Driving through the rolling hills of South Australia’s McLaren Vale wine region, surrounded by vines planted by 19th-century European settlers and cellar doors of Australia’s oldest wineries, the last thing you’d expect to find is a multi-dimensional, five-story-tall Rubik’s cube. But at d’Arenberg winery, that’s exactly what you’ll find. The architectural marvel of bold shards of mirror and glass and metal is home to one of the world’s most immersive, anticipated wine-tasting experiences, and it is set to finally open this November.
Dubbed the d’Arenberg cube, this $14 million AUD project dreamed up by d’Arenberg’s lovably eccentric, fourth-generation winemaker, Chester Osborn, will be equal parts cellar door, art gallery, immersive tasting room and fine-dining destination. Each of the elements have the explicit intent of shattering your senses and heightening them to the optimal sensory place for wine tasting.
Dominique Crenn—she of the poetic tasting menu at Michelin-starred Atelier Crenn— has long been known as a chef that’s as talented as she is tireless. But the chef’s latest endeavor just might be the most impressive project she’s worked on thus far.
It’s Root Project, an aid project put together by Crenn and Zesa Raw co-founder Michelle Jean with the goal of helping farmers in Haiti replant coffee and cocoa plants after the complete devastation of local crops following Hurricane Matthew. The project’s goal is to plant 1 million trees alongside Haitian farmers and chefs. We caught up with Crenn to see what this project could mean for the farmers of Haiti and to discuss chefs’ social and environmental responsibilities.
There’s a lot of masochism in hot sauce. When you move beyond the relative safety of Tabasco, Sriracha, and Tapatío, much of the market is made up of small-production sauces with gimmicky names and labels promising every conceivable level of delicious pain.
Take hot sauces like the Reaper Sling Blade—made with one of the world’s hottest peppers, the Carolina Reaper—or The Black Mamba, which boasts a rating of 2.5 million on the heat-rating Scoville scale. (For reference, a standard jalapeño falls somewhere between 3,500 and 10,000 Scoville units.) The problem with most of these super-hot sauces, however, is that while they effectively set your mouth on fire, they contain little in the way of real flavor.
Thankfully, a certified master of pain has taken it upon himself to create a hot sauce that pleases as much as it punishes. Say hello to Wyldefire
, a new—and perhaps the only—hot sauce made by a BDSM porn star.
For years, the food scene on the Las Vegas strip could be largely divided into two categories: fine dining or chain-casual. Screaming Eagle in Zalto stemware or a liter of boozy neon slushy through a sippy straw. Celebrity chefs or mega chains. Joël Robuchon or Hooters.
But as more and more people begin to plan trips around memorable food experiences, Las Vegas’ strip has begun to shape-shift around the fact that a huge number of their potential visitors are of a new breed. They can’t (or don’t want) to drop $445 per person on a tasting menu but they also appreciate good food and want more than just cheese-covered drunk food—except when that’s exactly what they want, of course.
They’re the type of people who watch Chef’s Table and Instagram their food. They’re Millennials who are happy to wait in wind, rain, or snow for the cruffins, Nashville-style hot chickens, and top-rated xiao long baos of the world. They’re the kind conscientious eaters who think about the politics of the James Beard Awards, the dilemmas of included gratuity, and the demise of Lucky Peach.
For better or worse, if you’re reading this, they’re you and me.
Finding someone who hasn’t heard of unicorn food might be rarer than finding an actual unicorn. While 2017 may technically be the year of the rooster, we all know it’s really the year of the unicorn. Did you know unicorn ramen is a thing now? Because it is.
Coffee houses, restaurants and even mega-chains have embraced the trend, attracting foodies that flock in masses for that unicorn-colored ‘gram. Starbucks ruled social media the week they served the limited-edition Unicorn Frappuccino, thanks to fans of the mythical, horned creature’s namesake food.
But for those who like their food best served in photogenic layers of pinks, purples and blue—we have some good news. Thanks to Pearl Butter, a new line of unicorn food in a jar, you can now transform everything you eat into unicorn food in the comfort of your own home.
