A Restaurant Where the Pasta Is Handmade and the Interiors Evoke Summer

At Dario, communal dining areas meet textured, summery interiors.

Article by Devorah Lev-Tov

15-TMAG-BALTIMORE-CHOCOLATE-Left: at Dario, a new restaurant in Minneapolis, the dining room has pink and teal touches. Right: the menu’s vegetable section features marinated beets with gribiche sauce and dill pickle chips. Photographs from left: Wing Ho. Right: Isabel Subtil.

The chef Joe Rolle had been working in Minneapolis restaurants for 18 years when he decided to open his own place. He asked his former co-worker, the bartender Stephen Rowe — who refined his cocktail-making skills at the city’s now-closed Marvel Bar, known for its experimental drinks — to be his partner. At the end of January, the pair opened Dario, an Italian-leaning restaurant in the city’s North Loop neighbourhood. One star of the menu is Rolle’s Doppio Ravioli, filled with half sunchoke purée and half whipped ricotta, served with brown butter, honey, fried rosemary and hazelnuts. To accompany the dish, Rowe created the Bad Apple, a cocktail featuring vermouth and Calvados. Dario’s pastas are made by hand daily in a room at the back of the restaurant. In the evening, that space, with its 14-foot butcher block table, becomes a communal dining area. In the main dining room, the interiors are textured and summery: Potted plants fill the corners, banquettes are upholstered in teal velvet and an oceanic grey-blue and, at the bar, custom-made pink stools line up like flamingos. dariorestaurant.com.

In Marrakesh, an Expanding Cafe With Roots at a Local Farm

Travelling to Marrakesh? Don’t skip this cafe and farm shop in the busy neighbourhood of Gueliz.

Article by Gisela Williams

12-TMAG-BALLET-FLATS-1Blue Ribbon, a bakery and cafe in Marrakesh, is inspired by the bounty of ingredients grown on Sanctuary Slimane, a farm outside the city. Photograph courtesy of Blue Ribbon.

When the Moroccan financier Aziz Nahas decided to buy and regenerate a farm outside Marrakesh about two decades ago, he underestimated how much would grow there. Now, the 10-acre plot produces organic vegetables and fruits as well as hosting an artist residency program and a ceramic studio, all under the name Sanctuary Slimane. In 2021, Nahas’s friend the French restaurateur Benjamin Pastor suggested they partner up to start a cafe and farm shop in the busy Marrakesh neighbourhood of Gueliz. Last spring, they opened the coffee shop Blue Ribbon, with offerings including fresh salads served with halloumi or beets and almonds and a bánh mí sandwich on fresh sourdough. In the fall, they added a seating area next door and the Slimane Farm Shop, which sells vegetables and products like honey and dried herbs that are grown and produced on the farm. Up next: Farmers, a restaurant headed by Blue Ribbon’s chef and located in the same building. The 46-seat space, lined with colourful Popham tiles, is scheduled to open at the end of February. blueribbonmarrakech.com.

A Taste of Home

A limited-edition release from The Macallan bottles the enchantment of Lunar New Year and the sensory memories of a rising art star.

Article by T Australia

MACALLAN_1The Macallan A Night on Earth: The Journey (700ml), $235, themacallan.com. Courtesy of Macallan.

Established in 1824, The Macallan may be among Scotland’s most storied distilleries, but it wears the weight of heritage lightly. The single malt whisky maker is forever innovating through a growing number of limited-edition releases and collaborators, from the James Bond franchise to Stella and Mary McCartney. The latest release is A Night on Earth: The Journey, created with the Shanghai-based mixed-media artist Nini Sum, whose pop-bright, dreamlike screen-prints have earned global acclaim.

The Macallan’s global creative director, Jaume Ferràs, says The Journey “focuses on the idea of bringing something special back to your family when you return home: the coming together of old friends and family, with reflection on the past year, and hope for the coming one.”

The whisky conjures Nini Sum’s sensory memories of Lunar New Year, with notes of vanilla, toasted coconut and oak, citrus fruits and subtle nuttiness capturing the aromas of sweet rice pudding and toasted oak from rice popcorn vendors, the pop of fireworks and the taste of milk lollies and sunflower seeds snacked on between excited talk of New Year’s plans. 

Continues Ferràs, “A Night on Earth: The Journey is a remarkable whisky which draws on inspiration from Lunar New Year. These complex and comforting flavours play an important role in this celebration, and an essential role in the flavour profile of this single malt.”

Nini Sum sums up the experience: “The steam coming off hot food during the New Year dinner is one of the most vivid ‘home’ feelings I remember. I wanted to recreate that atmosphere, those precious moments of gathering and reunion under a bright moon bringing us all together.

