Celebrating the Season

Speaking at the SCLAA Annual Industry Breakfast in NSW Parliament House on International Women’s Day on behalf of the Leukaemia Foundation

It was a big week last week which is why I didn’t publish a newsletter. On Tuesday the always uplifting graduation of last year’s female chef mentoring programme,  Tasting Success mentees. It is wonderful to see how these women are transformed and upskilled to become tomorrow’s leaders in the hospitality industry. I thank TAFE NSW, the masterclass lecturers and mentors. We have now launched for our 16th year!

On International Women’s Day (IWD) I first spoke at a breakfast in the Strangers’ Dining room of NSW Parliament House for the Supply Chain & Logistics Professionals in Australia (SCLAA). They have chosen the Leukaemia Foundation as their charity to support and so I spoke of my experience losing my son Blair to blood cancer. We raised $14,000 for the foundation so we can help others. Thank you SCLAA. Then I had to get straight to the lunch I was hosting for Women in Australian Wine and, again, inspiring hearing the stories of two women in the industry Jessica McLeish from McLeish Estate and Wendy Laureti from Saddler’s Creek. Wonderful but I was certainly exhausted by the time I got home.

During the week, also for IWD, I saw an incredible documentary Antarctica, The Giant Awakens. It graphically shows the effects of global warming melting ice in Antarctica and the dangers if it is not arrested. Read the interview with Liz Courtney, Director of the movie.

It’s about to get very busy again as I am going to Moruya for my gorgeous goddaughter’s wedding and then straight back for the Easter Show until 2 April (more on that below). So there won’t be a newsletter next week but you can keep up to date with me on Facebook and Instagram.  Please always feel free to email me with your requests or comments. 

Keep cooking and you’ll keep smiling– Lyndey x

L: At Sala Dining where I hosted a Women in Wine lunch for International Women’s Day and R: fun evening at Nomad for Porkstars with Manu Feildel & Lauren Murdoch

Head Teacher Sheridan Marz, excited graduating Tasting Success Mentees and me at TAFE

Recipes of the week

A popular Sichuan dish but fast & fabulous to make at home for family and guests.
Extend summer by capturing seasonal fruit in sorbets which are easy to make.

In the Kitchen with Lyndey


Brownies in  Jar

There is nothing like a gift from the home – and from the heart. That’s what this is. Brownies in a Jar. The person you gift it to only needs to add eggs and butter. Just click on the arrow or here and it will take you through to YouTube to view it.

The written recipe is here. If you would like to see more of my videos on both food and wine, subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE or follow me on Instagram.

Ask Me

Spiced Chickpea, Pumpkin & Spinach Salad – made in an air-fryer

Questions and Answers:

I love this section, it’s fun, even though some of you are loathe to write in and ask. Remember this is YOUR section so keep the questions rolling in as there will be others interested in what YOU ask – so please feel free. You can even be anonymous if you like!

Kerin asked: What are the pros and cons of air-frying?
Air fryers don’t actually “fry” bit cook by circulating hot air around food, creating a crisp outside similar to deep-fried food
I have two views on this: one is that we have too many gadgets in our kitchens which clog up our cupboards and benches and we could do with less; but the other is to look at when air fryers really make sense and how they can make our lives easier.

Where I think they are fabulous, is for cooking small amounts and keeping the heat out of the kitchen in warmer months. A traditional oven can really make the kitchen hot whereas an air fryer keeps it contained and usually bakes in shorter time. An air fryer makes amazing crisp roast pork belly and also a fantastic complete meal of rack of lamb with vegetablesThere is, of course, also the added benefit of being able to cook with little or no fat yet still get a crisp end result with many things. So try my air-fried spicy chick peas in a salad with pumpkin (cooked in the air fryer) and spinach. I have it on good authority that chips are fabulous in one, as are brussels sprouts. Apparently you can also bake sweet things in them, though I haven’t tried. However, if you are cooking treats all day long in the air fryer, they are still treats, though they may have less fat and so must be viewed as such.

Another advantage is size. So ideal for a small kitchen or anywhere without an oven, holiday home, B & B.  I see them more as a convenience appliance – and love the fact that you can wash them (not the electrical part please) successfully in the dishwasher. They are also not very expensive, which is refreshing – and evidently some of the cheaper ones work well – but do check out online reviews before you buy one.

So best to work out how often you cook, how many you cook for, what you cook and therefore is it worth it to you?

Annie  asked “How do you pick a good pomegranate? I have a lovely recipe with cauliflower and pomegranate and tahini with yoghurt sauce. I bought a beautiful looking pomegranate and it was only good on one side.
I assume Annie means that when she opened the pomegranate it was only juicy on one side? Is that right?

I am proud to say I have a pomegranate bush and it has two growing but as yet unripe fruit on it which is very exciting considering it is on an apartment balcony. Look for fruits that are hard on the outside and feel heavy for their size with a smooth unbroken surfaces with no bruises. Rind color, which ranges from bright pink to red to brick, indicates variety, rather than ripeness. Choose the largest fruits you can find—the bigger the pomegranate, the juicier it will be. There is quite an interesting video to watch which explains a lot about ripeness and what do look for. I hope this helps as they are right in season in Australia now. Annie – we’d love your recipe too if you could share it?

Please all let me know how you get on?

Book Review

I have known chef Simon Sandall for years and years from when he arrived from the UK (already with some great work cred) and worked at the Opera House and then with Matt Moran at Aria before he returned to the Opera House for Aria Catering when it took over. He went on to become Group Executive Chef, leading the kitchen teams across the MorSul (Moran and Sullivan) group, (now Solotel) which included Aria Sydney and Brisbane Aria Catering, Chiswick, Chiswick at the Gallery, Opera Bar, River Bar and North Bondi Fish.

