Weekly Update

Welcome to Munich where there’s no such thing as a small beer

Another busy week which is why this weekly update is a little late. We spent four days this week in Munich, flying over on Friday night. It is such a lovely, clean, safe town full of obliging locals and so easy to walk around. It really was a lovely break, though as usual some work was involved.  More about that further down.

On my return I was delighted to meet Linda Apelt, fairly recently appointed Agent-General for Queensland, and the only woman to hold such a role in the UK. We talked all things Queensland, especially as my mother was born there and my parents met and married there. I am trying to meet as many people as I can, especially with a view to linking up Australian producers with people in London, to showcase what they do. Watch this space.

Since then have had three lunches, cooked and hosted a dinner party and Saturday morning and should be prepping as I am making some clips for Youtube …….

L: Very moving to see these giant fabric poppies in Munich on Remembrance Day and R: with Queensland Agent-General, Ms Linda Apelt

Jump ahead to see:

This Week’s Best Fruit and Veg
Recipe of the Week
President’s Medal Finalists Announced
London Jottings
English wine

Interesting Reading
What’s On
Techniques and Know How

This Week’s Best Fruit and Veg
in Australia & a mention of London

Melons galore and peaches this week


Do you find fragrant and juicy peaches or nectarines irresistible? Yellow and white flesh varieties from the North Coast of NSW, Peats Ridge (Hawkesbury area), South Australia and Victoria are now available. This Peach and Passionfruit Tart is a delightful.

Bananas are an all-time favourite. When bananas start to develop a brown freckled appearance on the dulling yellow skin, this indicates that they are at prime ripeness and all the starch content has changed to sugar, so they are at their sweetest.

Luscious tropical flavoured mangoes are a seasonal treat. Select from Kensington Pride, Calypso and R2E2.  Allow firm mangoes to ripen at room temperature until flesh yields to gentle pressure around the stem. Mangoes are coming from Katherine and the Burdekin and fruit is excellent quality. Your local greengrocer is sure to have a special on trays ranging from $10-$25 depending on variety and size.

Golden, velvety skinned apricots are in season and available at your local greengrocer.  Select plump apricots with a fragrant aroma and no sign of greening around the stem.

Mini Lee melonsRockmelonHoneydew and Piel de Sapo melons  and seedless watermelon are flourishing in the warmer weather. Simply serve and serve as a healthy snack. Try this Watermelon, Chicken & Marinated Feta Salad

Check out berries this week. Victorian strawberriesblueberriesblackberries and raspberries. Berries are also outstanding in London, affordable and widely available. This Fresh Berries In Maple & Orange Syrup is a delicious way to enjoy berries.

One of the delights of late spring and summer is without a doubt Australian grown cherries. Adored for their luscious texture, sweet-tangy flavour, not to mention their glamorous glossy looks cherries can be firm or soft fleshed and vary in sweetness, depending on which variety. Early cherry varieties tend to be the softer eating delicately flavoured. 

Mushrooms, pumpkin and green beans

Fresh green beans are a thrifty buy this week as is antioxidant rich kale. Sauté chopped kale in olive oil and chopped garlic and serve as a side dish or add to your favourite juice to kick start your day with 100% of your daily requirements of vitamins A, C & K.  This Kale With Garlic, Currants & Pine Nuts is a different side dish.

Tender, juicy and full of flavour Lebanese cucumbers are a choice buy. Combine diced cucumber with ripe tomatoes, olives, thinly sliced onion and feta cheese to make a traditional Greek salad.

Add button mushrooms to your shopping list, also very well-priced in London. Slice and add to a pasta dish or stir-fry. Alternatively tread on to a bamboo skewer, marinate and barbecue. These Mushrooms With Bacon & Pine Nut Crumbs are delicious and easy to make.

Asian leafy greens – such as bok choy, choy sum and gai lum are quick to cook, versatile and super nutritious. Add them to your stir-fries and soups.

Ruby red coloured beetroot is sweet, nutty favoured and great value. Use beetroot raw in a salad, finely julienned, it is delicious juiced and teamed with orange and ginger or roast until tender and toss with feta cheese. Or create a Beetroot Detox Breakfast Juice.

Versatile zucchinis are a choice buy. Try slicing them in half lengthwise, score, then brush with a little olive oil and place on the barbecue or grill plate, cook turning once until tender. This Broccolini, Zucchini Noodle & Pork Stir-Fry only takes 15 minutes to cook and is packed with goodness,

For value, taste and easy of cooking fresh asparagus is a winner, its delicate nutty flavour can be enjoyed raw or cooked, hot or cold and Aussie spears team deliciously with veal, pasta, seafood, prosciutto, chicken and steak. Purple asparagus is also available.I’m buying great asparagus from barrows and the supermarket in London.

