Since opening his first restaurant, Bills, in Sydney in 1993, few people have done more for the global understanding of how Australia eats than the Melbourne-born, self-taught chef Bill Granger, commonly (though, he’ll politely say, not necessarily correctly) known as the man who gave the world avocado toast. Now, decades into his career—with additional eateries in Honolulu, London, Seoul, and Tokyo—he’s plating his native cuisine for the world in the form of the new cookbook Australian Food (Murdoch Books), a delicious collection of wholesome recipes including one-bowl meals, chopped salads, and fish dishes. We recently spoke with Granger about the immigrant foodways that shaped Australian cooking into what it is today.
Over the last twenty years, you’ve authored ten books—none of which squarely tackle the topic of Australian food. What prompted you to write about the subject now?
The idea of thinking about Australian food started a few years ago, when I was getting lots of calls from big media outlets in the U.S., [asking me to] talk about avocado toast. It got me thinking, What is Australian food? It’s not really a dish—it’s not like British or French food. It’s more of the Italian or Asian idea of food, where good food is for everyone. Everyone eats well in Australia.
How would you describe the origins of contemporary Australian food?
Post-World War II, there was the worry that we’d get taken over by a foreign invader—so there was a huge push to increase the population in Australia. That brought in many people, mainly from southern European countries, which really flipped things. Australia is so far away, and you couldn’t travel in those days, so going to restaurants in the city became a big part of the culture.
Was there a particular cuisine that helped kick off Australia’s food revolution during that era?
The explosion of the Asian population really changed Australia’s cuisine. That was the biggest influence, I think: big dim sum restaurants that are noisy, buzzy, and casual, with an attitude of doing things quickly and cheaply. Australians don’t do formal very well.
With so many cultures influencing the culinary offerings in Australia, how has the country gained confidence in its food?
We take food and make it our own. We never think of any food as “foreign”—it just becomes part of who we are. We absorb cultures, and then relax them. We want new flavors and want to change. Australian food is never set.
At the start of a new year, many of us vow to resist guilty pleasures. This is not the case with the aptly named BrooklyBad Habit, which encourages a strategic embrace of such indulgences.
In Canadian artist Meech Boakye’s hands, fermented cherry and plum blossoms become leavening agents for bread, soil from their backyard transforms intoInstagram documentation of these culinary experiments is mesmerizing, their focus on food is about much more than aesthetics: It’s centered on
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Dimly lit restaurants are no rarity in New York. But at Abigail’s Kitchen in Greenwich Village, reduced visibility isn’t exactly for ambience. Twice a week, chef-owner Abigail Hitchcock offers Dinners in the Dark, for which she blindfolds her guests before they enter the dining space, then serves them a multicourse, seasonal menu
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Clunky and often noisesome, coffee grinders typically fall into the category of countertop appliances that most of us stKey, a new streamlined version by Weber Workshops—a maker of well-crafted kitchen tools that was founded by Douglas Weber,
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Puurs, Belgium, isn’t exactly known as an oenophile mecca—yet. That may change now that Valke Vleug, a year-old boutique winery created by former real estate developer Jan Van Lancker and Belgian architect Vincent Van Dsign up for its newsletter, which will announce the wines’ launch date soon.)
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During China’s Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220 C.E.), pu-erh tea was transported along the Ancient Tea-Horse Road, an age-old trading route that once extended 1,400 miles from ChinaCamellia sinensis var. assamica in mountains of the Chinese Yunnan Province—that are roasted, rolled, and dried in the sun. They’re then fermented in osheng pu-erh ferments naturally and matures over many years like a fine wine, while the ripe and earthy shou pu-erh is incubated in a moisture-rich environment that accelerates the aging process, which concludes within a few months. Typ
Jon Gray, along with chefs Pierre Serrao and Lester Walker, form the Bronx-based culinary collective Ghetto Gastro, whose work celebrates their native borough while seeking to elevate its stature within global culture through immersivEp. 2 of our Time Sensitive podcast, recorded in early 2019.) Through imaginative storytelling, experiential activations, and product development for clien
Even if you’re not a sommelier or a wino, there are enough champagne memes these days for you to know that the bubbly faD.M. Brut, a sparkling wine that’s made in the Champagne method—which is to say, fermented in the bottle itself—but with a “BraziObrigado!, making for an apt gift. Sure, Dom Maria’s sparkling wine may not be champagne proper, but we’d happily raise a glass asaúde to a round of this.