The Michelin guide has long been the defacto authority on the world’s best dining. But as gourmet culture reaches peak mainstream popularity and old culinary hierarchies remain in flux, how does gaining, losing and (gasp) renouncing a star actually affect a restaurant’s business?
Historically, receiving a single Michelin star has led to an increase in customers for restaurants. Take chef John Fraser, whose New York restaurant Nix joined the Michelin star rankings this year (and whose website features “Proud new owner of a Michelin star” as a central banner). He said that receiving a Michelin star “has drastically increased business at both Nix and Dovetail.” An added bonus? “With the stars, I do feel now we are able to retain a higher level of staff than before.”
There’s a stereotype about musicians that they know how to party. And while we’re reluctant to generalize, we suspected that rock stars might have some insight into one of Saturday morning’s oldest questions: What should I eat to cure this raging hangover? So to get some professional, definitely scientific insight, we asked some of our favourite musicians about what sort of greasy breakfast bomb they crave to dull the pain and what restaurant does it best.
Over the last few years, the craft beer movement has completely taken over Melbourne thanks to a handful of young beer makers across the city. With an over 1,000 percent increase in the number of local breweries (reaching at least 60), the craft beer scene in Melbourne and surrounding areas have made the city one of Australia’s greatest destinations for beer. What’s more, one in three craft beers in Australia now comes from Melbourne.
We’ve all been there —the waiter accidentally pours someone else’s Pinot Noir into your Barolo, ruining your perfectly good glass of wine. You smile and tell them it’s okay while silently seething, reminding yourself that we all make mistakes. And while it’s something that just happens sometimes, it’s not something you’d expect to happen at Melbourne’s Attica, one of the best restaurants in the world. That is, unless it’s being done on purpose.
Jane Lopes, Attica’s new sommelier, is used to guests freaking out when she tries to pour a Chikuma Nishiki “Kizan Sanban” sake into a half-full glass of 2011 Crawford River “Noble Dry” Riesling. “We’ve had people cover their glasses, try to move their glasses out of the way, yell, ‘What are you doing?!’,” she said of her mixed-in-the-glass wine pairing for the restaurant’s abalone with seaweed butter and black garlic cream course.
If there is one dish that best exemplifies Australia’s native ingredients movement’s most current evolution, it just might be a piping hot bowl of kangaroo pho. “I encourage people to try the different plants before adding them to the broth,” Rebecca Sullivan explains as she places an array of indigenous plants and herbs upon our table. She points to succulent sprigs of coorong seablite, leaves of lemon and anise myrtle, shimmering bunches of iceplant and pods of finger limes spilling out tart green pearls. “I like to squeeze them just straight into the broth,” she says, pointing to the chubby citrus bombs.
This is Warndu, a pop-up restaurant and well-being brand from Adelaide, Australia brought to life by Sullivan and her partner, Damien Coulthard. Named for the word “good” in the Adnyamathanha language—the language of Coulthard’s Aboriginal heritage—Warndu is aiming to bring native Australian ingredients to consumers through dinners that educate and inspire, as well as selling a line of packaged foods (like kangaroo broth and native teas) to cook at home, with the goal of helping to build up sustainable farming and foraging systems within Aboriginal communities for economic growth.
“Indigenous food is food that’s grown in Australia, comes from Australia and that Aboriginal people ate and utilised during their time on the land,” renowned Aboriginal chef Mark Olive told the Daily Telegraph this year. “When people start using these foods with these flavours they’re blown away. Chefs around the world are embracing it and are so curious about it.”
With over 24,000 different documented species of plants, Australia is one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world, but while this flora situation may seem like a chef’s foraging paradise, much of Australian mainstream cooking has yet to embrace some of the delicious, healing, uniquely Australian native ingredients of the land. But thanks to a new generation of chefs, these native Australian ingredients, ranging from the caramel-y akudjura bush tomato to the wonderfully nutty wattleseed, are finally getting the mainstream attention they deserve—and, in the process, completely revolutionizing Australia’s food scene.