Crisp and vibrant, green sugar snap peas are a choice buy. Cooked quickly they maintain their stunning colour and certainly liven up a stir-fry, salad or curry.

Recipe of the Week

Peach or Nectarine Macadamia Tart

I love summer fruits and nectarines and macadamias make good friends. Based on a frangipane tart, macadamias in the pastry and the filling take it to a new level. 

Servings: 8-10
Preparation Time: 15 minutes (plus 1 hour refrigeration time)
Cooking Time: 65 – 70 minutes

1/3 cup (45g) whole raw macadamias
1 cup (150g) plain
2 tablespoons caster
Pinch salt
90g cold butter, chopped
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons iced
3 (500g) nectarines or peaches, cut into
Ice-cream to serve

Macadamia Filling
1 ½ cups (210g) macadamias
½  cup (70g) plain flour
150g butter
2/3 cup (150g) firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup maple syrup

  1. Process macadamias until finely chopped, add flour, sugar, salt and butter until crumbly; add egg yolk, vanilla and water, process only until ingredients just come together. Do not overwork. Turn onto plastic wrap and gently knead together to form a disc. Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Roll pastry between sheets of baking paper until large enough to line the base and side of a 24cm round loose-based flan tin. Peel away one sheet of baking paper, invert the pastry into the tin. Gently press pastry into the side then peel away the top sheet of paper. Trim the edges with a sharp knife. Prick with a fork and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180’C. Place pastry in tin on a baking tray, cover pastry with baking paper, fill with dried beans or rice. Bake in a moderate oven for 15 minutes, then remove paper and weights and bake for a further10 minutes or until browned lightly.
  4. Meanwhile, make the filling: Process the macadamias and two tablespoons of the flour until fine, add the butter and sugar and process well until pale. Add in the eggs,  egg yolks and syrup and combine. Stir though the macadamia mixture and remaining flour.
  5. Spread the Macadamia Filling into the pastry base, arrange the nectarine segments over the filling. Bake in a moderate oven for about 40 – 45 minutes or until golden brown and firm to touch. Cool.(If necessary shield the edges with foil to prevent burning.)
  6. Dust with sifted icing sugar if desired or serve as is with ice-cream.

Visit Puglia with me in October 2019?

This olive tree is over 3,000 years old. Just one of the sites on our Puglia adventure

“What a wonderful trip we had with the boundlessly energetic Lyndey visiting  Puglia and Matera,  experiencing  up close what this area is renowned for…delicious fresh produce and fine wines!
We stayed in the most beautiful places and the team from Southern Visions, Ali and Max, could not have been more helpful I just loved every minute ! Thank you all..”

Margie Armstrong
Margie was one of the guests on my tour to Puglia in May this year. It was such a fabulous experience, we are repeating it in October 2019 to share the joy with others. You might like to come on an unforgettable week of culinary and cultural exploration. Think hands-on bread, cheese making and cooking class; visits to wineries, olive farm, tours of UNESCO sites Alberobello & Matera & other cultural centres with local guides. All sensational meals and wines included. You only need money for the very inexpensive shopping you will find there.

Details:Culinary Adventures in Puglia & Basilicata with Lyndey Milan
Dates: 14-20 Oct 2019
Group size: an intimate 12-16 places are available on the tour
Public price: €3499 per person for all ground arrangements (single supplement €699)
Lodging in authentic, family-run noble estates and palaces
Operated by: Local Puglia specialist Southern Visions Travel: the leading experiential travel company in Southern Italy
Enquiries and bookings:Alison Pike, ali.pike@southernvisionstravel.com
Cell: +39 348 755 93634 (Italy)

Full brochure here
Read more about my adventures in Puglia 

Explore Puglia in House & Garden Magazine
Seven dishes you must try in Puglia, Italy in the Sydney Morning Herald
Puglia, the undiscovered heart in Selector Magazine

L: Trulli houses in Alberobello R: a cooking class at Masseria Montenapoleone where we also stayed


Traditional Bavarian food – you have to try it!
L a giant pretzel filled with cheeses & meats R: foreground weisswirst served with pretzel and sweet mustard, rear 6 grilled sausages with sauerkraut , bread & mustard

As my partner had two days of work in Munich, we tacked on a weekend. I had only had a fleeting visit abut 15 years ago and previously in 1977. It was a delight. I was determined to try some of the traditional food – and we did – but there is only so much of it you can eat. Fortunately Munich also has a big Italian influence and some great modern restaurants too, where the portions are not so big! The two examples above, are only snacks!

