December, 2018

September, 2018

August, 2018

  • Cracking the code on cheffy terms

    28 August, 2018 Cracking the code on cheffy terms

    Sometimes fine-dining menus can seem like more of a maze than a relaxing pre-dining experience. Here, we breakdown some of the cheffy terms you’re likely to come across and include recipes so you can test them out at home.
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  • Cooking the classics

    27 August, 2018 Cooking the classics

    We consider those classic recipes we go back to time and time again.
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  • IGNI: The first year

    06 August, 2018 IGNI: The first year

    VIDEO: Acclaimed chef Aaron Turner's stirring account of love, loss and starting again.
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May, 2018

February, 2018

  • How a chef cooks for those he loves

    13 February, 2018 How a chef cooks for those he loves

    Skipping the crowds in favour of a lovingly prepared meal at home is your best bet for a romantic Valentine’s Day. This is chef Jock Zonfrillo's idea of a nice night in.
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January, 2018

December, 2017

October, 2017

September, 2017

  • Win a pro toastie pack

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    Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this kit, including a no-mess Breville press, a copy of Darren Purchese's Chefs Eat Toasties Too and a subscription to Cooked.
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August, 2017

July, 2017

June, 2017

  • Winter entertaining with Gill Meller

    08 June, 2017 Winter entertaining with Gill Meller

    Gill Meller is in the country, his first time to Australia, showcasing his beautiful book Gather with a series of dinners and classes. We caught up with him to find out what's on the menu for his Aussie guests.
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April, 2017

February, 2017

January, 2017

December, 2016

October, 2016

September, 2016

August, 2016

July, 2016

June, 2016

May, 2016

April, 2016

March, 2016

February, 2016

January, 2016

December, 2015

November, 2015

  • Christmas basics: the perfect custard

    27 November, 2015 Christmas basics: the perfect custard

    We're looking at those staple recipes that can make or break your Christmas spread. First up, the much-misunderstood sweet seductress, custard.
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  • Halfway Home

    16 November, 2015 Halfway Home

    I’ve been sugar-free for a total of two weeks, and things are going surprisingly well...
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  • Bubbles or nothing

    11 November, 2015 Bubbles or nothing

    Out to impress this party season? To take your entertaining game to the next level, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Halliday Wine Companion to share tips on matching sparkling wines to a range of show-stopping canapes.
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  • The anatomy of the perfect burger

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    Looking for your next weekend challenge? Why not have a crack at making your own cheeseburgers from scratch? Chef Daniel Wilson shares the secret recipe to recreating his famed Huxtaburger, from bun to patty and everything in between.
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  • No Sugar November

    04 November, 2015 No Sugar November

    This month while the boys are growing staches, I’ll be growing a conscience about all the confectionary I consume.
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October, 2015

September, 2015

May, 2015

April, 2015

March, 2015

February, 2015

January, 2015

December, 2014

November, 2014

October, 2014

September, 2014

August, 2014

July, 2014

June, 2014

May, 2014

April, 2014

March, 2014

February, 2014

  • Margaret Fulton's expert guide to preserves

    27 February, 2014 Margaret Fulton's expert guide to preserves

    Jams, pickles, chutneys, sauces, compotes and conserves are the best way to preserve abundant produce so you can enjoy your fruit and veg all year round. Margaret Fulton shares her guide to the art of preserving.
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  • Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2014 | Our picks

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    The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, running from February 28 to March 16, begins in just over a week. We’ve put together our picks of the fest.
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  • Philippa Sibley's expert guide to sweet pastry

    24 February, 2014 Philippa Sibley's expert guide to sweet pastry

    Master of the dough Philippa Sibley shares her step-by-step guide to making sweet shortcrust pastry, taking you through everything you need to know to perfect the art of peerless pâte.
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  • In season | Eggplant

    21 February, 2014 In season | Eggplant

    The unsung hero of the nightshade family, eggplant is found in cuisines the world over. From Sicily to South East Asia, the Middle East to the Mediterranean, many signature dishes feature the versatile aubergine. We sing the praises of the humble eggplant.
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  • Everything you need to know about cuts of pork

    17 February, 2014 Everything you need to know about cuts of pork

    Meat expert and chef Adrian Richardson explains the different cuts of pork, and what you should use them for.
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  • Sticky business | A guide to meat on sticks

    14 February, 2014 Sticky business | A guide to meat on sticks

    Skewers, kebabs, shaslicks, yakitori … Whatever you call them, meat just tastes better when cooked on a stick. We share our tips to help you ace the skewers at your next barbecue.
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  • In season | Figs

    06 February, 2014 In season | Figs

    Figs evoke the flavours of exotic decadence. Sweet and visually striking, figs make for a decadent tart topper, a sumptuous sticky jam or a delightful savoury venture with cold meats. We share some of our favourite fig recipes.
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  • Guide to styling handmade edible gifts

    05 February, 2014 Guide to styling handmade edible gifts

    There's nothing more thoughtful than a handmade edible gift. April Carter shares her tips and tricks for making beautiful and delicious treats for those you love.
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January, 2014

December, 2013

November, 2013

Meet London doughnut (and bread) maestro Justin Gellatly

Jane Willson
15 January, 2015

Justin Gellatly is headed to Australia to share his wisdom on bread, doughnuts, and the joy of a good sourdough starter.

