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Jamie Durrant

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Have you ever considered the volume of food ingredient-to-price ratio when buying vegetables? Often pumpkins come out on top and more importantly, they’re loaded with a variety of nutrients, including fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. In terms of extending your dollar further we think they’re a ingredient that should be high on your grocery list. Pumpkins are great for roasting or adding to soups, curries and braises. Another fab money saving idea is to make…

There’s nothing as good as the flavour of freshly BBQ corn on the cob, but did you know the same result can be achieved on regular gas stove top? Paired with the sweet mellow flavour of black garlic, this easy recipe is a guaranteed way to turn a few fresh simple ingredients into a family favourite. Stove Top Charred Corn Cobs 1. Shuck the corn (peel back the husks) and remove the silks. 2. Light…

These simple and delicious soups offer an energy and emotional lift. Incorporating fresh fruit and vegetables with garden pickled herbs and the added protein of seeds, they’re a great way to balance your diet. Creative and simple to put together, why not make them for a loved on, this weekend! Cucumber Avocado Gazpacho with watermelon, mint and pepitas 4 cups quality vegetable stock 1 ripe avocado 2 continental cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped ¼ bunch…

Borodinsky Bread is one of the most favourite varieties of bread in Russia. This traditional dark-brown sourdough loaf is made of rye and wheat flour, with a pinch of sweet molasses or honey and spicy coriander. For Aussies, you’ll be surprised to learn that it’s great with butter and Vegemite; however to truly appreciate the Russian style, we suggest you pair this some pickled cucumbers, sauerkraut, tomatoes (fresh or pickled) and slices of sausage and…

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of harvesting ripe and fragrant red or black currants, then you’ll know of the rich and spicy-sweet floral aromatics that cover your hands when picking and elevate from your picking bucket when full. This Red Currant and Onion Relish is a simple recipe that’s designed to pair with Essentials’ Panko-crumbed Mackerel Fishcakes . It is a versatile recipe that can is well suited to fish and lighter meal dishes.…

Over the coming weeks and months, Essentials will to continue to support its readers during the COVID-19 crisis with clever food strategies, supportive ideas to share. We’ve now opened up our website and iOS app Essentials Magazine Australia allowing FREE subscription. To install the iOS app, visit the App Store today! Panko-crumbed Mackerel Fishcakes with Sweet and Sour Cucumbers, Red Currant and Onion Relish Serves 4 Mackerel Fish Cakes 700g potatoes, peeled and cut into…

Broth, brodo, bouillon – call it what you will; if you think it’s simply for peasants, then I’m here to inform you that you’re wrong, and are missing out on one of life’s great treasures. Made simply by simmering bones, meat and vegetables; or simply vegetables alone in water, it forms a base to a many great recipes – soups, gravies, and sauces. When made with care, it alone can make a thoroughly enjoyable and…

Given the current COVID-19 crisis, it’s rapidly becoming very apparent that money saving recipes – soups, braises, sauces, tarts, preserves, foraged foods and more is going to help us all over the coming months. In the last few days we’ve put together a collection of recipes at essentialsmagazine.com.au to help many get a head start on feeding families extremely well, for less money. Over the coming weeks and months, Essentials aims to continue with clever…

In terms of cash saving Soviet era recipes, this Belyashi (Russian pan-fried pies) with lecho (pepper ragu) pair is one of the most satisfying and flavoursome we’ve tasted. It’s a good idea to plan ahead and make a large batch of lecho and preserve in jars; as later combining lecho with something as simple as mashed potato can make a fast and flavour-packed evening meal to please the entire family when the pies have run…

Kefir is fermented milk and an amazing source of probiotics. It offers a pleasing tang and the softness on the tummy comes from the slow fermentation of quality milk. Considered by Eastern Europeans as an original super food, this versatile ingredient is popping up at supermarkets nation wide. Essentials’ chef Megan Chalmers has created a simple and flavoursome breakfast recipes to showcases the diversity of this unique super food dairy ingredient. Kefir Coconut Lime Chia…

