TOP: with my Legend of the Vine Award; BOTTOM L; I was surprised & amazed R: with other Legends of the Vine L to R, Clive Hartley, me, Phil Laffer and Rob Hirst.

Apologies I didn’t get this newsletter out on Friday,m but I have a good excuse. At the Annual Wine Communicators of Australia Sydney Royal Wine lunch, I was totally surprised by being awarded The Legend of the Vine This recognises an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the Australian industry and who epitomises the spirit and ethos of WCA. Recipients are a member of the Australian wine industry who embody the WCA maxim of ‘Engage, Connect, Learn and Inspire’. They are an individual who throughout their career, has lead by example and has added their own skilled and distinctive voice to the Australian wine story.
I am overwhelmed, honoured and touched by this magnificanet award. thank you to WCA and my peers.

With the legendary and wonderful Raymond Blanc OBE at Yandina Station on the Sunshine Coast

Girl crush alert! I actually met and had lunch with Raymond Blanc, one of the world’s all time great chefs. A friend (hello Pam) gave me his biography, A Taste of My Life  sometime ago but it is in London so I couldn’t get it signed. French by birth, he lived as most locals did, by the season, eating from the garden and the surrounds, not wasting anything. He learned to cook from his mother. He entered the kitchen by chance – he was working front-of-house and the chef didn’t show up one day, so he went into the kitchen.
He then taught himself and over the years has been developing and refining his philosophy of food and eating. Such is his reputation that his restaurant, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, was awarded two Michelin stars even before it opened in 1984, and it remains one of the world’s premier destination restaurants. He has also taught many of Britain’s most successful chefs, including Marco Pierre White and Michael Caines MBE, only 2 of 33 he trained who have gone on to gain Michelin stars themselves.
I was lucky enough to meet him during The Curated Plate food festival on the Sunshine Coast last week. Although I was working hosting the Demonstrations and Talks from Friday to Sunday, I was able to go to The Legends Lunch at Yandina Station with Analiese Gregory and Peter Gilmore where I met Raymond. Then I was lucky to go to The Seasonal Stars dinner where Raymond cooked with Troy Rhoades-Brown (Muse Hunter Valley) and Alejandro Cancino (ex-Urbane, Brisbane) both were extraordinary experiences.

TOP L; Analiese Gregory’s Pickled mussels and octopus with octopus head XO, black radish and fried bread R; Raymond Blanc’s Garden beetroot terrine, horseradish sorbet BOTTOM L: Troy Rhoades-Brown’s Kin Wagyu Tri tip, sweet corn polenta, wood fired shiitake, roasted kelp butter and R: Zaiyu Hasegawa’s fun Dentucky Fried Chicken which he serves in a box

On the last day I MCed Zaiya Hasegawa from Den in Tokyo, the number one restaurant in Japan and awarded number 11 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards 2019. He demonstrated his Dentucky Fried Chicken. He was fabulous – very funny with an engaging and delightful chef/translator with him. He wants food to be fun and not too serious, while still delicious.
The whole four day event was terrific – stunning locations around the coast and hinterland, lovely, appreciative locals, great camerarderie amongst colleagues with fabulous conversations. I learnt a lot too. 

The fabulous team of people involved in The Curated Plate on our last night

Jump ahead to see:
This Week’s Best Fruit and Veg
Recipe of the Week
Focus on Globe Artichokes
Summer Baking Secrets on SBS Food
Interesting Reading
What’s On
Join me in Morocco 16 – 28 April 2020

Hass avocados, tangelos and blueberries


Supplies of large, antioxidant-rich blueberries from Caboolture and Coffs Harbour are delicious eating and reasonably priced. Did you know that purples foods like blueberries can protect your brain health?

Red alert – strawberries are plentiful. Plump, juicy, red, ripe Queensland and Western Australian harvests are in full swing and great value. Snack on washed strawberries as a flavoursome low kilojoule snack, make a few jars of home-made jam (it will taste better than store-bought), dip them in chocolate, add them to juice or smoothies or roast berries with a sprinkling of brown sugar and serve warm with waffles and cream.

