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Jamie Durrant

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Holly Kilntworth is one of Australia’s finest distillers, yet her original plans concerning the drinks trade were motivated by her good nose for business, rather than to create products. Armed with a Master of Business Administration from RMIT, she landed a job as Global Brand Assistant at Treasury Wines Estate, but much later discovered the joys of product development visiting Cognac distillers in France. In 2016, she was invited to take over from her father…

Jamaica’s history is both colourful and dark. Voodoo witches, pirates, slave traders, Spanish conquistadors and English invaders are all woven into the fabric of this tiny country’s past. If only one thing has remained constant throughout the turmoil of the years, it is the nation’s passion for, and appreciation of, the local spirit. Made from the abundant sugar cane that is cultivated on the island, Jamaican rum is an institution in itself. Appleton Estate is…

One of the most exciting world exhibits of indigenous art is coming to The National Gallery of Victoria later this year as it will launch TIWI – on show from November 13 to March 8, 2021 at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. The Tiwi, the original inhabitants of Melville and Bathurst Islands, are known for their extraordinary art and cultural practices, distinct from those of mainland Aboriginal people. Located 80 km north of Darwin,…

For those lucky enough to either make a road trip or book newly-launched Qantas flights from Sydney to Byron Bay this winter, a recently opened boutique hotel choice awaits. The Surf House (boutique hostel/hotel) strikes a new balance in beachside accommodation, marrying comfortable private suites with some shared rooms, open-plan backpacker-styled living spaces and open-air rooftop bar. Located in the heart of Byron Bay town centre, just a few streets back from Main Beach, The…

As Melbourne grapples with the increase in confirmed corona virus cases and selected postcode reintroduced lockdowns, regional NSW is set to reboot its tourism industry with an announcement today from Qantas celebrating the launch of two new routes to regional NSW. The first Qantas flight between Sydney and Byron Bay (Ballina) in 15 years departed today and the airline has confirmed its first ever flights to Orange will begin on July 20. This comes at…

Once the hidden gem of Steels Creek, near Yarra Glen, Yarra Valley boutique winery Yileena Park has become one of the region’s must-visit cellar doors. These days, the winery hosts couples and small groups of eager wine aficionados vying for the best pre-booked limited seats in the luxurious Tasmania oak-lined parlour-style tasting room for Yileena’s detailed complimentary wine education and tasting presentations. Entertaining, educating and sharing wines is all in a day’s play for Bob…

Unlike other ski resorts, Victoria’s Dinner Plain has a year-round community with a life of its own, and it’s quintessentially Australian. There are no fences and the houses are designed with the old cattlemen’s huts in mind. When people walk around the village, they regain their sense of freedom. Entering the village by crossing the cattle grid signals one’s arrival – it’s time to shed some stress and unwind in style true opulent Bond villain…

While many of us could be accused of wasting money on frivolous things, King Louis XIV – or more accurately, his first wife Marie Therese (commonly known as Marie Antoinette) – took the concept of impulse shopping to a new level when she singlehandedly brought 17th century France to the brink of bankruptcy. As a result, the starving masses who were understandably outraged by the court’s spending, staged a number of violent demonstrations culminating in…

If you’re keen to get skiing on mountain this year, take a step back and read the fine print before leaving home, as Victoria’s alpine resorts are preparing for a very different start this winter season. While overnight stays are possible within Victorian resorts, visitor facilities at Mt Buller, Falls Creek, Mt Hotham, Mt Stirling, Mt Baw Baw and Lake Mountain are likely to be limited as tobogganing, downhill and cross country skiing is not…

Looking for the ultimate cure to your lockdown isolation blues? Step inside High Country Victoria’s just opened contemporary, architect design accommodation properties: Art House Townhouses, Bright. 
Situated in the heart of Bright’s food, wine and distillery district, these five luxury appointed townhouses offer a new standard in designer comforts married with individual collections of fine Australian art prints produced by celebrated contemporary artists Margie Sheppard and Dean Bowen, plus key works by  John Olsen. Exteriors…

