Instead of the Good Food Guide, this year we bring 100 Good Things to the table: a collection of people, places, moments and mementos that best represent 2020.
41. Make it grain
What's next after you've established a landmark natural wine bar (Bar Liberty) and a red-sauce pizzeria/ cocktail bar (Capitano)? For Manu Potoi, Michael Bascetta and Casey Wall, the answer was to team up with Christine Tran and open craft bakery Falco in Collingwood. Tran, a baker with experience at Tartine in San Francisco and Fitzroy North favourite Loafer, keeps the shelves stocked with an endlessly delicious parade of good things: smoked-corn porridge loaves, outstanding English muffins and peanut butter miso cookies worth a cross-town journey. PN falcobakery.com
42. Ginspo meets roe
Apparently caviar bumps (a $30 hit off your hand) are all the rage in Sydney. We've gone one better and soaked Yarra Valley roe in Victoria's always sold-out Four Pillars shiraz gin to make the smash hit scoop of the summer. Available at the Four Pillars Distillery, Healesville. GC yarravalleycaviar.com.au; fourpillarsgin.com
43. Good Food for your bookshelf
In case you missed it, Good Food released New Classics in November, our second cookbook full of readers' most-loved and requested recipes. That means Neil Perry's chicken Kiev in all its garlic-buttered glory, Kylie Kwong's deep-fried duck with plum and orange sauce, and an updated salad Lyonnaise from Danielle Alvarez, starring mustard greens and perfect for lunch or dinner any day of the year. Simon & Schuster, $40. CB booktopia.com.au
Alejandro Saravia's new venue is dedicated to Gippsland produce.
44. The Gippsland embassy
Peruvian-born Alejandro Saravia, chef at Pastuso, is expanding his passion for the Gippsland region by opening Farmer's Daughters at the 80 Collins development. Everything Gippsland – from beef and butter to wine and sea urchins – will be showcased in a three-level extravaganza, which includes a fine-dining restaurant, a rooftop bar and a produce store. It opens early in 2021. MH farmersdaughters.com.au
ISH's eggplant curry is on the Make Out Meals menu. Photo: Sammy Green
45. Make-Out with a Melbourne restaurant
There are many meal kits on the market, but Make-Out Meals brings restaurant food to you with dinners crafted by 12 Melbourne restaurants. Kits contain recipe cards and raw ingredients and you use one to transform the other into dinner. Turn eggplants and spices into ISH's 4000-year-old curry, or feel like Bomba's flank steak with crushed kipflers and salsa verde is (almost) all your own work. PN makeoutmeals.com.au
46. Family treasure
Ismail Tosun's fans are many and they are loyal. Back in the day, he won a legion of admirers at Gigibaba on Smith Street, Collingwood. Now, after hitting the streets in a food truck, he's back to bricks-and-mortar at Miksa, a casual Turkish eatery in Coolaroo. His rolls stuffed with coal-grilled lamb and chicken kebabs are all impeccable, but for the true believers, it's all about the hellim (aka haloumi), made fresh to a family recipe. PN askimmiksa. square.site
47. Pick your picnic
If there's one pastime we've perfected of late, it's the art of the park picnic. A damp rug and a few containers of dip no longer suffice, as some of the city's best caterers and chefs have taken the hamper to new heights. Entrecote offers Parisian-style chairs and tables with their Pique-nique, so you can set up in style in the Kings Domain. Cookes Food has three hampers for a splurge: brunch box, mid-sized grazing box or the Euro box with bubbles, octopus, brie and baguettes. Find more hampers from Blakes Feast and Neighbourhood Wine. MH entrecote.com.au/pique-nique; cookesfood.com.au/cookes-at-home
48. Bitter chefs
Given (too much?) time, two Victorian chefs have turned it into deliciously embittered drinks. Embla's Dave Verheul has released Saison Vermouth (pictured), a peach-hued, unfiltered romp through a field made with summer flowers, destined for ice and a lemon twist.
At Provenance in Beechworth, Michael Ryan is working on three bitter amaro digestifs: Orchard ("a bright, citrus-based one"), A Walk in the Black Forest ("a woody, spicy one"), and a very bitter bottling in the style of Italian Fernet-Branca, "for amari geeks", called Up to Eleven. PN & GC email@example.com; beechworthbitters.com
49. The Market Lane espresso vending machine
A kilo of Aroresa coffee beans? A little bag of seasonal blend ground for stovetop? Or is it time to treat yourself to the white peach and jasmine tones of Santa Clara? These are the decisions visitors to coffee roaster Market Lane contend with.
But thanks to 2020, the one thing they don't have to contend with is when to buy, now that Market Lane has a vending machine outside its warehouse that offers whole and ground beans (plus filter papers). It is open 24-7 at 126 Weston Street, Brunswick East. PN
From left: French cheesemakers Ivan and Julie Larcher with Alison Lansley of the Australian Specialist Cheesemakers Association. Photo: Simon Schluter
50. Making Australia grate again
What could be more 2020 than enrolling in The Cheese School? The curriculum by Carla Meurs and Ann Marie Monda of Holy Goat, and French cheesemaker Ivan Larcher, offers a pasture-to-production-line course for cheesemakers. Want results without the work? Grab their brand, Long Paddock Cheese, plus other dairy goods to go. GC millcastlemaine.com.au
51. Neil Perry's bold Hope
Officially, Neil Perry retired from Rockpool Dining Group in July, but the past eight months have kept the chef busier than ever. Perry (pictured) launched not-for-profit Hope Delivery in April, aiming to feed homeless and disadvantaged people affected by the pandemic, plus workers on temporary visas ineligible for government assistance.
