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.

Among other 2014 food trends Dubecki and Apelgren commented on was the short lifespan of restaurants, which made stayers like France Soir, Abla’s and Flower Drum even more remarkable. They also took a swipe at the two-sitting policy that meant you had to eat ridiculously early or hang on until 8.30 or so.

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