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

    18 September, 2017 Win a pro toastie pack

    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.
    Read more…

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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May, 2017

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

    11 November, 2015 The anatomy of the perfect burger

    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.
    Read more…

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

    27 February, 2014 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2014 | Our picks

    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.
    Read more…

  • 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.
    Read more…

  • 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.
    Read more…

January, 2014

December, 2013

November, 2013

Festive season tips from the Final Table’s Mark Best

By
Cooked
Added
19 December, 2018

Meet the Australian chef who coasted through new cooking show 'The Final Table' thanks to his calm and collected style. Here, he shares how you too can keep your cool and host a 10/10 event this Christmas.

What dishes define the festive season for you?
* Roast goose – A traditional and celebratory bird, which is rich in flavour and delicious. Personally, I think it’s the perfect statement meat for Christmas.
* Chestnuts and Brussels sprouts – It’s all about texture for me. These flavours complement each other perfectly and pay homage to a traditional Christmas feast.
* Hasselback potatoes – Who doesn’t love a roast potato on Christmas Day? Hasselback potatoes are irresistible.
* Creamed rice – I like to complete the meal with this dish, served either hot or cold. It’s the ideal way to finish the Christmas feast.

How would you interpret the traditional Christmas dishes for summer?
* Seafoods – Fresh prawn and avocado salad with a zingy lemon dressing to cut through the richness of the main ingredients.
* Roasts – Sweet and sour lamb ribs served with wedges of lime, reserved marinade and fresh pomegranate seeds for a fresh take on the classic proteins.
* Sides (salads / vegetables) – Green bean salad with lime butter and almonds - the tangy butter really brings out the flavour of the beans.
* Desserts – In lieu of your Pavlova or trifle, I would make my mango with white chocolate and sheep milk yoghurt ganache with kaffir lime sherbet. This is a very fresh and vibrant summer dessert that combines luxury with exoticism.

How will you be spending the holiday?
I’ve grown up celebrating Christmas Eve with a big dinner, which goes back to my European heritage. I love the tradition of Christmas Eve and the feeling of promise that it brings, as well as the countless memories that are created.

Do you have any timeline tips?
The key is to have everything prepared beforehand so you can spend more time with your guests. Preferably, I like to spread the workload over two days. Have your menu planned early and always write a list because this will allow you to start your shopping as early as possible to avoid the Christmas panic. Ensure that your menu has a combination of salads and hot vegetable dishes. The mixed selection is perfect for our hot climate and means you can prepare a lot of the dishes early in the day.

Is there something important to you when it comes to table setting? 
I love a Christmas cracker!

What albums/songs will you have on rotation for the occasion?
Don’t overlook the power of music. I just hit play on my curated Spotify playlist –anything from Patti Smith to The Smiths to Fleet Foxes. I'm a sucker for great lyrics and melodies. I’ve got 50 hours, so plenty of good vibes for a summer luncheon.

Any entertaining pet peeves or tips for your guests?
Always toast your host! Despite whether they make their own speech once everyone is seated, you should always follow with a toast to them – short and sweet is best!

Any go-to drinks that you keep the fridge/cupboard stocked with for summer?
I love a big jug of martini with watermelon and olives on clear ice – it’s perfect for those lazy summer afternoons and guests can help themselves! For non-drinkers, I would have some homemade kombucha made with Chinese tea and apple juice.

Explore Mark’s cookbooks Best Kitchen Basics and Marque, or head over to AEG Australia to see the range of recipes he’s created especially for the festive season.

Recipes to try

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