled prawns with orange coronation dressing

I first learnt of the process prawns go through after harvest from a fishmonger at Bay Seafood Market in Byron Bay. Freckle, as he is affectionately known, is one of the most transparent people in the industry and revealed that, once caught, prawns are …

Food January 25, 2020

Blackberry and beetroot salad

Summer is in its prime and the juicy foods are abundant. Berries, stone fruit, zucchinis and cucumbers all have a relatively high moisture content and sweetness at this time of year. A great way to showcase this is to use the juice from the fruit or vegetable …

Food December 07, 2019

Potato pan bread

For me, baking is about the pursuit of an approachable loaf. In the food industry, conversations may revolve around which sourdough has the highest hydration, yet 99.5 per cent of the population are consuming a heavily processed product, the origins of …

Food November 23, 2019

Broccoli stems in broccoli sauce

Cooked and seasoned vegetables left to cool to room temperature are so pleasing to eat. I find the flavour and complexity comes through more than when the vegetables are eaten raw, and it is much easier to tell the differences in how the produce is grown …

Food November 09, 2019

Licorice molasses cake with candied ginger

Learning to cook with less sugar is something of a contradiction to this recipe. By subbing out refined sugars with greater quantities of the same product in a more raw form, any potential benefits are lost. However, this recipe hinges on licorice. Despite …

Food October 26, 2019

Broad bean falafel with tahini dressing and salad

Falafel have been a mystery to me for most of my adult life. The fluffy little fried balls of goodness were something I purchased for such a long time without ever querying how they were produced. The most common version of falafel uses dried chickpeas …

Food October 12, 2019

Padrón peppers with tomato bread and aioli

Since beginning to write this column I have gone to great lengths to ensure the dishes featured showcase ingredients that are in peak season. Given our environmental forecast of warming conditions, and in the name of adaptability, I give you an early …

Food September 28, 2019

Oyster hotpot

During the early stages of colonisation in Australia and the United States, oysters were viewed as more than just an appetiser – they were one of the most readily available sources of protein for those situated near the ocean or saltwater estuaries. …

Food September 14, 2019

Pipis with XO sauce

Sometimes things fit together perfectly. Pipis are my favourite ingredient and collecting them is my favourite pastime. Every time I head back to my family home on the south-west coast of Victoria I make time to “shuffle” for pipis. On an outgoing …

Food August 31, 2019

Pearled barley and freekeh with roasted Jerusalem artichokes and ricotta

Jerusalem artichokes are certainly not the most glamorous of vegetables. This tuber sits way down the pecking order, along with the turnip, mostly as a result of a particular side effect from its consumption. There is absolutely no denying Jerusalem …

Food August 17, 2019

Roasted and raw brussels sprout salad with anchovy

They used to be the vegetable of children’s nightmares, and probably still are. But the once-hated brussels sprout has become elevated of late. It’s from the same family as kale, and I can see it becoming similarly popular. Whereas kale got cool from …

Food July 27, 2019

Pumpkin curry

There is an art to the multi-dish meal. In my formative experiences of Australian food culture we hadn’t yet embraced the multiple room-temperature dishes and condiments that can make up a meal on tables around the world. Here, we tend to focus on a …

Food July 13, 2019

Mont blanc

Despite containing only five ingredients, a good mont blanc has fantastic depth of flavour and is one of my favourite winter desserts. Named for the famous mountain, which straddles the border between Italy and France, the dessert is also claimed by both …

Food June 29, 2019

Banded morwong en papillote

I don’t think I’d be able to count the number of fish I’ve cooked in my life. But no matter how many, I still really enjoy it. And even though cooking fish in a bag is arguably the most simple and commonly practised method, it does deliver the hits. When …

Food June 15, 2019

Grilled wild deer with pomegranate, fig and mustard leaf

This year the New South Wales government announced it will spend $9 million on a deer control program delivered by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Methods used will include trapping and baiting along with aerial culling. All of which allow very …