During this time of year, people who work in big cities go through the world’s largest annual human migration to go back to their hometowns for that moment of reunion with their families and friends,” the artist continues. “When the fire is lit inside and paper lanterns hang from the roof, you know there is someone waiting for you to come home so they can welcome you with a hot meal and a hug.”

Adds Ferràs, “This is the perfect whisky to savour at special moments, best enjoyed with friends, family and loved ones while reminiscing of the year past and looking to the future.”

Nini Sum designed special packaging that tells the story of homecoming over three layers of nested artworks: a bold red outer box decorated with a landscape of trees and mountains under a starry night sky exploding with fireworks; an urban scene in blue tones streaked with bolts of bright colour representing people flocking from the cities; and a final layer in yellows and oranges evoking a warm reception under soft lantern light. The ultimate homecoming, wherever you call home and whomever you share it with.

The Macallan A Night on Earth: The Journey (700ml), $235, themacallan.com.

In Newtown, A Deli Where Quality, Nostalgia and Hospitality Converge

The new specialty grocer from hospitality veteran Alex Grenouiller is designed to “provide the community with a place to meet, connect, and always feel welcome.”

Article by Victoria Pearson

Marani Deli_1Alex Grenouiller stands in front of Marani Deli - a newly opened delicatessen in Sydney's Inner West specialising in local, Italian, French and Georgian cheese, charcuterie and provisions alongside a curated series of wine and food focused events. Photography by Dexter Kim.

What makes a truly great neighbourhood delicatessen? Is it the correct balance of local and international cheeses on display in glass panelled refrigerators? Perfectly cured charcuterie? The type of customer service that makes any patron feel like a regular? Decor and displayed pantry supplies that sing both intentional and incidental?

Alex Grenouiller (formerly of Cafe Paci and Penny’s Cheese Shop) set out to accomplish this and more with Marani Deli – a newly opened marketplace in Sydney’s Inner West. Drawing upon his childhood spent in Lyon, France, alongside his partner’s Sicilian heritage, and the pair’s experiences in Georgia, Grenouiller’s mission is to bring the warmth of family, the joy of sharing simple, delicious food, and a strong sense of community to the heart of Newtown.

“We envision Marani Deli as more than a specialty grocer,” says Grenouiller. “It’s a place where quality, nostalgia, and hospitality converge.” Artisanal products from Italy, France, Georgia and Australia (ethically sourced from farmers, chefs, and other industry talent) are a given, but Grenouiller emphasises that the venue is also designed to “provide the community with a place to meet, connect, and always feel welcome.”

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Photography by Dexter Kim.
Marani Deli_8
Photography by Dexter Kim.
Marani Deli_10
Photography by Dexter Kim.
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Photography by Dexter Kim.

A trained chef, Grenouiller relocated to Australia from France in 2010, working his way through esteemed Sydney outposts including Oscillate Wildly, Cafe Paci and the iconic Penny’s Cheese Shop. Marani Deli’s DNA is shaped by his hospitality credentials, alongside his experiences visiting winemakers in Georgia.

“Since our first visit to Georgia back in 2018, the idea to open a unique neighbourhood shop has been brewing”, says Grenouiller (the word ‘Marani’ translates literally to ‘cellar’ in Georgian). In addition to its diverse selection of deli and pantry supplies, Marani Deli will serve daily, small-run takeaway lunch items such as classic baguettes, panini, and deli snacks. In the evenings: wine ‘supra’ nights  — one-off events in collaboration with natural winemakers and importers, conceived in the convivial spirit of Parisian caves à manger.

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Photography by Dexter Kim.
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Photography by Dexter Kim.

Timely for Christmas gifting needs, Marani’s shelves will also feature the work of local artists such as printer and illustrator Rose Colbeck, ceramics from Chef VS Clay and Claire Ellis and handcrafted wooden boards from Ripple Boards.

Marani Deli is now open from Thursday to Monday at 7-8, 80 Wilson Street, Newtown. maranideli.com.au.

Shiza Shahid on Mission-Driven Kitchenware and Cooking as Community

The co-founder of the Malala Fund has brought her thoughtful cookware line, Our Place, to Australian kitchens.

Article by Victoria Pearson

Our place_1Photograph courtesy of Our Place.

“Sharing a home-cooked meal is about more than just cooking; it’s about reconnecting to our culture, communities, traditions, and each other.”

