Embracing the Season


With Tawnya Bah (L) and Lucy Allon (R), co-founders of Straight to The Source at their From the Source Kitchen at the Fine Food Exhibition

How is everything in your corner of the world? Here in Sydney the week began with a heatwave and has ended with chilly winds.  All we can do is accept what comes, realise it might affect our farmers and therefore our produce supplies and go with the flow.

Last week the Fine Food Australia Exhibition was on and while it’s largely for the food industry, I was pleased to catch up with some regional producers and see what was happening on The Source Kitchen, with some producers and taste what they had on offer. Always good to see Sydney Royal winners like Garlicious Grown black garlic, Seaweedery with their zero waste prawn oil and seaweed vinegar (which I discovered and bought at the Easter Show) and a wonderful discovery of Tastebuds Toothpaste, a toothpaste which doesn’t wipe ut your tastebuds so you can taste straight after brushing. Not to mention a fun finale with Alto Olives paired with SoHi spirits for a truly regional martini. I also found some wonderful pine nuts from Pinoli. I was impressed because they were so fresh and well packaged, grown in New Zealand from a Mediterranean variety. Nuts can easily become rancid so these were wonderful to taste.

On Saturday, following up from the Marrakech earthquake, Simon Marnie interviewed the wonderful Soufiane Ganam, who is the multi-lingual tour guide for my tours for Morocco. He explained the damage, advised that Morocco is open for business and welcomed tourists. You can hear it here until Saturday morning. After that, you will get the whole show and need to scroll through to 7.50am time.

If you are in Sydney and would like to support the beautiful, resiliant people of the Atlas Mountains and Marrakech you could join Tracey Spicer, Simon, Carol Prior and me at Le Soirée du Maroc at the Mosman Art Gallery on Thursday 5 October from 6.30pm – 10.30pm. Help these people whose courage in the face of the disaster is admirable and the way the communities are helping each other is a lesson in generosity, support and compassion. Donate or buy a ticket here for this Moroccan Feast with wines for $200. Your support means more than you can imagine. We promise an evening filled with laughter, good company, and heartwarming moments.

I won’t be sending a newsletter next week as I have a very special birthday coming up with my family flying in from Singapore and other friends and family gathering.

Please stay in touch with me on Facebook and Instagram or email me with your requests or comments. 

Happy cooking, eating, drinking and travelling– Lyndey x

Recipes of the week

Every year I wait for asparagus season and for the price to come down.
Not difficult to make but delightfully indulgent with dark chocolate. A recipe I created in the Margaret River when filming

Fun with Wine


The Figure of Wine

Here’s another in my series, Fun with Wine. What does the shape of a bottle tell you about the wine inside? Is it a clue?  Find out more in this video. 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.

The Dinner Party

Who needs another cookbook you ask? Well, not me but how could I resist this one? OK, the authors chef Martin Benn and creative genius, Vicki Wild are friends. But Martin is one of the world’s great chefs and you’d be hard pressed to find a better host than Vicki as anyone who went to their restaurants like Sepia or Society would attest.

They are also great fun, which is why they say the most important thing about a dinner party is to make it fun. Easy for them you say? Yes, but here they are giving you all their combined know-how, honed by years in the hospitality industry. So here there are menus, recipes, themes, even playlists, wine pairings and cocktails. Plenty of do-ahead advice and recipes with just that twist to make them special. The Dinner Party: A Chef’s Guide To Home Entertaining will help you create a night to remember. $45. Available in all good bookstores or online.

Loire Valley Wines

An unusual pairing of wines with flowers – see the Sydney Opera House behind

The week began with a charming yet unusual tasting of Loire Valley wines. For generations these wines have been made by Selection Massale (aka Massal Selection) is a French wine growing term for the practice of replanting new vineyards with cuttings from exceptional old vines from the same (or nearby) property. 
The wines DNA is described by Interloire (the local winemaking association) as Fresh, Fruity, Floral and Fair, giving a framework for understanding the diverse range of wines, styles and characteristics of the wines of the region.
Fresh, because the Loire Valley is known for its crisp refreshing wines, especially white wines due to the cool climate and soil diversity of the region.
Fruity because of the tangy citrusy to juicy stone fruit in some wines which comes from ripe grapes, made in a way to extract these flavours.
Floral because of the aromatic compounds in other grapes preserved through gentle winemaking.
Fair with 80% of vineyards certified organic or biodynamic with a commitment for 100% by 2030 and a strong sense of community and local co-operation.
The wines were therefore presented by sommelier Louella Matthews alongside a florist from Buds and Bowers. She introduced each wine for us to taste and described the colours it brought up in her mind’s eye and he then presented each of us with a flower to match and his reason why. See what you think of these pairings.

