Where to eat out in Brooklyn, New York City: Chef Hetty McKinnon

In 2011, Hetty McKinnon established Arthur Street Kitchen in Sydney's Surry Hills, delivering hearty, seasonal salads to locals. In 2015 she relocated to Brooklyn, New York City, where she continues to deliver salads, run events and a catering business. Her first cookbook, Community: Salad Recipes from Arthur Street Kitchen, was published in 2014. Her new book, Neighbourhood, Salads Sweets and Stories from Home and Abroad (Plum, $39.99) is out now. See panmacmillan.com.au.

FAVOURITE TABLE

My favourite table in Brooklyn is an unassuming neighbourhood joint called Rucola in Boerum Hill. Occupying a charming street corner on a residential street, Rucola is where the locals meet for a coffee and avo toast in the mornings, and then return for an earnest bowl of house-made pasta during the evenings. For me, local neighbourhood restaurants are the beating heart of the Brooklyn food scene. See rucolabrooklyn.com.

LOCAL FOOD DISCOVERY

Before moving to Brooklyn, I didn't quite appreciate how different the fresh produce would be over here. In the last year, I have discovered natural beauties such as collard greens, ramps, green almonds, fiddle leaf ferns, fresh edamame on the branch, and lion's mane mushrooms. And one of my favourite discoveries are concord grapes – they are perfect for the simple fruit desserts I love, such as galettes, cobblers, crisps and pies.

BEST-KEPT FOOD SECRET

With its rich Italian heritage, Brooklyn's best kept food secrets are definitely the traditional local delis and bakeries. At my local Italian deli, Caputo's Fine Foods, they offer the most amazing handmade mozzarella, which is made on-site by the owner every couple of hours. (No website; 460 Court Street)

MUST-TRY DISH

Pizza may be a classic New York food experience, but pizza from Roberta's in Bushwick is an essential Brooklyn experience. Their pizzas are completely next level – my favourite is their Four Emperors pizza topped with arrabbiata, mozzarella, ricotta, cacio e pepe, asiago and sesame seeds. And don't forget to try their delicious sweet potato topped with fried egg, jalapeno, avocado and chimichurri sauce.

FAVOURITE INDULGENCE

My greatest indulgence in Brooklyn is a day out exploring the vastly different neighbourhoods. I like to ride my bike down to Red Hook to lunch at Brooklyn Crab, followed by treating myself to one of "Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies". Or I'll take the subway out to colourful Brighton Beach to scoff pierogies and delicious savory burekas from Gulluoglu Baklava & Cafe. See brooklyncrab.com; stevesauthentic.com; gulluoglubaklava.com.

A BIG NIGHT OUT

I love getting cozy in a local wine bar. June is a natural wine bar in Cobble Hill and I just adore their snug booths and cool interiors that make me feel like I'm on a boat. And their house-made ricotta is stunning. See junebk.com.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Season to season, the food is wonderful in Brooklyn, but if I had to pick, I'd choose October as my favourite month. Autumn produce is just stunning and it is hard not to get swept away by the iridescent burnished tones that surround us. I just adore pumpkin and apple season because it means loads of fun baking and hibernating in our kitchens, which is my favourite place to be.

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