It is credit to him and his co-owner Susan Sullivan that the restaurant they established in 2018 in Hunters Hill, Boronia Kitchen has not only flourished despite the Covid years but has expanded to include Boronia Next Door, a private dining and event space, Boronia Catering and also a consultancy Sandall and Co.

Boronia Kitchen is just what you want in a local community – somewhere with assured, contemporary food which is not tricked up, using great produce. Along with great service from well trained staff. Food you could eat more than once a week. I wish it was my local.While the restaurant offers food smarter than what you might cook yourself, now you can with Boronia Kitchen: The Cookbook. The book begins with testimonials from chefs like Martin Benn, Manu Feildel, Michael Moore and Matt Moran.  Then it charts his journey from modest UK upbringing to celebrated chef, with recipes that have shaped his career. We are the lucky ones for he shares achievable (some more challenging than others)  delicious recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Sides, Dessert, Cocktails and more along with a glossary and a very useful buying guide. The Sesame Prawn Toast with Yuzu Mayonnaise which appeared on Boronia Kitchen’s first menu is there – and will certainly make an appearance on my table. Vegans and omnivores alike with be intrigued by the Miso-baked Cauliflower, Kale, Romesco Sauce & Toasted Seeds. You’ll learn how to make desserts from the restaurant like Strawberry, Chocolate Tart with Creme Fraiche and you even get to meet his kids. I just wish I had his rotisserie at home! A lovely read and great presentation.$69.95

Things to Read, Attend and Cook

Talk & Taste timetable for the Easter Show

– To Attend –
The Sydney Royal Easter Show starts on 22 March and runs until 2 April. Talk and Taste is being held in the Woolworths Fresh Food Dome every day except 26 March (when I am emceeing the Aquaculture Competition from 10.30am – 2.30pm) every hour on the hour at 10am, 11 am, 12 noon, 1 pm, 3pm, 4pm and 5pm. Each session will feature two award-winning producers sharing their expertise while leading you in a guided tasting. From learning more about the Sydney Royal Wine, Dairy and Fine Food judging systems to discovering the stories and secrets behind their award-winning products, this is for all food lovers. Producers and products on offer will change daily and be available for purchase after each session. I will be your host on March 25, 28, 29 and April 1 so come and say hello. You can put your name down for an informative session and tasting – they are free.
– To Learn –
National Prawn Day is all about celebrating prawns for their unique taste, vibrant colour, range of health benefits and all-round legendary status. It’s on tomorrow (16 March) so do you know the difference between the different types of prawns? Read Your Ultimate Guide to Prawns
– To Watch –

Do you love watching food shows – not just cooking shows but ones where you can armchair travel? Try Seven Food-Travel Shows to Watch (or Rewatch) When You’re Hungry for Adventure

–  To Think About –
Usually we swirl a glass of one to help it open up and release aromas. But what about champagne and sparkling wine?  Gambero Rosso opines Please stop swirling that glass of sparkling wine. What do you think?
– To Cook – 

I haven’t yet been to French-style hot spot Armorica, though I want to. So I was pleased to see this recipe described by Broadsheet as A Quietly Luxe Veggie Pasta from a Grand Sydney Brasserie. It’s Campanelle pasta made with capers, almonds, stracciatella and butter.

Moroccan Culinary Tour

The beautiful Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Join my next culinary tour to Morocco from Saturday 27 April – Wednesday 8 May 2024 organised with Carol Prior from By Prior Arrangement who has 40 years experience and peerless contacts there. I have a lovely group of people coming with me, couples, singles, mothers and daughters. The mix always works and some have travelled with me before which is wonderful.

Taking in the best Morocco has to offer, this authentic gastronomic experience will see you visiting ancient palaces and medinas and enjoying exclusive dining experiences.

We will travel from Rabat the capital, to spiritual Meknes and Fes, and then onto intoxicating Marrakech, the red city. On the way, we will explore the archaeological site of Volubilis, visit a Berber village in the Atlas Mountains and relax by the coast in tranquil Essaouira. Together, we will discover the delicacies of Moroccan and French food and wine, dine in humble local eateries and upmarket restaurants, and experience the making and flavours of Moroccan dishes during cooking classes. Luxury accommodation is in charming, authentic riads.

  • Personal hosting by me
  • 11 nights accommodation
  • Meals as per itinerary: breakfast daily, 7 lunches, 11 dinners with ½ bottle of wine per person
  • Transportation throughout in luxury air-conditioned vehicles with professional experienced English-speaking driver, including related expenses and allowing for physical distancing
  • 4×4 pick up & drop off on the day trip to a desert camp with optional camel riding.
  • Bottled mineral water and hand sanitiser in the vehicle daily
  • English-speaking local licensed guides in Rabat, Volubilis, Fes, Marrakech and Essaouira with all entrance fees included to the sites visited with the guides
  • Atlas excursion including mules and the specialist trek guide
  • 2 cooking classes
  • Local tourist taxes
  • Porterage
  • Restaurant tips
  • Drivers and guides gratuities
  • Bank transfer and currency fluctuation fees

“Such a wonderful way to experience Morocco!
Lyndey is an exceptional tour host and our guides and drivers were first class.
It was a memorable tour filled with unique experiences.”
Debra and Neil,  September/October 2022

Cost $10,000 per person (twin share).
More information & booking HERE, full itinerary HERE or email me or travel@bypriorarrangement.com with any questions.

L: You will cook something like this in a cooking class and R: Mint tea is a refreshing welcome