So the saying goes, the best chefs enjoy nurturing people – offering care and sustenance to make the body strong and the heart warm. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, many Melbourne restaurants are this week offering non-contact home delivery services, supplying pasta sauces, take-home lasagne, slow cooked ribs, Humpty Doo barramundi, discounted wine and more. in case you may have forgotten, the world still is indeed your oyster – and we can buy electronically!…

In 2011 artisan baker Louise Ritchie began a heath-focused fascination with natural slow-ferment breads that can make gluten more digestible. Fast forward to 2020: while her artisan loaves are simply the best we’ve ever tasted, Lou’s sourdough crumpets are now the big-ticket winners. In 2011 her passion was driven by necessity – to improve the diet of her two sons. So began a self–education process with a simple sourdough starter made from just organic Australian…

If you’re a passionate vegetable or fruit grower living in Australia, you might be aware that this summer’s erratic climate has played havoc with vine maturation of gourmet tomato varieties. With a mix of hot and dry days, plus variants of cold and warm days, with higher than average humidity in the southern states, ripening of this versatile fruit has come late for many. In Victoria’s Yarra Valley, Mark Ebbels, head chef of Yarra Valley’s…

Given the changing season, cooler days and easing of summer crowds, now’s a good time take the drive to Victoria’s glamours Mornington Peninsula. While inland Red Hill winery restaurants in recent years have captured the crowds and won many of the accolades, seaside towns like Sorrento and Portsea have shared less of the limelight. But with this summer’s opening of Morgan’s Sorrento, positive change has arrived making a firm footing and marking a line in…

Few desserts entertain better than a decadent cheesecake bursting with colour and natural fragrances. They may look tricky but we’ll let you in on a secret… they’re a cinch! Here’s how to whip your own delectable dream  individual Brûlée Cheesecakes with Red Wine Pears and Vanilla Cream. Makes 12 Individual Brûlée Cheesecakes (baked in muffin tins) Cheesecake Biscuit Crumb Base (see recipe below) 500g cream cheese, warmed to room temperature 1 cup caster sugar 1…

The Queen Garnet plum is considered by many the crown jewel of Australian plums. Jam-packed with seven times more antioxidants than other plum varieties, the Queen Garnet is now in season and available from major and independent retailers across Australia. Growers including Rullo Farms in Shepparton, Victoria, this year have reported a record-breaking growing season with the crop producing biggest harvest since commercial production began in 2014. Queen Garnet plums hold their firm, robust shape…

Barcelona is a city that feels and appears alive in every sense of the word. Entangled, connected, moving, energetic, in so many ways an uplifting gift. Streets leading from the port are gracefully lined with Middle Eastern date palms, their long fanning green fronds and tall rippled elephant feet-like trunks paint the city with an exotic air of sophistication. Summer evenings for thousands of tourists are lit by the coloured high spraying waters of Font…

TFE Hotels and Hume Partners Property will launch Australia’s very first cross-laminated timber (CLT) hotel and the tallest timber adaptive-reuse project in the country, Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne Southbank, later this year. Just six months out from opening, the 220-room Bates Smart-designed apartment hotel, at the intersection of Southbank Boulevard and City Road in Melbourne, is set to turn heads for its edgy and beautiful architectural smarts; and warm hearts for its forward thinking sustainable…

Founded by Matt and Lentil Purbrick (of Grown and Gathered) in partnership with Matt’s father head winemaker Alister Purbrick of Central Victoria’s Tahbilk winery; Minimum is a new youthful and forward thinking wine label focused on organic, minimum intervention wines, natural growing principles and true sustainability from vineyard to (and inclusive of) the bottle. Its launch offering includes a 2018 Sangiovese Syrah, a 2018 Chardonnay and a 2019 Sangiovese Rosato – all wines that have…

Belinda Jackson checks into a Lapland-inspired hotel in Helsinki’s chic Design District. During winter, snow-laden winds sweep across lakes and tundras of Finnish Lapland, freezing all in their wake. Reindeer forage for lichen in the chilled earth, and the brief minutes the sun rises above the horizon are bookended by a deep blue twilight that heralds the return of the polar night. A thousand kilometres south, there’s no snow on the footpaths of the Finnish…

