Where Luke Man­gan, Guy Grossi, Matt Moran and co eat in the coun­try



1 CHRIS­TINE MANFIELD HO­BART AND SUR­ROUNDS, TAS­MA­NIA Each year, renowned chef, restau­ra­teur and cook­book au­thor Chris­tine Manfield hosts an in­ti­mate, seven-day Tast­ing Tassie tour that starts in Ho­bart and takes in a sea-for­ag­ing cruise and a pad­dock-to-plate cook­ing les­son at The Agrar­ian Kitchen in Lach­lan, 45 min­utes west of the city. “You’re spoilt for choice in this re­gion,” Chris­tine says. “It’s so rich with food and wine ex­pe­ri­ences, ded­i­cated, pas­sion­ate pro­duc­ers and farm­ers, clean air, space and cre­ative en­ergy.” Satur­day morn­ings should be spent at the mar­kets — “Look for Prove­nance Grow­ers, the pri­mary rea­son to visit Sala­manca Mar­ket” — be­fore me­an­der­ing along the coast road through Ket­ter­ing, Wood­bridge and Birchs Bay. Then head west, to Cygnet, for lunch at The Lo­tus Eaters. Other must-haves: the pork belly with black pep­per caramel at Asian-in­flu­enced restau­rant Aloft in Ho­bart, and a bot­tle of D’meure Wines Pinot Noir (vin­tage 2015 or ear­lier). Pro­duced on the shores of the D’en­tre­casteaux Chan­nel, “it’s the best pinot made in Aus­tralia,” says Chris­tine. For ac­com­mo­da­tion, try MONA Pavil­ions, the beau­ti­fully re­stored Is­ling­ton in South Ho­bart or Som­er­set on the Pier.

2 ROSS LUSTED BY­RON BAY RE­GION, NSW When 2016 Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald Good Food Guide Restau­rant of the Year win­ners Ross and Sunny Lusted take a break from run­ning the three-hat­ted The Bridge Room in Syd­ney’s CBD, they head north to the blue skies and rolling hin­ter­land of By­ron Bay. “I love the com­bi­na­tion of ru­ral and beach ex­pe­ri­ences,” says Ross. Af­ter lazy days spent swim­ming, and for­ag­ing for pro­duce and me­men­tos at the lo­cal mar­kets — “some of the high­lights for me are By­ron Sugar Cane Juice, Bee Raw honey and Louise Gor­don ce­ram­ics” — Ross savours yak­i­tori, and the or­ganic tofu and wakame salad at Ki­noko Sushi Bar & Restau­rant in By­ron or heads 20 min­utes north to sam­ple the “very of-the-mo­ment menu” at tiny Fleet in Brunswick Heads. When they’re not rent­ing a house in the re­gion, the cou­ple love to stay within the rain­for­est set­ting of five-star The By­ron at By­ron Re­sort and Spa, and of­ten meet fam­ily from Bris­bane half­way at Pa­per Daisy restau­rant at Hal­cyon House on Cabarita Beach. 3 GUIL­LAUME BRAHIMI MAR­GARET RIVER, WA The Mar­garet River is such a beau­ti­ful and spe­cial part of Aus­tralia,” says French-born, Syd­ney-based chef and cook­book au­thor Guil­laume Brahimi, who has vis­ited the south-west re­gion of WA sev­eral times as part of the Mar­garet River Gourmet Es­cape fes­ti­val held in Novem­ber. The white-gold sand and turquoise shal­lows of Yallingup and Cas­tle Bay beaches are al­ways a high­light for the award-win­ning chef — who cur­rently runs hat­ted restau­rants in Syd­ney and Mel­bourne, and a bistro in Perth — as are the re­gion’s winer­ies. “I have a soft spot for Cullen Wines and my dear friend Vanya Cullen,” he says. “My favourite WA wine is Cullen Kevin John chardon­nay and we have al­ways had it on our wine lists.” When it comes to pro­duce, lo­cal mar­ron “is one of the best in­gre­di­ents in Aus­tralia and the truf­fles, I think they are as good as the ones from Europe”. >

Chef Chris­tine Manfield says Tas­ma­nia is a top spot for food and wine ex­pe­ri­ences. FAC­ING PAGE, CLOCK­WISE, FROM TOP LEFT Hal­cyon House, a boutique ho­tel at Cabarita Beach, is home to Pa­per Daisy restau­rant; Ross Lusted, chef and owner of Syd­ney’s The Bridge Room; Cullen Wines’ vine­yard in Mar­garet River, WA; chef Guil­laume Brahimi.

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