A homage to classic 1970s recipes

Author: Emma Knowles
Photography: William Meppem

Do you come over all nostalgic at the mention of French onion dip? And chicken Kiev? We've updated some decade-defining classics for a swish dinner party, the era's favourite style of soirée.

In the 1970s Gourmet was, its tagline read, "the magazine of food, wine and good living". The decade saw it break away from the beefsteak-and-Burgundy feel of its earlier incarnation, becoming both more cosmopolitan and more of a celebration of our own backyard. Artist John Olsen designed us a tea towel decorated with a recipe for soto ayam, we noted the arrival of cuisines nouvelle and minceur (and, for that matter, the food processor). Migrants from South East Asia and the Middle East began to arrive in numbers equal to the Europeans who had come before them. Australians took advantage of the era of less expensive air travel ushered in by the 747 and came back with new ideas about how to live their lives, food and entertaining included. Wages were increasing, people were getting educated and food was becoming more interesting. And the place to explore it was the dinner party. Enthusiastic readers found in GT's pages almond gazpacho, beef Wellington, duck with olives, and many a Champagne sorbet, pouring Rhine riesling and more than a few glasses of cabernet along the way.

Black Forest cheesecake.

Related: Recipes from the 1960s

For all the raspberry vinegar and camembert adorning menus, more interesting things were also afoot in the nation's restaurants. In Sydney, Tony and Gay Bilson took over Berowra Waters Inn; in Melbourne, Gilbert Lau opened Flower Drum; and in Adelaide, a young chef called Cheong Liew began experimenting, combining Malay, Greek, Chinese and Indian cuisines, setting the stage for the bold scenes to come. 

Layered green salad with buttery croûtons, pictured with potato gratin with parmesan crumb.

Recipes from the 1970s

Chilled zucchini, pea and buttermilk soup

French onion dip with cheddar biscuits

Chicken Kiev balls with tarragon-garlic butter

Layered green salad with buttery croûtons and French dressing

Beef rib roast

Potato gratin with parmesan crumb

Black Forest cheesecake

After-dinner mints

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