Food June 01, 2019

Pine mushroom and hazelnut soup

It was a slow start to Victoria’s wild mushroom season this year. Very little rainfall early in autumn means we haven’t seen large quantities of the two wild mushroom varieties that are prolific along the fringes of pine plantations. Pine mushroom …

Food May 18, 2019

Persimmon and beetroot confiture

Persimmon is a relatively difficult fruit to use fresh. The Western palate prefers it, with its fairly savoury and vegetal flavour, “blet”. Bletting is the process of letting the fruit overripen and ferment in its own skin, therefore transforming …

Food May 04, 2019

Celeriac chawanmushi

Delicate steamed savoury egg custard (chawanmushi) is a common start to a meal in Japan. It is generally served as part of a set with rice, broth, pickles and grilled meats. It’s a huge contrast to my early culinary experiences with custard. As a young …

Food April 20, 2019

Cullen skink

Traditional Cullen skink is a Gaelic mariners’ dish served more as a soup than a bake, and using haddock as opposed to a smoked river fish. These humble ingredients form a decadent dish. I recently served a version of Cullen skink at a dinner celebrating …

Food April 06, 2019

Abalone steamed in kelp with black pepper sauce

Over the years, I have witnessed some heinous treatment of abalone to try to make it tender. From rocks to meat mincers, it all seems fairly mediaeval. Personally, I find a little bit of “bite” – a more flattering description of tough – pleasing. …

Food March 23, 2019

Twice-cooked turkey wings with black pudding and shiitake mushrooms

Poor old turkey. The bird has been the packhorse of nondescript protein for generations. But years of genetic selection for maximum return and fast growth has rendered the turkey of the wild into what is more akin to a cephalopod. Debeaked and with breasts …

Food March 09, 2019

Lychees, cherries and rose petals with tahini and sesame cake

Flowers are commonly used the world over in cooking and not just for their aesthetic beauty. Lavender, rose, chrysanthemum, dandelion, borage and marigold have been used to give aroma to sweet and savoury dishes and have also played a major role in medicine. Borage …

Food February 23, 2019

Grilled rockmelon with turmeric, fetta and mint

As a youngster, I always had an aversion to rockmelon, or cantaloupe as we call it in Tasmania and Victoria. To my younger nose, it had a pungent odour, akin to old socks. It wasn’t until I travelled to Japan, where melons are coveted and a single one …

Food February 09, 2019

Almond cream with salted cucumber and dill oil

Greater knowledge and understanding of food production has definitely influenced people’s dietary decisions in the past few years. But even so, when it comes to thinking about how certain foods are produced and the effects that has on our bodies and …

Food January 26, 2019

Grilled kingfish collar with tare and yuzu kosho

What is more fitting for summer lunch on an island continent than fresh seafood? Because my chef brother-in-law is also a keen diver, our family meals are often brimming with whole fish, abalone, clams and crayfish. How lucky are we? The beauty of working …

Food December 15, 2018

Mussels with kombu butter

I recently spent my weekend collecting and cooking shellfish in the pristine waters of southern Tasmania. It’s a pastime I really enjoy. Collecting shellfish provides a strong connection with nature and requires observation and an understanding of …

Food December 01, 2018

Strawberry and rose geranium cordial and lemon and f ig leaf cordial

My yardstick for a refreshing drink is whether you would drink it while playing tennis. Even though tennis is a game I haven’t played since I was 16, the courtside drink that comes to mind always contained some smashed fruit with a high water content. …

Food November 17, 2018

Spring onion and leek broth with smoked eel

In south-west Victoria, where I grew up, there is evidence of this country’s early forms of aquaculture practised on Gunditjmara land in the form of elaborate eel traps and runs believed to have been developed up to 8000 years ago. This sight has since …

Food November 03, 2018

Furikake

In cooking, sometimes convenience is key. I now focus about 25 per cent of my time in the kitchen on building a larder of fermented, dried and smoked goods that add depth of flavour in varying forms of acid and salt. The result yields a benefit not only …

