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Jamie Durrant

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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…

With more than two decades of experience in the coffee industry, Sydney based coffee aficionado and book author David Rosa has crafted what can only be described as the world’s most comprehensive coffee everything book The Artisan Roaster: revealing trade secrets, roasting tips, practical advice, hilarious anecdotes, tech specs, plus brief history on coffee – the book is a rewording and insightful new release. Some consider the self published book a modern bible, designed for…

It’s deceptively simple in appearance yet there are delicately nuanced flavours that take me by surprise – it’s a rare delight. This is my first little tasting plate at Botanic Wine Garden, Port Macquarie; it will be one of a pleasurable many. The dish is presented in an elegant shallow bowl that’s painted with ingredients: sashimi kingfish, buttermilk, apple, basil oil, green chilli and fennel – it looks beautiful and the wine match is stellar.…

New Australian hotel group Veriu is carving out a fine niche in the boutique accommodation market. We check in, to check out, the ‘millennial modern meets 1920s Hollywood’ gentrification of Sydney’s Wentworth House, reimagined as Veriu Central. With Australia’s increasing demand in smaller-scale boutique hotel experiences comes a gentrification of inner urban historic properties; and with this we should be thankful. These previously forgotten gems of our cities are often well positioned, offering great convenience…

It’s been a long focus of Essentials to celebrate the many landmark icons of Melbourne, Australia – its sensational cafés, historic restaurants and art galleries; including its people: chefs, artists, designers and all the creative minds who have collectively shared in building the culturally rich tapestry that is the city we know and love today. British-born, Melbourne-based chef Ian Curley, like many before him, brings a wealth of knowledge and artisan colour to the region.…

Josh Niland’s collection of prized line-caught delights are a limited catch, delivered with an intensified flavour born of unique dry-ageing and curing techniques. You won’t find farmed or over-fished species at Sydney chef Josh Niland’s Fish Butchery. Rather, sustainable line-caught specialty gems hand-cut and presented in a central display cabinet that looks like it belongs in a museum: a collection of rare prized artefacts; its sliced and whole fish carefully arranged within their marble and…

Finely milled roasted wattleseed is a wonderful ingredient in ice cream. Flavour extraction is via hot, not boiling water, similar to a plunger coffee. The wattleseed presents an earthy, yet unique coffee/nut-like flavour. Outback Chef, Melbourne (Jude Mayall), is a leading supplier of premium roasted wattleseed. Method 1. After infusing, filter out the grains and use the liquid to flavour vanilla the ice cream anglaise base (see recipe below). As a rule, Jude suggests 3…

In terms of wineries with a view, premium soils and brilliant cellar doors, Tallis Wine in Dookie, Victoria is one of my personal all time favourites. The modernist corrugated iron-clad cellar door architecture features sweeping views from its interior floor-to-ceiling glass, with the simplicity of the layout and sleek furnishings only adding to the wonderful feeling of calm. Perched in the rolling hills of Dookie and with around 30km of cropping and grazing land between…

I had this salad in a restaurant in Los Angeles, and it completely transformed the way I prepare brussels sprouts. Gone are the days of boiling these baby cabbages to death; now it’s all about roasting, grilling or even eating them raw, as in this recipe. The key here is to shred them as finely as you can, which gives the slaw a more refined flavour as the dressing is better able to coat the…

Andrew Sutherland Smith, owner/winemaker of Rutherglen’s iconic Warrabilla Wines could be labelled one of Australia’s most passionate. A true unsung winemaking hero, and an altogether top bloke, Andrew is proud of his product and firmly states that ‘typically’ his product is ‘like no other’. ‘It’s not necessarily a regional or Rutherglen styled product – it’s a “Wobbly Villa” product!’ he laughs. Annually, wine club members, friends and fans of the winery get together for a…

I have grown up watching Melbourne Asher Bilu paint. He is a close friend to my father, Ivan. I used to ride my bike over to his house when I was a young boy, and explore his creations, his magical mystery tour of a house, and step deeply into his very private studios watching him carefully touch, construct, paint and, when resting, play his sarod. I remember well how its unusual sound resonated, and how…

It’s never too early to practice and perfect your Christmas offerings, and we feel this traditional Christmas eggnog recipe, served chilled OR warm, by Hilton Brisbane’s Executive Chef, Matthew Wood is one to get down pat. ‘Eggnog is the quintessential Christmas drink. A rich, frothy, and stiff alcoholic punch of sorts that always reminds me of sitting near a warm fire while the weather outside turns sour. However serving it as as cold drink makes…