Take a seaside stroll on a wild shore, feel the pulse of an ancient forest, find views that have inspired some of Australia’s great painters and iconic novelists. Who’d have thought it possible a month ago? As the loosening of lockdown continues across the world, Victorians can now stretch their legs and travel within the state. Nature has been the big winner of the COVID era, and our cleaner, greener, open spaces are beckoning. Sorrento-Portsea…

Winemaker and proprietor Richard Tallis of Tallis Wines in Dookie, Victoria, is a mighty talented, down-to-earth bloke whose knowledge, understanding and connection to the land though grape growing and winemaking is admirable. His Tallis 2017 Riesling is a class-leading wine that features bright lifted aromas of cumquats and melon, coupled with a rich, round mouthfeel that’s layered with mixed citrus, the best of summer’s stone fruit flavours and a deeper buttery, ripe pear element It’s…

Rise and shine this Sunday morning with a lesson on how to do brunch, cooking alongside Masterchef host Andy Allen, the co-owner of the Three Blue Ducks restaurants in Sydney, Byron and Brisbane. Live from Aus is a round-up of the country’s best travel adventures presented by Tourism Australia. The Live From Aus weekend runs on the Tourism Australia Facebook page and YouTube channel from 7am (AEST) this Saturday 16-17 May, 2020. XO Butter Mushroom…

Join chefs Jo Barrett and Matt Stone this Saturday for a crafternoon making Neufchâtel cheese, LIVE from Oakridge Winery in Victoria’s Yarra Valley. Jo will teach you how to make this delicious soft cow’s cheese at home using just four ingredients. Jo and Matt will reveal their favourite ways to enjoy Neufchatel cheese with recommended wine pairings while sharing their wealth of knowledge on the best things to do in the Yarra Valley for a weekend away,…

There’s a bloody huge elephant in the dining room and I’m not talking about the savage job losses and economic chaos playing out within the Australian restaurant industry. I’m talking about the prospective loss of art – a loss of the very fabric that makes up our cultural food identity: our great chefs, our historic eateries, the celebrated dishes and the joy of discovery in exploring our rich and thriving food scene. Melbourne’s Longrain and Longsong…

Flowerdale Farm is an innovative Australian-owned family business based in Flowerdale, Victoria, around an hour North East of Melbourne. They’re growers and suppliers of an astonishing range of edible flowers and micro-greens. While many of us may have seen plates within Melbourne restaurants garnished with their products, there’s now a growing list of grocery stores and vegetable provedores that stock their products. Adding colour and life to a range of dishes, here’s our guide to…

While a half side of premium fish might sound a touch luxurious or expensive during the COVID-19 crisis, it’s surprising just how much volume cured fish is produced and how long it will last in your refrigerator, potentially making some decent cost savings. If you can’t access a while side of fish, slices of fresh salmon from your supermarket will also work nicely, as long as the pickled beetroot and seasoning well covers the fish…

It has to be said, if you’re buying store-bought pickles you’re simply missing out. Often commercially packaged pickled vegetables are made with minimum, simple ingredients – water, vinegar, salt, sugar – and given the lack of complexity, the contents inside the jar often taste bland; or worse, too vinegary or too sweet. Experimenting with your own pickling liquid and making your own range of pickled vegetables is highly rewarding, but what choices might one have…

Learning how to avoid the mistakes when pickling is a critical step. Some may have experienced ferments exploding or turning fizzy, or jarred pickles turning mouldy. There’s certainly an art to putting fruits and vegetables into jars and the key to success is hygiene. Unfortunately the one step that’s the most important is often overlooked – sterilisation. Here’s how it’s done: Jars and lids to be used firstly need to be checked for good condition.…

The Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) today has issued a plea for all Australians to support the industry through the coronavirus crisis. Simply put, they’re asking Aussies to buy and eat Australian seafood – certainly a fair and suitable request, given the fact we’re a nation of seafood lovers. While prime fish selections can be rather expensive choices, other more creative dishes can be created from lower cost fresh seafood. This crispy white bait recipe by…