Among the sundry forms of comfort we’ve sought during the pandemic, perhaps nothing soothes faster than a piping-hot pizRoccbox can cook a perfectly-crispy-crust Neapolitan pie in just 60 seconds, with its up-to-950-degree oven and cordierite stonRoccbox Wood Burner 2.0, a detachable device that adds oomph to its signature oven, with its ability to reach top temperatures even faster, andOoni Pro, which can be heated with charcoal, wood, or gas, and Camp Chef’s double-walled Italia Artisan Pizza Oven, built to mimic the performance of the wood-fired brick variety (it can also be used to bake bread or roast meats). How
In the United States, the market for fermented tea drinks, including the popular kombucha variety, reached $2.2 billion at the end of last year, and is expected to jump to $6.5 billion by 2026. But all such beverages are not created equal, as exemplified by BrookUnified Ferments, which concocts refreshments that offer a distinctive, and complex yet subtle drinking experience. “Most kombucha is ma
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If journeying to Japan feels out of reach—or even impossible, in the midst of a pandemic—fret not. The subscription box Kokoro Care Packages brings the best of the country to you via monthly, quarterly, or one-off parcels, delivered year-round. Noodles, soups,
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The human gut microbiome contains up to one thousand species of bacteria that, among many functions, produce neurotransm
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Aishwarya Iyer never thought she would found an olive oil company. At least her background in start-ups and venture capi So Iyer decided to make her own, and launched Brightland in 2018. Using olives from a family-run farm on California’s central coast, the Los Angeles–based company makes extra-v
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Lexie Smith is an artist and baker, though it’s only relatively recently, after years of working in restaurant kitchens and balanciBread on Earth. Her work often takes on various forms, from performance and installation to photography, writing, and publishing, all
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Marfa may be known as a site of pilgrimage for lovers of minimalist art—its expansive desert sky, open landscape, and ofCooking in Marfa: Welcome, We’ve Been Expecting You (Phaidon). The collection of essays and recipes, featuring local ingredients and dishes, from prickly pear to chicharrón
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First came the sourdough craze; next, homemade cheese. Ricotta, to be specific. Since pandemic times, home cooking has ta recent episode of At a Distance. “For me, it was so wild how far away we had come from that, as a species—the fact that most people don’t know how to htry this recipe), requiring only two ingredients: milk and lemon. Add a bit of patience, which is something we could all stand to pract
Dr. Brian Fisher, an entomologist and curator at the California Academy of Sciences, has studied and identified countless species of antadvocating for an insect-focused approach to nutrition and natural conservation. Here, Fisher tells us why eating insects is a healthy practice for both our bodies and the planet.
Whetstone Magazine Co-Founder and “Origin Forager” Stephen Satterfield on Food, Culture, and Identity
The co-founder of Whetstone magazine and host of the food anthropology podcast Point of Origin, food writer Stephen Satterfield spent more than a decade working as a sommelier before venturing into the world of medEsquire, Food & Wine, New York magazine, and other publications, Satterfield tells us about his role as a self-described “origin forager,” and why the
With Memorial Day weekend behind us, summer has officially begun, and for many home-growers, this signifies the busiest Kitazawa Seed Company, founded in 1917 by a Japanese American family, sells some of the best, and offers more than 500 seed varieties of dento yasai, traditional heirloom varieties of a diverse array of Asian vegetables used in Japanese, Korean, and Chinese cuisines, Browse the extensive catalog to learn about all the delicious varieties, and pick up some recipes for dishes such as sunomono, a simple and refreshing cucumber salad, and kinpira gobo, a savory side of burdock root sautéed in sweet soy sauce.
Thirty to forty percent of perfectly good, fresh produce grown in the U.S. goes to waste each year simply due to bruisinTerroir in a Jar, a company with a serious mission to reduce food waste and put profits back into the hands of growers.