In 2009, Australian cook Justine Schofield was selected for the first series of MasterChef Australia. While she was eventually eliminated in fourth place, her individual skills and bubbly personality did not go unnoticed with Network Ten offering to produce a TV program of her own, Everyday Gourmet. Now, after more than 700 episodes, Essentials’ spoke with Justine about her rise to fame and contents of her fabulous new book The Weeknight Cookbook – one we…

Freeman on Ford is Beechworth’s first, and only five star accommodation, having remained so for the past 15 years. Accredited with numerous national awards for excellence, including winning Trip Advisor’s coveted award for Australia’s best bed and breakfast in 2013. Part of its charm is the individually decorated rooms and suites, well known for providing an unmatched level of luxurious respite within its central Beechworth location. We step inside one of the two 1930s deluxe…

The sky had a ‘threatening look’ about it when Georg von Neumayer and his party reached the summit of Mount Kosciuszko on the morning of 19 November 1862. Neumayer, a Bavarian scientist of exacting standards, was conducting a geomagnetic survey of Victoria, a colony which, under the influence of Governor Charles La Trobe, avidly supported the advancement of science and the arts. Travelling as a private guest of Neumayer was the Vienna-born painter of Romantic…

We don’t tend to celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia, but I have always loved the sentiment behind this special day. Having one day a year to sit back, relax and talk to your family about what is making you happy in life, what you appreciate and what your dreams are for the year ahead is something we don’t do nearly enough. This wonderful holiday is all about giving thanks, so, whether you do this on Thanksgiving…

It’s always a grand experience venturing into High Country Victoria, Australia. With pleasantly forested undulating hills and dramatic alpine peaks making up some of the country’s highest, the region presents an opportunity for people to reconnect with nature and so reinvigorate the soul. Living and working within the area, Master Builder Steve Graves of leading firm Bright Alpine Builders, knows all too well how picturesque the region is. Inspired by the tall stands of mountain…

Col Fondo Prosecco 2018 The Dal Zotto prosecco story is the stuff of legends. Just over a decade ago Otto Dal Zotto, King Valley tobacco grower turned grape grower and winemaker, launched himself into a quest: he wanted to make sparking wine from the prosecco grape, the grape he grew up with in his town of Valdobbiadene in Veneto in Northern Italy. After much effort searching he found some prosecco vines in Australia – in…

Original Lockhart River Art Gang members Rosella Namok, Fiona Omeenyo, Patrick Butcher Jnr and Silas Hobson last week launched a new exhibition in Regional Victoria just days after achieving a record $90,000 in charity art sales; supporting the apolitical organisation Global Gardens for Peace in Melbourne. The brightly coloured Lockhart River paintings caused a fierce bidding war between the 150 plus art lovers who packed the house at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art last…

Colour of Raven is a new release Australian wine that’s set to hit our tables for Christmas 2019. It is in fact a red, however appears inky deep black in colour. The  wine can change from jet black to a purple, bluish tinge and a dark red in various lights, similar like the feathers of the Raven. The deepest dark colour is brought about by a rich Cabernet Sauvignon grape from the Limestone Coast in…

Capturing Tropical and Fresh Fruit Flavours: Essentials in-house chef Megan Chalmers has collaborated with New Zealand freeze dried ingredient company Fresh As and Whitsunday’s newest resort, Elysian Retreat to present a range of tropical inspired menu items, including this flame-grill assisted dessert. Brown Sugar Pudding with rum-glazed flame-grilled pineapple, Fresh As Freeze Dried Pineapple Chunks, double cream Brown Sugar Pudding Preheat oven to 180°C. 250g pitted dates, chopped 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 1½ cups…

New York is set to launch a new sky observation deck, Edge at Hudson Yards. Announced as the Western Hemisphere’s highest outdoor observation deck, Edge will open to the public on March 11, 2020 offering visitors the opportunity view never before seen 360 degree views of New York City.  Piercing the sky at a soaring 100 floors from its record-setting height of 345 metres, Edge will enable outstanding views of Manhattan, Western New Jersey and…

Briony Bradford, Head Chef at Rutherglen’s famed Jones Winery Restaurant has an artist’s eye. She paints impeccably presented plates that incorporate delicate flavour pairings and a range of intriguing textures. Given their beauty, it’s easy to think of the dishes as items that might have popped out of a renaissance painting. But her expressions of the seasons are not mere table arrangements of draped grape bunches and stacked stone fruits. There is another skill at…