Juicy, thin-skinned Leng navel oranges are in season also selling in 3k net bags.

Ruby-fleshed juicy blood oranges have a rich raspberry-like citrus flavour. Fruit with ruby-red tinged skin generally has the deepest coloured flesh, although the intensity of colour depends on variety, the fruit’s exposure to sunlight and growing conditions. Add segments to a leafy salad with olives, green onions and chopped flat-leaf parsley. Use blood orange juice in salad dressings. 

Tangelos are a cross between a grapefruit and a mandarin; they are sweet, tangy and easy to peel. Fruit should feel heavy for their size, as this indicates a good juicy content. 

Versatile Hass avocados combine deliciously with bacon, lettuce, tomato, tuna, mayonnaise, citrus, alfalfa or pepper. Loaded with vitamins and minerals avocados they are great for everyone from babies up.

Ruby red rhubarb and strawberries team deliciously and this duo yields a good source of vitamin C. Stewed them together and sweetened with a little honey, maple syrup or sugar, this combination is perfect for delicious swirled through natural yoghurt or spooned over porridge.

Creamy Queensland bananas are an energy-boosting fruit that is a healthy choice for the whole family. Try this Banana, honey and cinnamon bread.

Looking for a low kilojoules snack, then you can’t go passed Aussie apples. Pink Lady, Fuji, Kanzi and Royal gala are still eating nicely and good value..

Mushrooms, globe artichokes and kohlrabi


It’s a great week to pop a cauli in your trolley. They are firm, compact and delicious roasted, steamed, as cauliflower rice or couscous.

Carrots rank highly when it comes to their versatility, value and flavour. Enjoy them raw or cooked. For me carrots are an essential weekly buy.

Often underrated, celery is a crunchy, flavour-packed vegetable that adds fabulous texture to winter soups, casseroles and stir-fries. 

Antioxidant-rich kale is a thrifty buy this week. 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.

Fennel is a good source of fibre it also supplies potassium and folate, all for very few kilojoules. Delicious served cooked or raw, fennel teams deliciously with cheese, tomato, orange, ham, lemon, seafood, garlic, chicken stock, pasta, Pernod, cream, olive oil or lamb. 

Crisp nutritious kohlrabi is a winter bulb vegetable (its German name can be translated as cabbage turnip). High in dietary fibre and vitamin C, this tasty veggie can be used in a similar way to cabbage and turnip. The attractive green or purple-skinned varieties are both delicious thinly sliced and teamed with pear in a winter slaw or add to a sol warming minestrone for extra crunch..

Glossy dark green zucchinis are well priced and my favourite vegetable to spiralize. Three delicious ways to try zucchini.

  1. Zucchini, tomato, bacon & egg slice
  2. Spinach, tortellini & zucchini noodle soup
  3. Broccolini, zucchini noodle & pork stir-fry

Red capsicums are sweet, flavoursome and good value. Add capsicum to pizza toppings, salads, stir-fries, char-grill or stuff with a meat and vegetable filling and bake until tender. also great for pizza toppings.

Vitamin D is essential for strong bones, muscles and overall health. Mushrooms are a source of vitamin D. Sauté a medley of mushrooms in garlic and herb butter to serve over warm polenta or toasted sourdough.

Top-quality globe artichokes are now in season. Boil trimmed globe artichokes until tender, then slice and combine with diced tomatoes, baby bocconcini, parsley, pepper and olive oil to serve with crusty bread.