Wine 1: Louis de Grenelle  PDO CRÉMANT DE LOIRE
Wine 2 : Domaine des Grandes Esperances  PDO Touraine  Java Blanc
Flower 1 : Peach Stock

Wine 3: Domaine Landron Chartier PDO Muscadet Coteaux de la Loire
Wine 4 Domaine des Forges PDO Coteaux Du Layon Premier Cru Chaume
Flower 2 : Camomille flower

Wine 5: Chateau de Fesles PDO Rose? d’Anjou La Chapelle
Wine 6 : Robert et Marcel PDO Rosé de Loire Reserve des Vignerons
Flower 3 : Pink David Austin Rose

Wine 7: Domaine de Rocheville PDO Saumur-Champigny Le Prince
Wine 8: Charles Joguet PDO Chinon Clos du Chêne Vert
Flower 4 : Agonis flexuosa ‘After Dark’

It was a fun morning followed by an opportunity to taste many other wines from 12 producers in the adjacent room. At the end I had a real feel for what Loire wines are all about. Also what great value they represent. Cabernet d’Anjou and Rosé d’Anjou are both rosés and very popular in Australia as is the sparkling wine Cremant de Loire, made by the method traditionelle. Also if chablis is too expensive, try muscadet instead.

Map of the various wine areas of the Loire Valley

Things to Read,  Cook & Attend

Zucchini flower, asparagus and fennel salad Photo: William Meppem

Culinary Backstreets run great tours in many cities around the world. Now they have curated playlists on Spotify for many of the places where they host tours – Tokyo, Athens, Marseille and LA to mention only a few.

Eativity tells us How to build a bee-friendly garden
From Fine Dining Lovers, given there are so many different types of pepper The easy guide to pepper pairing

Gourmet Traveller features Good-looking zucchini flower recipes
and also 44 Spring-ready Asparagus recipes to try this season


Leith’s School of Food & Wine are offering a bonus knife kit to those undertaking professional courses and for home cooks, a Wusthof Chef’s Knife. More information here

Moroccan Culinary Tour

The beautiful Atlas Mountains of Morocco – they are still beckoning you

My next culinary tour to Morocco is from Saturday 27 April – Wednesday 8 May 2024 with the highly experienced By Prior Arrangement with peerless contacts there.

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

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, 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 and drop off to and from the desert camp
  • 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

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

L: Colourful dyes in the souk and R: the perennial favourite mint tea and stuffed dates

Puglia Culinary Adventure – May 2024

Beautiful Monopoli Photo by Max in Puglia

Spend an unforgettable week with me learning the secrets of a deeply passionate and undiscovered region of Southern Italy. Puglia is the sun-drenched heel of the boot that spans two seas, the Adriatic and the Ionian. Basilicata is its neighbour to the West. Both agricultural regions are abundant with healthy soil, over 50 million olive trees and a tradition of wine growing that has seen a fabulous dynamism in the last ten years. This area produces some of the most exciting food and wines on the planet. With award-winning Southern Visions Travel.

Trip Highlights 

  • An in-depth visit to the UNESCO site of Matera, with free time to explore and shop
  • Bakery visit in Altamura at a DOP bakery
  • Visit to the Trullo Capital, UNESCO Heritage Site, Alberobello
  • A hands-on cooking class with a Nonna and me 
  • Insider’s look at burrata cheese making from cow to table 
  • Salsa di Pomodoro tomato experience
  • Olive grove tour and oil tasting at an ancient olive oil estate
  • Private lunch at Li Veli Winery
  • Visits to Lecce and Ostuni (the White City)
  • A half day on the water from Polignano a Mare followed by a seafood lunch

Cost $7439 per person (twin share).
Full itinerary and enquiries here or email me.

L: get your hands into making real burrata and R: charming Lecce