Food October 20, 2018

Whipped smoked fish with broad beans, leaves and salted cucumber

Possibly the best part of a broad bean is the leaf. But most often it is simply discarded, as usually the plant is grown purely for the bean to be picked at the height of ripeness and served fresh. I love cooking with everything the plant throws at me …

Food October 06, 2018

Radishes with raw silver trevally and sweet sesame

Radishes have a great capacity to work across several applications, from accompanying raw fish dishes to being used in salads to being roasted with meat cuts. But the aspect I like best is the mustard element that runs through them all. Japanese radish …

Food September 15, 2018

Spring milk ricotta with honey and kunzea pikelets

“Even milk has seasonality. Developments in agriculture that have seen variation diminish can be seen in both a positive and negative light. However, the difference in a milk from a spring pasture should be celebrated. Ricotta is a very, very simple thing …”

Food September 01, 2018

Grilled mud crab with curry butter

“I was lucky enough to recently find myself on an immense cattle station in the Gulf of Carpentaria with a group of friends. We camped, fished, hunted and gathered among the broad biodiversity that existed on the property. As it was the end of the wet …”

Food August 18, 2018

Artichokes à la barigoule

“The window in which to pick artichokes is very short. They go from being young, tender and a joy to prepare to a stringy and tough time-waster, which makes absolute sense considering they are a thistle. This recipe is based on a French preparation – …”

Food August 04, 2018

Sea urchin with cultured butter and toast

“I treat sea urchins as you would an oyster. One or two portions at the beginning of a meal is one of the best ways to begin an evening. The warm buttered toast is a lovely complement.”

Food July 21, 2018

Nettle rice

“Talk of nettles and most folk flinch, recalling run-ins in fields with shorts. The thought of eating or even harvesting them isn’t exactly met with exuberance. Like most things involving gardening, it draws an analogy with life, as I was once taught …”

Food July 07, 2018

Pickled quince with cime di rapa and bottarga

“When buying quinces, a few imperfections are a good sign that the fruit has experienced fewer chemicals and industrialised processes. Quinces, like apples, because of their varieties, have a fairly long season. By the time you work from the top of Victoria …”

Food June 23, 2018

Smoked oysters and chicken broth

“When done with consideration, cooking can be a great way to show the oyster’s flavour. In winter, especially, oysters tend to have more of a muscle, and rock oysters can be treated almost like clams to show this off. This recipe uses smoked oysters …”

Food June 09, 2018

Grilled blue mackerel

“Cooking mackerel is a commitment. I cook them over coals using a Japanese technique, grilling with the dry heat above charcoal rather than through contact with the flame. You cook only on one side, through a wire rack. When the meat turns opaque two-thirds …”

Food May 26, 2018

Salt-baked celeriac with mustard cream and salmon roe

“Keeping vegetables whole and intact for as long as you can yields similar benefits to meat on the bone, but for me cooking in a self-sealing dome of salt – or clay and hay – is the pinnacle. In this recipe I serve the celeriac with mustard cream and …”

Food May 12, 2018

Pipis and periwinkles with new potatoes and seaweed butter

“The pipi is defined by a triangular shell and is found in the shallows of estuaries and beach sand flats. Pipis are very accessible to gather and for the next level of funk, we bring in the periwinkle. This dish is a bit of a celebration of all things …”

Food April 28, 2018

Fig tart

“I have never been a fruit guy, but my girlfriend is a fruit bat – we have a fig tree in the backyard and she’s out there every morning. Now I really appreciate eating a fig that is ripened straight from the tree, which has never come in contact with …”

Food April 14, 2018

Smoked eggplant with salted cheese and mint

“This eggplant is a pretty classic Middle Eastern dish, similar to a baba ganoush. The eggplant picks up and holds the flavour of the smoke, while the skin protects it. This technique ends up both smoking and steaming the eggplant.”

Food March 31, 2018

Squid noodles with shiitake

“This dish came out of trying to think of new things to do with squid. My kitchens have always been intentionally limited by equipment. This technique came out of trying to use the protein as a carb. Slicing the squid like a noodle also opened up how it …”