Recipe of the Week

Banana Caramel Sticky Puddings

Makes 6
Preparation 15 minutes
Cooking 25 minutes

100g butter
¼ cup (55g) brown sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup
2 eggs
1 cup ( 150g) self-raising flour
1 large banana, finely chopped
1 cup (250ml) boiling water
1/3 cup (75g) brown sugar, extra
1 tablespoon golden syrup, extra
10g butter, extra
Sifted icing sugar and vanilla ice-cream, to serve

  1. Preheat oven to 180 ‘C (160 ‘C) and grease six 1 cup capacity ovenproof ramekins.
  2. Melt butter, brown sugar and golden syrup in a medium saucepan over low heat.
  3. Add eggs, mix well and fold through self-raising flour and banana. Divide batter evenly between the ramekins.
  4. Pour boiling water in a jug, add extra brown sugar, golden syrup and butter and stir until dissolved. Carefully pour this mixture, over the back of a spoon, over the top of the batter  in each ramekin.
  5. Place ramekins close together on a baking tray, cover with a foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the top of each pudding is golden.
  6. Serve immediately, dust with icing sugar and serve with ice-cream.

Lyndey’s Tip: To make these delicious puddings even more luscious serve with a drizzle of warm caramel sauce. Combine 60g chopped butter, 300ml cream and 1 cup (220g) brown sugar in a small saucepan, cook, stirring over a low heat until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. Raise the heat a little and simmer for 3 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened. Serve warm.

Focus on Globe Artichokes


No relation of the tuber-like Jerusalem artichoke, the globe artichoke is considered to be the ‘true’ artichoke and is the bud of a large member of the thistle family.
The tender ends of the leaves and the base (or ‘heart’) of the bud are both edible; the tough outside leaves and the furry central choke and its surrounding leaves aren’t.

An excellent source of dietary fibre which helps the intestine function normally. Provides vitamin C and folate, both of which are important for the normal functioning of the body’s immune system

How to select
Look for plump and heavy artichokes with tightly packed green or purple leaves and firm stems. Ideally they should be eaten immediately, but you can store in a perforated plastic bag in the fridge for up to two days. In smaller artichokes, the leaves are more tender (baby artichokes may not even have a choke); in larger ones, the hearts are bigger.

How to prepare
Holding the top of the artichoke firmly, cut the stem from the base of the artichoke so it will sit flat. Using a sharp knife, remove the pointed top of the artichoke, 4cm to 5cm from the top and discard. Using a spoon, scoop out the hairy ‘choke’ from the centre of the artichoke flower and discard.Immediately place in a bowl of acidulated water (water with the juice of a lemon) to prevent discoloration.

Watch Jamie Oliver prepare them here.

To cook

Artichoke hearts are easily available bottled in oil, and are great as part of an Italian antipasti course. Otherwise, boil or steam the whole artichoke head, then pull the leaves off and dip them in hollandaise sauce, melted butter or garlic butter, drawing the leaf through your teeth to remove the tender flesh before discarding the rest. Or boil the head, pull out the central leaves, scoop out the choke and stuff with chopped garlic and parsley, grated parmesan and bread crumbs before drizzling with olive oil and baking in the oven.

They can also be barbecued or grilled: cut in half lengthways, remove the choke, brush with olive oil and grill for 30 minutes, until tender.

Boil trimmed globe artichokes until tender then slice and combine with diced tomatoes, baby bocconcini, parsley, pepper and olive oil to serve with crusty bread. Master the art of cooking artichokes, with this simple recipe, Globe artichokes with prosciutto.

Try  artichokes stuffed with prosciutto and cheese and other delicious globe artichoke recipes here.
or here are some from BBC Good Food