L: Wheel of parmesan which is scooped out, then the pasta and cream sauce are tossed together in it R: the pasta finished with fresh truffles

On our first full night we had booked in a traditional restaurant, but when we arrived our seats were benches with no backs at a massive long table, opposite each other. We therefore decided to go elsewhere and walked into an Italian restaurant close to our hotel, Vino et Gusto. We were given the last available space on stools at a high table which we were happy to accept as it had a quiet, relaxed ambience, but before long, the owner, Guido, came over and said ”you don’t  look like you belong here, I’ve had a no-show so let me give you a better table”.
Entrees of chestnut soup with truffle and mussels in white wine were quickly brought and we settled in with a bottle of Montepulicano. I love black truffles in season and so couldn’t go past a main of Spaghetti alla Forma di Parmigiano con tartufo nero, described as ‘Spaghetti prepared in the whole Parmesan cheese in front of your eyes’ with black truffle. The hot spaghetti already in a cream sauce is brought in a pan to the dining room. The waiter scrapes around the huge wheel of parmesan, then puts the pasta and sauce in there and tosses it around. You can have the spaghetti like this, or have truffle shaved over it at the table. Fabulous!
The menu also thoughtfully states ”As we prepare every dish fresh we’ll glady fulfill your additional ingredients wishes for € 3,50 Of course we serve half a portion of the pasta dishes, for about 2/3 of the full price’.

L: Scallop and truffle suimai and R: waygu & foie gras gyoza

Truffle was again on the menu at Izakya, which describes itself as Japanese barbecue with South American influences. This is a very modern restaurant which serves small dishes for sharing, quite unlike the hearty traditional Bavarian meals, so a lovely contrast. There are myriad styles of dishes including sashimi, bao, ‘little parcels of Asian delight’ (pictured above), tempura, including an unsual delicious corn tempura, sushi, soy bean paper rolls,  Robata prepared on the Japanese Izakaya charcoal grill and others too numerous to mention. Well worth a visit.

Christmas decorations made from various seasonal berries and do you know what is on the right of the righthand picture? I don’t.

I also went on a walking tour of the Viktualien Markt which has all manner of fresh, cured, smoked and prepared product. I even found one stall which had exotic fruit, including fingerlimes at 39.95 for 100g! There were many artisan products too and there were quite a few things I had never seen not tasted before, which is always interesting. There were queues at the most popular hot food outlets for sausages, leberkase or roast pork and crackling in rolls.
We also went on a fascinating walking tour focussing on Hitler and the Third Reich. We had an excellent guide, an American, who has lived in Munich for 18 years. He handled what could be a difficult topic in a straightforward and un-emotional, professional way. His knowledge was excellent. We heard new information, and were reminded of some we knew but had forgotten. It was a terrific, comprehensive walk around Munich, as we heard about Hitler from before his birth up until he moved to Berlin, stopping at buildings or places buildings had been along the way. Highly recommended and excellent value for money.

President’s Medal Finalists Announced

The prestigious President’s Medal

After more than 3000 entries and over half a year of competition, the search for the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Annual President’s Medal is down to six outstanding finalists from across Australia. The President’s Medal is the ultimate award in agricultural excellence and innovation.

It is unique in that the Medal is not awarded solely on taste. The Medal recognises a business’ overall, social, environmental and commercial integrity credentials through the entire production cycle from ‘gate to plate’, the ‘Triple Bottom Line’.

The President’s Medal is a celebration of truly inspirational agricultural producers. The 13th Annual President’s Medal finalists are;

Meredith Dairy – Marinated Feta, Sheep Goat Blend

Accolade Wines, House of Arras – 2008 Grand Vintage

Two Rivers Wines – 2013 Stones Throw Semillon

Tathra Oysters – Nelson Lake Premium Grade Oysters

Staple Bread – Staple Classic Sourdough

NH Foods Australia – Manning Valley Naturally Beef

The President’s Medal winner is announced at a gala dinner during the Sydney Royal Easter Show and follows an exhaustive on-site audit by judges studying the business’ financial viability as well as its environmentally sustainable practices. Last year’s winner was Sydney’s Brasserie Bread. 

London Jottings

Walking through Russell Square I spied not one but two squirrels


  • you never know what you’ll see if you keep your eyes open – like two squirrels playing in Russell Square as I walked to our office
  • the great thing about it being cold is that truffles have come in and I have been able to try them in Munich and also some in London which come from Wiltshire
  • the Christmas lights are up in London, just looking at them makes you cheerful 
  • Christmas jumpers in the shops. this is a great tradition and I am so tempted to buy one but too hot for Australia and somehow Christmas T shirts just aren’t the same

Not so happy

  • I am generally very impressed with Waitrose and Partners, their staff and service. Maybe I am missing something though, as it seems you can’t choose a delivery slot until after you place your order online – very time consuming to find out the delivery can’t come in time. Thumbs up to Ocado where you can choose your time first.
  • I’ve been longing for quinces but haven’t found any in the shops, barrows or at the markets yet?