As the in-house chef for Vitsœ—the midcentury furniture manufacturer that’s been producing Dieter Rams designs since 1959—Will Leigh is a fixture who famous 606 modular shelving. Though much of the Vitsœ team has been working remotely these past several weeks, Leigh, along with a dozen or so esse
As we enter yet another week of social distancing in many cities throughout the U.S., home cooking, it seems, is here toGreat Jones, the direct-to-consumer startup co-founded by Grub Street alum Sierra Tishgart, makes a beautiful enamel cast-iron versThe Dutchess, in a range of cheery colors to brighten any kitchen drudgery. For the more minimalist or solo cook looking to save spaAlways Pan from Our Place is an ideal starter piece, with a ceramic non-stick coating and various nesting accessories that give it a multifunctioMisen’s durable seven-piece cookware set, designed by the Brooklyn studio Visibility, offers a clean, no-nonsense take, with ergonomic handles designed for comf
The ongoing Covid-19 closures have brought the unimaginable to so many local and small businesses across the country andFamily Meal, a site and Instagram account of recipe cards featuring dishes from their favorite local restaurants. All are available for download, with suggested bagna cauda from Popina, challah from The Lighthouse, and lou rou fan from Win Son.
Between homeschooling, working from home, and/or cooking at home more than ever, many of us are spending our days stayinan automated, open-source system called FarmBot that’s been slowly cultivating a fan base of users online. Controlled using an app, and assembled from a kit of parts, t
Daytime drinking is on the up—hey, it’s 5 p.m. somewhere (not that we can keep track of time these days, though the #HandMarkingTime Stories on our @slowdown.tv Instagram at least help us remember which day of the month it is). But if you prefer not to risk getting a hangover, or weakeningDram Apothecary makes a version of the increasingly popular drink in a range of flavors, such as cardamom and black tea, using CBD extrWild Mountain Sage) and switchels, as well as a set of CBD tinctures that you can either drop directly on your tongue, or add to any drink
The ongoing Covid-19 crisis has put a sudden and massive halt on the restaurant industry: Bars, small businesses, mega-c“morbidly high business death rate.” (There’s an episode of our At a Distance podcast on this very subject with Esquire food and drinks editor Jeff Gordinier coming out soon.) As wholesale restaurant suppliers now find their client bases on
As people everywhere settle into new home-cooking routines, finding resourceful ways to make their pantry goods stretch victory garden. Luckily for apartment dwellers without a backyard or access to much green space (more than half the world, basically), all you need is a corner of a countertop to grow some fresh herbs indoors. Better still, and for the botanEdn. The company makes wifi-controlled kits that come with a built-in LED grow light; simple seed pods for no-fuss, soillesSmall Garden order placed—a welcome reminder, in these uncertain times, that your efforts to stay indoors can make a difference for
Self-quarantine and social distancing in the age of the coronavirus are not to be taken lightly, and if, like us, you’refor your own safety and for the safety of others—you may be asking yourself what to stock your pantries with. Add to cart: DADA Daily, a line of tasty and healthy snacks that are neither heavy-handedly survivalist nor overprocessed and, not to mention, so don’t be that bulk-buying, toilet paper-stockpiling jerk.
As the daughter of Slow Food pioneer and Chez Panisse founder Alice Waters, Fanny Singer has had her share of Proustian Always Home: A Daughter’s Recipes and Stories (Alfred A. Knopf), offers a warm and sensorial portrait of her mother, and of an upbringing that often revolved around
Dimes, the all-day café, bar, and market founded by Sabrina De Sousa and Alissa Wagner in downtown Manhattan, has always doneDimes Times: Emotional Eating (Karma Books)—which she says is the first in a series of more publications to come.
Rich Shih, founder of the blog Our Cook Quest and co-author of the forthcoming book Koji Alchemy: Rediscovering the Magic of Mold-Based Fermentation, is a self-taught cook and fermentation expert who makes everything from takuan pickles to fish sauce from scratch, twekoji, the source of umami in fermented ingredients like miso, soy sauce, mirin, and more.
South Korean cinema has been on everyone’s lips this week, in the afterglow of director Bong Joon-ho’s triumphant OscarsParasite, the grand finale to a months-long award spree that began with a Palme d’Or win at the Cannes Film Festival last year. making history in more ways than one. By his second acceptance speech, Bong, whose reactions were being duly memed, was ready to hit the bar. His exact words: “I’m ready to drink now, until the morning.” A total mood.
Zach Mangan, founder of the specialty Japanese tea importer, gallery, and café Kettl, tells us what to look, smell, and taste for in a top-quality matcha.