With a crack team of Rockpool staff, volunteers and the help of OzHarvest, Hope provides more than 2000 meals a day in Melbourne and Sydney.
When he's not on the pass creating Hope Delivery meals packed with Australia's best produce (Hazeldene's Chickens from Bendigo feature), Perry is fundraising to make sure the program can keep happening. "It's here forever," he says. Or at least until there are no more hungry Australians. CB rockpoolfoundation.com
52. Layla's shaking up the city
What do you do when you're a big restaurant built for business workers who just aren't there? If you're Shane Delia, you persuade the City of Melbourne to cut off Bond Street and build a marquee for Maltese meze. Layla is a serious installation outside Delia's flagship Maha, and while the evenings here promise much, the ultimate bait might be weekend brunches. Diners have access to the restaurant's famously deep wine list, while service runs yum cha style with offerings such as haloumi wrapped in pastry threads. GC maharestaurant.com.au
53. Cherry-o baby
If ever there was a year to get out among the cherry trees, this is it. Kind winter weather has ensured a bumper crop at CherryHill Orchards, excellent news for anyone wanting to pick their own. The orchard is open 9am–5pm daily (except Christmas Day) until early January. Pack a picnic and make a day of it, or book a private high tea for two in the orchard. RG cherryhill.com.au
54. The lasagne that rules them all
The events game is patchy at the best of times, let alone during an apocalypse. Music events producer Joey Kellock started a side hustle in home-delivered lasagne three years ago; cue 2020 and he's a man poised for city-wide domination.
Kellock took on a star-studded crew of out-of-work musicians and their barely serviceable cars emblazoned with the 1800 Lasagne logo became a fixture on Melbourne streets. Now he's opened a lasagne bar in Thornbury serving a tight menu and a solid line-up of DJs for summer. GC 1800lasagne.com.au
55. Unexpected savouries from Melbourne's pastry queen
Philippa Sibley is known best as a pastry chef, but as subscribers to Take3 by PS have learnt she's also very good in the savoury department. Sibley says it's elevated home-cooking rather than restaurant food, but a glance at her recent offerings – confit tomato and nettle lasagne, Sri Lankan cashew-nut curry – suggests that her idea of comfort food is more polished than most. And, yes, those meals include dessert. Order by email: firstname.lastname@example.org PN
Make your great escape to Dairy Flat Farm. Photo: Supplied
56.The great escape
Could you have planned a more apt business for cooped-up Melburnians than this agriturismo by the Wolf-Tasker family, owners of Daylesford's Lake House? Dairy Flat Farm is set on 20 hectares, featuring orchards, a vineyard and enormous kitchen gardens where the plant-obsessed can learn about horticulture. There's also an onsite bakery where guests can pick up fresh pastries and take sourdough classes with baker Michael James. Book a room or take over the whole farmhouse with friends. Heaven. GC dairyflatfarmdaylesford.com.au
57. Get on the (secret) sauce
The skill of the saucier can make or break a dish. The sticky red vinegar dressing that makes Victor Liong's crisp eggplant a signature of Lee Ho Fook has been captured and bottled for delivery via Co-Lab Pantry.
Add a jar of Lagoon Dining's Strange Flavour Dressing – a nutty, spicy soy-andsesame paste perfect for cold noodles – and Fancy Hank's Original BBQ sauce, and you have a cupboard that can't be conquered. GC colabpantry.com.au
Piney Limey cans from Moon Dog's Fizzer range. Photo: Kate Shanasy
58. A hard seltzer summer
Heard of hard seltzer? It's essentially boozy sparkling water – the modern kilojoule-conscious answer to the alcopop – and breweries can't release them fast enough. Try Moon Dog Brewery's Fizzer range based on nostalgic summer flavours like the Splice Pine Lime. GC moondogbrewing.com.au
Black pepper mud crab from Talay by Thai Tide. Photo: Justin McManus
59. Talay's crab-on-demand service stays on
The team from Melbourne CBD restaurant Thai Tide delivered one of lockdown's highlights with its seafood-focused spinoff Talay: crab on-demand. Spanner crabs, blue swimmers and mud crabs, fresh off their flights from Darwin, tossed in a fizzing black pepper mix or a mellower curry, were such a hit the banquets are sticking around. GC thaitide.com.au
60. Help out Lebanon
The world cried for Lebanon after a devastating explosion rocked Beirut in August. The e-book Bake for Beirut, is full of recipes by chefs such as Tulum's Coskun Uysal, Nomad's Jacqui Challinor and Adam Wolfers from Gerard's Bistro. It aims to raise funds for the Lebanese Food Bank and Steps of Hope charity. GC sohope.org.au/ bake-for-beirut
Words: Callan Boys, Gemima Cody, Roslyn Grundy, Michael Harry, Pat Nourse, Dani Valent