Sydney Royal Wine Show Awards

L: Chair of Judges PJ Charteris and R Tom Carson with the many trophies he won

Yabby Lake Vineyard has been awarded the highest honour at the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW’s 2019 KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show, with its 2017 Heathcote Estate Single Vineyard Shiraz winning the coveted KPMG Perpetual Trophy for Best Wine of Show and the Tucker Seabrook Perpetual Trophy for Best State Show Wine in Australia.
This wine from Central Victoria survived six rounds of judging from a capped pool of 2,145 entries to claim the trophy.
Sydney Royal Chair of Judges, P-J Charteris said this wine shows the level of purity and distinction Shiraz can achieve in Australia.
“I was extremely impressed by the high standard of entries from across Australia, indicating the Australian wine industry is in great shape.
“In this year’s medal tally we see not only strength of the mainstay varieties in Shiraz, Riesling, Semillon and Chardonnay, but the continued emergence of non-traditional red and white varieties such as Tempranillo, Grenache, Fiano and Arneis.
“While the wine industry faces headwinds in both domestic and export markets for geo-political reasons, consumers globally can take an extremely positive view based purely on quality and this is reflected in the results from this year’s show.”
In a great speech, Yabby Lake General Manager and Winemaker, Tom Carson said he thought it was a win for the Heathcote area as a whole, showing what is possible there. “It’s about 20 years of hard work and we have finally cracked it. This is a major turning point for Heathcote Estate and the region,” said
Also celebrated was the 2017 Shottesbrooke Single Vineyard Series Chardonnay which took home The Albert Chan Memorial Prize for Best White Wine, while Best NSW Wine went to McGuigan Hunter for its 2013 McGuigan BIN 9000 Semillon. Chateau Yaldara was awarded Best Sparkling for its 2015 Chateau Yaldara Vintage Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir.
The growing popularity of Grenache was reflected in its inclusion this year as a stand-alone Class.  Hentley Farm’s 2018 Villain & Vixen Grenache from the Barossa claimed the International Guest Judge Annual Prize as well as The Stewards’ Annual

.2019 KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show – fun facts

Entries Judged 2,145
Trophies 31
Classes 67
Sydney Royal Judges 31
Exhibitors 388
Wine Glasses poured 15,000
Riedel glasses used in Judging 5000
Years of Judging 193

More information and full results here.

Summer Baking Secrets on SBS Food

In Flame Studio Sydney where we shot Summer Baking Secrets

Continuing an unbroken run of my TV series on SBS Food (Channel 33) I am delighted that My Summer Baking Secrets series is back on air. On SBS Food (Channel 33) at 6.30pm and 7pm on Saturday night, and repeated throughout the week. Look here for times. Episodes 3 and 4 are coming up this week and the recipes are all achievable.
If you missed previous episodes you can watch on SBS Catch-Up TV here.
Episode 3
They say good things come in small packages, and this show has some sweet little coconut cupcakes created from my mother’s original recipe. There’s also honey macadamia wafers with baked caramelised mangoes, and tempting homemade lamb sausage rolls. Plus, if you’re into gluten free, I bake a moist carrot and zucchini slab cake
Episode 4 
This episode is seething with baked goods that pack a flavour punch. think Mexican and Turkish inspired brunch tarts, my crazy simple Chocolate pretzel marshmallow slice, orange and lime marmalade trifle and snapper in a salt crust with gremolata.

L: Spicy lamb sausage rolls and R: Chocolate pretzel, marshmallow slice

Interesting Reading

I certainly agree with David Dale that better restaurants give each table their own peppergrinder. I call this “pepper grinder as sacred object”!

I have always enjoyed David Dale’s writing, a colleague, former editor of The Good Food Guide (where I have been reviewing since 1987) and now a teacher of media at the University of NSW. He has updated his 25 restaurant rules to live by in Good Food. His first rule is an old one which Leo Schofield certainly said many years ago, Never eat in a restaurant that revolves or floats. I used to find this amusing and agreed, but since Michael Moore took over the old summit as O Bar & Dining which does revolve, this is not the case. It is a good restaurant with contemporary light food.

What do you think? A staple of New Mexican cuisine, green chiles can be found in everything from buttiros and tequila to caramels and ice cream. Read Tasting New Mexico Chiles in Sante Fe.

Have you ever been to Peru? there’s certainly a buzz about the place. Read in National Geographic Here’s why every foodie you now is heading to Peru.

For UK readers
Here’s a Whiskey Lover’s Guide to Ireland

What’s On

In Australia
Yarra Valley Opens Spring Season of ART | WINE | FOOD with a soiree including Vincent Fantauzzo, Gertrude Opera and the Archibald Prize – 12 September, 7pm

A dinner featuring 2019 Archibald Prize Winner Tony Costa and four time winner of the People’s Choice award, Vincent Fantauzzo in conversation over Oakridge Wine acclaimed food and award winning wines.The evening will be interwoven with performance, music, extraordinary food, award winning wine and an unforgettable finale by Gertrude Opera. Hosted by comedian, author and ABC radio personality Michael Veitch.