These decadent looking chocolate tarts may look expensive, however they’re made with relatively low cost raw ingredients. While we’ve dressed up our tarts with small garnishes of edible gold leaf, this visual element can be exchanged for toppings of baby herb leaves, for example mint or basil. The muscat syrup can be made with some older wine stock, and keeps well in a refrigerator. It’s also makes for a great adults only ice cream topping.…

Crêpes are not as complex to make as one might think. These very thin and delicate French variations of the humble pancake can be  quickly and easily poured, flipped and served. This recipe using kefir (fermented milk, high in probiotics, now available in most supermarkets) makes preparing the crêpes batter a cinch. Gluten free flour as an alternative also works well with this recipe. Makes 16-20 crêpes 400ml Kefir (we preferKefir  from Blue Bay dairy)…

Over the coming weeks and months, Essentials aims to continue with clever food strategies, supportive ideas to share with your family. This Venison Goulash with Homemade Sour Cream recipe can also be made with beef or lamb, ideally saving money by use of cheap meat cuts or leftover meat that might be stored in the back of your freezer. Preparation is relatively simple yet the result is highly desirable with  fragrant aromas that fill the…

Kholodets is a jellied meat dish traditional in Russian cuisine. Its name is derived from the Russian word ‘kholod’, meaning ‘cold’ and is a popular dish of the winter new year’s festive season. It’s usually served with fresh Russian borodinsky bread, fresh horseradish, pickled vegetables, vodka and/or cognac. Kholodets is made from fresh butcher’s meat and makes wonderful use of the cheap cuts including: pork trotter and shins. When served, it resembles a rectangle of…

Beechworth Honey has long been at the forefront of championing Australian honey and Australian varietal honeys. The business was created 25 years ago by husband and wife team Steven and Jodie Goldsworthy in Beechworth in North East Victoria. Australian varietal honeys are made by the bees collecting the nectar of native trees in flower – mainly eucalypts but also other species, such as banksia and macadamia. Beechworth Honey has more than 500 hives in bushland…

Scandinavian design has long held the world in thrall with its clean, considered simplicity. And the cookbook Nordic Light by Australian-born, Stockholm-based chef, food stylist and photographer Simon Bajada reflects this to luminous effect. ‘A great way to introduce more grain into your diet is through porridges. Porridges are to Scandinavians what fry-ups are to Englishmen. There are an endless number of toppings and flavour combinations that can be used to vary your porridge. This…

Dare to dream – we suggest you do it. For us, simply imagining a time in the future when it’s again safe to jump on a plane, dine with friends and explore the world’s gifts is very much worth the mental exercise – to keep our hopes alive. In memory of some of our favourite destinations, dining experiences and unique world beverages, here’s a list of the international (and local) travel destinations we miss the…

If you’re growing tomatoes at home, you’ll know it’s been an unusual season in Australia. A late summer to autumn harvest for many in the southern states is progressing; and for some green tomatoes sit on the vine without ripening as the weather cools. If you’re a little dissatisfied with your green crop then we highly suggest this sweet, sour and highly aromatic melon caprese salad recipe. It makes a wonderfully light and nutritious evening…

Cooking your own meals at home each evening is cheaper, healthier, and more rewarding than relying on takeaway or microwaveable meals most nights of the week. However, there is still room for you to optimise your home cooking so that you minimise the amount of food waste you create. When you generate food waste as a by-product of home cooking, every morsel that ends up in the bin represents a chance for you to have…

There can be no simpler meal – mushrooms on toast. For many, during autumn, you’ll know where to find some fresh pine or field mushrooms. But if you’re city bound, choosing a selection of flavoursome mushrooms at your local supermarket or farmer’s market can prove a cost effective way to score some premium ingredients to enable this delightful, super fast, yet underrated meal. The Spanish know of the joys of mushrooms and annually celebrate their…