Competitors and judges at the Korean Cooking Competition, the three place getting teams in front

Cooking is Fun


I thought ‘Cooking is Fun’ is a great title for this newsletter. I had a wonderful time last Saturday as seven teams of two competed in the finals of the Korean Cooking Contest. Brilliantly conceived, the challenge was for non-Koreans and non-professionals to create a dish using at least one of three Korean ingredients: Gochujang, Kimchi or Doenjang. This is the first time since Covid that the competition has been able to be held and the new venue of Vive Cooking School was great, as there were members of the public and supporters able to attend. The judging criteria were: Relevance to the theme (25), Composition (20), Taste (20), Plating (20), Degree of difficulty (10) and Additional points for Creativity (5). The standard was the highest ever and the three top place getters were very, very close. There were mother and daughter teams, siblings, partners and business associates. See the winning recipe below.

Thanks to those of you who sent me oven recommendations. Who knew that all 900 ovens aren’t the same? In fact, none are. The Miele is one of only three which come close. My old Blanco is 474 high, 894 wide and 545 deep. Miele is 478 (so 4mm higher), 895 wide, so (6mm wider) and 546 deep (so 5mm deeper). I was reliably informed there should always be 1cm or more wriggle room but I was still very, very nervous . Pleased to report it is now installed and  am cooking my first dinner party for friends since I have been on my own, on Saturday night.

You can keep up-to-date with me on Facebook and Instagram or email me with any requests or comments. 

Please eat and drink well, travel with your tastebuds if not in person, and be happy and healthy – Lyndey x

L: the winning dish, a fabulous interpretation of a classically made Pancetta Carbonara and R: from L to R, Heather Jeong (judge)  the winners  Pina Brandi & Alex Tinsley me and Korean Cultural Centre Director (judge) Jihee Kim

Recipes of the week

This recipe is simple and inexpensive and a great alternative to an exotic truffled egg pasta.
Orange season is in full swing, so why not enjoy them in the same way we do lemons, with a yummy pudding?

In the kitchen with Lyndey


Snapper Fillets Two Ways, Steamed vs Fried

The printed recipe for steamed is here and for fried is here. If you would like to see more of my videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE.

Kimchi & Gochugang Carbonara Pancetta Recipe

Alex Tinsley & Pina Brandi presenting their finished dish

I really loved the top three recipes from the Korean cooking competition, so I thought I would share the winning recipe with you here. Alex and Pina are friends with mixed cultural backgrounds, though both with some Italian, hence them wanting to make this dish. Alex is a real estate agent and Pina is a property strategist. They were incredibly enthusiastic and joyful throughout the competition. What impressed us judges was that they were using a classic method (with the heat of the pasta cooking the eggs to form a sauce) yet they understood the Korean ingredients well. They also made pasta from scratch, all within the one hour time frame. This is what they wrote in their application:

“We decided to add cooked Kimchi to carbonara after having some friends over and doing a cookout. Each guest bright a different dish and we got to try a bit of everything. As a result, we had a mix of food on our plates and they combined and… delicious! When experimenting with the Kimchi in the carbonara sauce it was harsh on the eggs so we cooked it in the Pancetta fat, and added gochujang glaze for added complexity”.

Serves 2
Preparation: 40 minutes
Cooking: 5 – 10 minutes

1 egg + 1 egg yolk
200g all purpose flour
150g pancetta
100g kimchi
40 parmigiano reggiano
80g pecorino romano
1 tablespoon gochujang
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Mix egg and flour knead for 5min and let it rest for 15min; Then use a pasta machine or a rolling pin to make the pasta sheets and cut into thin ribbons.
Put a big pot of water to boil.

Meanwhile, cut 50g of the pancetta and slowly cook it into the gochujang and maple syrup till caramelized.
Cut the rest of the pancetta and let it render till crispy.

Remove the pancetta and add sliced kimchi to the pancetta fat. Let it fry till dry.

In a different bowl add 1egg+ 1yolk to  the pecorino and the parmigiano mix with a stick blender over the pasta boiling water to temper the egg.

Once kimchi is ready add the fresh pasta to the water, cook for 2min put the drained pasta directly into the egg mixture, add the kimchi and the crispy pancetta.

Plate and add the gochujang glazed pancetta on top with the spring onion to garnish. Enjoy Hot!! Do not let it go cold!!

My Tips for Making Cooking Simpler

On location at Yarra Valley Caviar when filming Taste of Australia – note the portable hotplate

So, I’m about to cook for seven people for the first time in 17 months. I’m out of the habit and the title of this newsletter is that Cooking is Fun. So I thought I should remind myself to relax and take it easy. Especially when you consider I have cooked all over the world on a simple portable gas burner or occasionally an induction one (though we realised it took too much power so reverted to gas!) So I thought I would share my tips for making home cooking Simpler and therefore more fun – I hope I can follow them!

  1. Shop for and cook with things that are in season. Then they are at their best, cheapest and need the least done to them to taste fantastic. Remember less is more.
  2. Start cooking and prepare other ingredients progressively and clean up as you go.
  3. If you are using one, read the recipe through from beginning to end before you start. Ensure you have everything you need and all ingredients. Give yourself time to pre-heat the oven if necessary and have ingredients at their correct temperature.
  4. Buy an oven thermometer and keep it in your oven so you know its true heat . Don’t put things in until the temperature on your oven thermometer is stable. Drop the temperature on your oven dial by 20’C if it is fan-forced.  Ideally put cakes as close to the middle of the oven as possible.  Rotate cakes and biscuits during cooking so you get to know any hot or cold spots.
  5. Relax. The worst home-made disaster is better than the most perfect shop-bought anything.

Things to read, share and experience

Air-fried gyoza from Food & Drink

Time Out has published it’s Best restaurants in Sydney right now. As it happens I’m looking forward to going to S’more next week and am just back from lunch at Luna Lu. I visited Beckett’s for a friend’s birthday last week and I have reported on Viand in a previous newsletter. Parlar is great and longer ago I reviewed Gowings Bar & Grill and the Tropic, Manly. Plenty more to visit here.
Read my blog about Jerusalem Artichokes
The Chef Widow Club::Dating and Relationships in Hospitality  or The dishes 100 top Aussie chefs have cooked to romance their lovers. Author  and illustrator Yen Trinh (co-owner of Pipit restaurant with husband/chef Ben Devlin)  has unearthed stories for her book including how they met their partners. “A chef widow is a person who is in a relationship with a chef but who never sees them because they work unsociable hours (weekends, late nights etc), so much so that they may as well be a widow,” says Trinh.

I’m Hosting Two Food Tours Very Soon!

 23 September – 4 October 2022

If you’re keen to join me for an authentic, gastronomic tour of Morocco’s best culinary experiences and marvel at the ancient palaces and medinas that make this exotic country so exciting, you need to be quick!

There are only a few spots left for this very special tour and bookings close very soon, so click below to find out more now!


8 – 14 October 2022
This truly authentic wine and gastronomic experience takes in the best of what beautiful Puglia has to offer. Spend an unforgettable week learning the secrets of a deeply passionate and relatively undiscovered region of Southern Italy.