Oakridge’s hyper-local focus on Yarra Valley flavours by chefs Matt Stone and Jo Barrett’s with canapés and four courses showing off the season’s bounty from their kitchen garden and surrounding producers. Each course will be perfectly matched to Oakridge’s spring release wines.

Tickets will also include access to an exclusive preview of the renowned Archibald Prize exhibition at TarraWarra Museum of Art the following afternoon, before it opens to the public on Saturday 14th September.

  • Tony Costa’s Archibald Prize-winning work will be on display alongside 50 other shortlisted works at TarraWarra Museum of Art from 14 September to 5 November 2019.
  • Vincent Fantauzzo’s 30:30 portrait collection will be exhibited by YAVA gallery in Healesville from 5 September.
  • The Yarra Valley Opera Festival, presented by  Gertrude Opera, will run from 18 – 27 October. 
  • Yarra Valley Blossom Festival will run 26th September – 6th October
  • Yarra Valley Open Studios will run;  21 & 22 September – Maroondah Highway Area, 12 & 13 October – Melba Highway Area, 9 & 10 November – Warburton Highway Area

When:  Thursday 12 September, 7.00pm welcome with canapés, 7:30pm seated dinner
Where: Oakridge Restaurant and Winery, 864 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream
Cost:    $180pp – includes 4 courses matched Oakridge wines, performances and a ticket to attend a preview of the Archibald Prize exhibition at TarraWarra Museum of Art (exhibition opens to the public Sat 14)
Book:   03 9738 9900 /

WILDfest – Friday 4 October – Sunday 27 October 2019
In the Southern Highlands of NSW (90 minutes form Sydney) a festival fusing
premium local produce, culinary artisans, award-winning regional beverages with accessible luxury and whimsical touches in a unique natural environment.
There are these like Fire, Water, Earth with different experiences from a Wild Harvest Feast
Saturday 5 October 2019 5pm – 10pm with two hatted chef Lennox Hastie to water and glamping experiences

Information and tickets here.

Join me in Morocco 16 – 28 April 2020

The spices in Morocco are incomparable

How about joining me on my next tour with By Prior Arrangement? I first went to Morocco in 1978 and then again on an amazing food trip in 1994 with the International Olive Oil Council and have been entranced by the place ever since. Morocco is an extraordinary destination, but one best visited with specialised knowledge and contacts to ensure a happy and seamless experience. Carol Prior of By Prior Arrangement focusses only on Morocco, a country she has known for 30 years and where she lived for over a decade.  I could think of no-one better to plan the tour with.

This trip will see us travel from Rabat the capital, to spiritual Meknes and Fes, and to Marrakech the red city. On the way you will explore the archaeological site of Volubilis, hike or ride a mule to a Berber village in the Atlas Mountains, and relax by the coast in tranquil Essaouira. You will discover the delicacies of Moroccan and French food, dine in local eateries through to upmarket restaurants, and experience the making and flavours of Moroccan dishes during cooking classes. Your luxury accommodation is in charming, authentic riads.
Highlights of the tour include:
– personal hosting by me
– must see destinations Rabat, Fes, Essaouira, Marrakech
– visit of an authentic Berber village in the Atlas Mountains
– a unique foodie tour of Marrakech souks and some cooking classes
– historical and cultural visits throughout with local licensed guides
– the Majorelle Garden and the Yves Saint Laurent museum
– accommodation in traditional riads, sometimes in exclusivity

Details here

That’s all I have time for this week. Next week there probably won’t be an update as I am flying to Singapore on Wednesday to spend time with my daughter, and then an presenting on a cruise between Singapore and Bali.
Keep up to date with my travels on all my social media channels:
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