Good Food Guide 2015Commenting on 2014 food trends, Larissa Dubecki and Jane Apelgren of  The Age Good Food Guide identified pickles, kale, milk sheets, beef cheeks and pork jowl as among the hot ingredients over the past year. Salted caramel, they say, has had its day, replaced in the sweet stakes with licorice, coconut, popcorn and bacon. It’s bye bye sous vide and hello smoke and flame.

The 2015 Good Food Guide (which, of course, comes out in the middle of 2014) named Dan Hunter’s Brae, Birregurra as Restaurant of the Year – a big win for a restaurant well off the beaten track in Victoria’s Western District. The best new restaurant was Andrew McConnell’s Supernormal, while the best regional restaurant award was claimed by Jim McDougall in Stefano’s Cellar, Mildura.

Dubecki and Apelgren comment on the short lifespan of restaurants, which makes stayers like France Soir, Abla’s and Flower Drum even more remarkable. They also take a swipe at the two-sitting policy that means you have to eat ridiculously early or hang on until 8.30 or so.

In Melbourne, it appears Richmond is the growing gourmet area, with several new eateries making the list this year. We’re still hooked on Italian, but modern Vietnamese is also on the rise.