English wine

Ingrid Bates in her Dunleavy vineyard in Somerset

I have a growing respect for English wine and have tried some terrific ones lately. Global warming means the English countryside can grow some excellent grapes.

Dunleavy Vineyards were planted by owner and manager Ingrid Bates. She has a background in biology and, after a short stint working in the media, began her viticultural career 10 years ago when she took up a job maintaining a local vineyard. Having found her true vocation, she began planning and saving and finally planted her own vineyard in 2008.

Dunleavy Vineyards are located in the heart of the beautiful Chew Valley in Somerset, just outside Bristol. Combining passion, sustainable agricultural practices and the latest viticultural techniques, they produce multi-award winning rosé wine from Pinot noir and Seyval blanc grapes and have just released their first sparkling wine.

I have now tried both these wines and found them excellent. Rose was the first wine they made some 7 years ago. The 2017 pinot rosé (RRP  £12.95) is dry, light and elegant

There are only 500 bottles of the first release, 2016 sparkling. (RRP £34.99) The plan was always to make a sparkling and finally in 2016 they had enough grapes. It’s made in the traditional way and has been aged for 10 to11 months on lees. I found it dry, with fine beading and an excellent aperitif wine.

The wine is sold in Bristol, Bath, Somerset and London. Buy online from the Dunleavy website or from the Vinoteca website, at their farm shop or at the Salon Wine Shop in London. In Bath you can sample and buy the wine at Le Vignoble or buy from Wolf Wines. In Bristol there are various outlets including Grape&Grind and The Mall Deli. Somerset shops include Wine shop Winscombe and Brockley Stores.

Interesting Reading

Miss Wong in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Read here and watch the vision for the new Sydney Fish Market.
I’m proud to be one of the writers for the delicious.com.au new travel vertical.
In The Real Review Toni Paterson writes about the importance of red wine serving temperature.
In Gourmet Traveller Christine Manfield nominates not one but three books, as part of an occasional series where they ask chefs about the cookbook that’s left a lasting impression on them.
Fine Dining Lovers explains the difference between Gorgonzola and Roquefort

What’s On

Taste of London is on at Tobacco Dock

Taste of London is the definitive showcase of the capital’s best restaurants, top chefs and leading food and drink brands. Taste of London: The Festive Edition, the little sister to the summer festival, is on until Sunday 18th, so you’ll have to be quick. I went to the aaunch and really enjoyed it. Tobacco Dock has been transformed into a foodie wonderland brimming with London’s great food, festive tipples, a fantastic chef line-up, loads of masterclasses to get involved with and all the shopping you need to get set for the Christmas season.
All information at london.tastefestivals.com

Exciting times as Albert Adria, officially the World’s Best Pastry chef has opened Cakes and Bubbles, a dessert-only venue and his first outside Spain. It is in the Hotel Café  Royal in Regent Street. Sadly won’t have time to get there before I head home.

A brand new 6 part series – The Good Cooks – launched on the SBS Food Network (SBS Food from Nov 17) last Thursday 8 November and it seems has already captured the imagination of viewers with a fresh approach. They have taken six guest chefs out of their well equipped kitchen comfort zones and placed them in foreign lands to learn how the locals cook food, home grown or gathered from the local market.  I was able to watch the episode with Dan Churchill in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.  I really like it. It has an immediacy and freshness about it. It is really engaging and different.
Next week’s episode, going to air at 8.30 pm on Thursday 22nd November sees Aussie food writer and TV presenter, Rebecca Sullivan, travel from The Clare Valley to West Timor to learn how Australian Government agency, ACIAR, is helping these Indonesian cattle farmers and to learn how to cook like a local.

Techniques and Know How

Learn how to make latte art at home

Here’s how to make real Indian flatbread. Call it roti or chapati, either way it’s delicious and this is a step-by-step guide.
Here are some sheet-pan dinners for when you are short of time.
Fine Dining Lovers reveals the Top 5 mobile apps to improve your food photography.

I have a busy time until I leave London for Singapore on 20 November. I’ll spend a few days with my daughter and family and fly into Sydney early on 26 November. Therefore, I will take a break from this newsletter for next week – and send a new one from Sydney in a couple of weeks.

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