Like many students, Shiza Shahid learned to cook out of necessity while studying at Stanford University, having relocated from her home in Pakistan. Craving her family’s food, Shahid sought out kitchenware and was suggested a 16-piece cooking set, which she found overwhelming. Surely, there was a less intimidating entry point?

Drawing on her experience with mission-driven initiatives, the 24-year-old co-founder of the Malala Fund (along with Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai) launched Our Place in 2019. A kitchenware brand caters to the modern, multiethnic, global kitchen, rooted in cultural celebration and the use of recycled materials.

Here, T Australia sat down with Shahid to discuss the brand’s launch and the creation of new traditions.

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Photograph courtesy of Our Place.

Our Place is known for its mission-driven approach to kitchenware. Can you tell us more, in your own words, about the mission of the company and the personal or commercial values that drive you and your brand?

The Our Place mission is very personal – My partner and I are both immigrants, I am Pakistani and my partner is Persian. When we came to the US, cooking food together and sharing stories over our dinner table was literally how we found our place in our new communities. We both come from strong food cultures that we had never seen represented by mainstream brands so we wanted to create a brand that honours and celebrates culture as a core tenet and where everyone could feel represented. We also saw an opportunity to tackle significant issues in the industry by innovating to create products that fill people with joy, as well as being more sustainable, and healthier alternatives to what existed.

You have a strong focus on bringing people together through home cooking. How has this belief shaped the products of Our Place?

If we want to get more people cooking and sharing meals at dinner tables – we know we need to make cooking easier by designing better cookware. We start with the pain points we see in the market, and then spend over a year engineering, prototyping, refining, innovating and testing to create true advancements in functions, materials and designs. While other cookware companies sell 18 piece sets, Our Place designed the Always Pan and Perfect Pot to replace an entire 18 piece set. We know you don’t have room for clutter, so we wanted to create products that allow you to do more with less, that are also so beautiful you’ll never put them away. They will inspire you to cook, and create more memories around the dinner table.

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Photograph courtesy of Our Place.
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Photograph courtesy of Our Place.

Can you share some insights into the unique features of your products that make cooking more accessible and enjoyable for home cooks?

There are so many! All of our cookware is designed by our wonderful team in Los Angeles, and I’m so proud of all the thoughtful details they bring to life. For example, the Always Pan has our market-leading, non-toxic coating: Thermakind® so that you know you are cooking with products that are better for you and your family. The non-stick coating inspires confidence in the kitchen for home chefs and makes cleanup a breeze! There’s also a nesting spatula which rests perfectly on the handle so you have no drips on the counter; pourspouts on both sides of the pan so it works easily for both left and right handed cooks; And our perfectly domed lid with circular grooves make it large enough to fit a whole chicken. Every single one of our products is made with so much thought and attention to detail, which really sets us apart.  

You co-founded the Malala Fund with Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and led it as the founding CEO, as well as launching NOW Ventures, an angel fund focused on mission-driven startups with a focus on female founders. How do these experiences as an investor inform the products and initiatives at Our Place?

Coming from the impact world, we built Our Place as a mission-driven brand, geared towards kinder decisions for people and the planet. That means we package our products in 100% recycled materials, without plastics.  We use recycled materials in our products – our Always Pan 2.0 is the first of its kind made from 100% post-consumer recycled aluminium. We are also committed to creating PFAS-free products, leading the industry in fighting one of the largest pollutants on the planet which is very prevalent in our category. We’ve also donated over a millions meals globally and in Australia we are supporting OzHarvest so for each purchase in Australia, we’ll donate a meal to a fellow Aussie in need. In short, we try to make better decisions in everything we do.

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Photograph courtesy of Our Place.

Can you elaborate on the concept of Traditionware and how it’s used to celebrate and honour various cultural traditions?

Traditionware collections are a celebration of the traditions we hold close and share around the dinner table. We’ve partnered with communities and artisans to create collections for Shabbat, Lunar New Year, Nowruz, Diwali, Nochebuena, and even a gorgeous Tagine hand-made by Moroccan makers. Traditionware comes from a deeply personal place – I had never seen my culture represented by mainstream brands, and wanted to create a brand where all of us could see our cultures represented loudly and proudly. 

For those who may not have many traditions from their upbringing, how can they start their own traditions, and how does Our Place support and encourage this process?

The great thing about traditions is it’s never too late to start new ones! You can simply start a chosen family dinner tradition – gather some of your closest friends, cook a meal together, and commit to making it a habit. It’s something I’m exploring myself, I grew up celebrating Eid, my partner celebrates Nowruz (Persian New Year)  and my closest friends celebrate Lunar New Year, Diwali, and Shabbat. I get to participate in so many beautiful traditions, and I cherish each one.