Essentials’ Megan Chalmers unleashes a decadent dessert – Poached Fruit Crostata Tart with Lemon Ricotta Ice cream – the perfect accompaniment to the changing summer-to-autumn season. Poached Seasonal Fruit Choose your own fruit selection; we used 2 persimmons, 2 peaches, 2 nectarines and 2 pears 4 cups cold water 3 cups brown sugar 1 large knob of ginger, peeled and grated juice and zest of 1 lemon 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped Method 1. Place…

Quest Albury on Townsend has taken the art hotel concept several steps further by partnering with leading Victorian art gallery Aboriginal Exhibitions. The new partnership sees a display of more than 170 original pantings and prints within a series of hotel gallery spaces. Also recently launched are the new Studio Art Suites – a collection of four premium rooms that include original paintings from celebrated Lockhart River (Cape York) artists: Fiona Omeenyo, Patrick Butcher Jnr,…

A fine wine collaboration between Australian and an Austrian winemakers Andrew Peace and Georg Weinwurm. Third generation Austrian winemaker Georg Weinwurm manages a diverse vineyard of different varietals located in Austria’s northernmost wine growing region Weinviertel. The area is well known for the white varietal Grüner Veltliner, which can produce wines comparable to a Chardonnay made in Burgundy, yet with dry and spicy, peppery notes. In the 1950s, Georg´s grandfather Anton planted the first vineyard,…

It’s been a tough three weeks for the bush fire effected wineries in Victoria’s King and Alpine Valleys. This week winemaker Jo Marsh of Porepunkah/Bright’s Billy Button wines took to social media to explain how fatigue has set in as safety advice keeps switching between ‘Emergency Watch Watch & Act’ to ‘Watch & Act’, with still no signs of the Mount Buffalo/Buffalo Valley fire retreating. Logically the fires and smoke have kept the tourist away,…

Canberra’s Capital Region Farmers Market has this week revealed many of its stallholders have been severely affected by the Australian bushfires across several regions, and vows to do whatever it takes to help and support the Farmers Market community. The market returns this weekend to support fire affected stallholders with Bushfire Appeal. ‘We are deeply saddened that a number of our stallholders have been affected across several regions including the NSW South Coast, Snowy Mountains,…

Braising is a cooking method that can turn tough meats into tender and succulent offerings. In this case, chicken thighs on the bone coupled with verjuice and stock allows the meat to remain tender, while enhancing its natural flavours. The key to many braises is cooking low and slow, depending on the size and thickness of the meat cut used; however this recipe calls for a relatively fast preparation and cooking method. It promises to…

Having opened in 1929, Sydney’s northern beaches clifftop icon Jonah’s Whale Beach will this January celebrate a 91 year milestone with an invitation only exclusive event with invitees including some of Australia’s biggest names in business, philanthropy, politics, sport and media. Jonah’s is well regarded for its continued focus in delivering fine cuisine paired with a glorious expansive Pacific Ocean backdrop. However it’s the extensive wine list spanning over 80 pages of award-wining gems that…

This Summer restaurateur/hotelier/developer Julian Gerner of Morgan’s Sorrento is making a fresh start at the bayside eatery with the help from long term chef collaborator Paul Wilson (Botanical, Albert Park Hotel Oyster Bar & Grill, Icebergs, Wilson & Market). Revered as one of the country’s great culinary talents, Paul has recently launched a new menu at Morgan’s that celebrates the great Aussie fish café; delivering sustainable, market fresh seafood daily. Focusing on sustainable fisheries, guided…

The Beatles continue to enhance the fan listening experience, more than 50 years after iconic albums were first recorded with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band being remixed in Dolby Atmos for the first time. Tate Liverpool and National Museums Liverpool, with a little help from The Beatles and Dolby Laboratories, this week launched a unique experiential presentation of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in Dolby Atmos, as a Christmas gift to the city. This…

There’s a new force for change happening in the Australian wine industry and the South Australian regions of Mclaren Vale and Adelaide Hills are leading the way. The positive new direction is the production of certified organic and biodynamic wines – wines that are sustainably grown and made with minimal intervention – meaning an all natural, chemical and additive free process. In terms of industry sales both down under and the world over, the organic…