Baker Justin Gellatly’s doughnuts are no secret in London anymore. They developed a following when he first turned them out at St John Restaurant in 2003, and their fame has only grown since he opened his own place, Bread Ahead, in Borough Market, a year or so ago.

When he joined the kitchen team at Fergus Henderson’s restaurant way back in 2000, Justin thought he might learn a thing or two about offal. But the bread called. Literally. “The bread and the crackling of the crust just didn’t stop singing to me.” He quickly learnt the ropes on his days off and ultimately took on the role of head baker and pastry chef for the Michelin-starred restaurant (which had grown to include a stand-alone bakery when he left).

Search online for his doughnut recipes, maybe take a lesson or two, and certainly prepare to be tempted. He says one of his keys to success is weighing the water. He does this when making both bread and doughnuts because it is a lot more accurate than a measuring jug.

I caught up with Justin (whose name you might also recognise as co-author of Beyond Nose to Tail with Fergus Henderson) ahead of his visit to Australia for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. He will appear at the festival artisan bakery and bar, as well as taking masterclasses in March.

Q: Tell us about how your career began. Is it fair to say that you fell into baking?

As with a lot of chefs, I started washing dishes in a small restaurant and the head chef there showed me the ropes. But the baking side of it all started at St John Restaurant [in Clerkenwell], where I joined as a chef. They had a small in-house bakery where I started work on my days off and soon switched to baking as my full-time job.

Q: So there was a turning point?

One of them was when I did my first bake at St John and took my first bread out of the oven. The bread and the crackling of the crust just didn’t stop singing to me. I hung up my chef apron and put on a baker’s one – and never looked back.

Q: How was it working for Fergus?

It really was the most amazing 13 years of my life; the encouragement and generosity from Fergus knows no bounds.

Q: And the path since leaving there – at your own place, Bread Ahead, in Borough Market – how has it gone? Beyond expectations?

Initially I really missed the whole St John family (13 years is a long time), but it’s good to break away and do your own thing as well. It’s been an amazing first year; the massive plus side is working with Matt Jones, a fellow baker, and the best bit is my wife Louise works in the bakery. She spends most of her time helping run our bakery school, which is next door to the bakery. Both are going from strength to strength.

When I did my first bake at St John ... the bread and the crackling of the crust just didn't stop singing to me. 

Q: What does a typical day involve? Hit us with those bakers’ hours …

Well, I’m normally up around 9pm and I head to the bakery on my motorbike for around 10pm. I get changed and get the kettle on (I love tea). I sort out the product for the shift and the rest of the bakers start arriving between midnight and 2am.

We start baking 2am, right through till about 10am. Most of the doughs have an overnight prove so there is no hurry to get the mixing on as the doughs are ready to be shaped for baking. We do around 12 breads from sourdoughs to ciabattas and, of course, lots of doughnuts.

My day normally finishes between 11am and midday, and I try to be in bed by about 3pm.

Q: Do you have a favourite and/or most acclaimed recipe?

Favourite is my madeleines, but most acclaimed are my doughnuts [Justin's classic flavours include: custard, jam, lemon curd and apple cinnamon. But his most fought-over creation is perhaps the caramel custard with salted honeycomb sprinkle, pictured].

Q: And someone else’s you return to/have improved upon?

I always follow my mum’s mincemeat recipe for Christmas mince pies and also for her Christmas pudding, which we make a year in advance to deepen the flavour. The only thing I’ve changed is there is a bit more booze in them.

Q: A super good looking ginger cake with a cider and caramel sauce is one of the first recipes of yours that I found online. You write, modestly, that it’s both the best in the world and one of your best recipes. True story? What’s the trick?

Well, first, it’s so simple to make. I used to make it at St John and everyone who had it pretty much said it’s the best in the world. Also, since my book [Bread, Cake, Doughnut, Pudding] came out, everyone who has made it says the same thing. I think the key is the mix of spices, which gives it a lovely, warm depth of flavour. Plus the pieces of stem ginger. It also has a great shelf life.

Q: And what about ingredients, do you have a favourite right now?

Sprouted grain.

Q: Food/restaurant/ingredient/talent discovery?

Lyles Restaurant, in Shoreditch. I worked with [chef and owner] James Lowe at St John Bread & Wine and his cooking always impressed me, so fresh, tasty and beautiful. But since Lyles it has just got better. One of my favourite restaurants in London.

Q: Who would you most like to bake for – and what would you bake?

I sort of have done it twice. I baked the bread for William and Kate’s royal wedding, and I also did my custard doughnuts for the world’s top 50 restaurants and chefs.

Q: What do MFWF masterclass participants have to look forward to?

Lots of delights, including a doughnut masterclass. Also to see what we are baking at Bread Ahead. And I’ll be encouraging people to start their own sourdough starters. Plus lots of great baking; I’ll be doing massive cathedral loaves, pictured. We had a sourdough starter blessed at the Southwark Cathedral – hence the name.

Justin Gellatly bread

Q: And, lastly, have you sorted your dinner/doughnut plans for when you are in Melbourne? It does both pretty well.

Still in the planning!

Justin will be appear at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival on 7-8 March as part of the Chef MasterClass sessions. You can also catch him at the Festival Artisan Bakery & Bar.  Book tickets here.

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