Easing into the Year

Results from the photo booth at the Frida Kahlo exhibition


A big welcome to my many new subscribers – and my loyal longtime ones.
I hope you all enjoy my jottings.

I love summer. I love the warm weather (when we have it), sneaking off for a swim on a weekday afternoon and I love the Sydney Festival and the buzz of the city. I’m hoping to preserve that laid-back vibe, no makeup, lazy nights at home and fun casually catching up with friends and seeing things at the Sydney Festival. Even though I can feel that I am back full-on at the gym and pilates.

As part of the Festival, I went to the Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon exhibition after lunch with friends in Barangaroo. It is an immersive exhibition dedicated to the life of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, rather than an exhibition of her works. There are holographs, 360′ projections, a virtual reality set-up, live Mexican music and a fun photo booth which transforms you into a Kahlo-esque image (see picture above). Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time if you go. There is an opportunity to stop and colour in (yes, my friend’s grandchildren did that) and have your work projected onto the wall and also a 30-minute film. I didn’t stay for all of it, and just as well, as the virtual reality and photo booth were after that, along with the shop and refreshments. There’s also a free documentary online which I will watch soon.

On Sunday night I’m off to see Yotam Ottolenghi at the fabulous International Convention Centre (ICC). I met him in 2010 when he was here for the Crave Sydney International Food Festival. He was a guest and was intrigued when my friends Jennice and Raymond Kersh, pioneers in serving indigenous food from 1981 at their famed restaurant, Edna’s Table, put on an impromptu lunch in the Botanical Gardens. Simon Marnie and I co-hosted, my late son Blair was the waiter and it was preceded by a guided tour with Clarence Slockee. I didn’t know of Ottolenghi back then but he was charming and fascinated with what he saw and tasted. Since then, I have bought his books and eaten at his restaurants.

Sharing his experience as a chef, restaurateur and food writer, he will give insights into how flavour is dialled up with basic pairings fundamental to taste, cooking methods that elevate ingredients and talk about his life in food: how his upbringing has influenced his food, the journey that led to his becoming a chef, opening seven delis and restaurants in London, and writing eight bestselling cookbooks. I am delighted to have been able to give away two tickets to someone who followed and tagged me on Instagram and subscribed to this newsletter.
If you’re in Sydney and want to go. There are still some tickets available here.

Wherever you are I hope a feeling of relaxation can continue – and remember to eat and drink well – Lyndey x

Beautiful floral display at Frida Kahlo exhibition

Recipes of the week


What I love about Australia

With lychees for Lunar New Year & green and gold for Australia Day

In the kitchen with Lyndey


How to make the perfect stir fry

You can find the printed recipe here.  If you would like to see more of my videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE.

Lunar New Year

Chinese-style Roast Chicken.

This Sunday marks the Lunar New Year, celebrated by many Asian cultures and this year, we’re welcoming the sign of the Water Rabbit (which symbolises longevity, peace, and prosperity in Chinese culture). Of course, it is a wondrous celebration of paper-dragon dances, parades and red clothing to commemorate the legend of Nian, (a mythical beast who terrorised villagers once every year) but what I get most excited about is the feasting!

In Chinese culture, particular foods are considered ‘fortunate’ and if you’re planning on celebrating by whipping up a fabulous Asian-inspired menu this weekend, my new blog has some of my favourite recipes that fit the bill. There are also some interesting tidbits about the history and traditions of the day itself which you might find interesting. You can learn more in my Chinese New Year blog. There are recipes there too, but I have put my Chinese-style Roast Chicken in here because it was so popular when I first made and posted it. Of course, seafood is especially important and Sydney Seafood School has shared Chinese Seafood Dishes for the Lunar New Year.

Whatever you do Kung Hei Fat Choy or Gong Xi Fa Cai  (Happy New Year) and may it be wonderful for you.

What’s On

Sydney Royal 2023 Cheese & Dairy Awards Thursday 16 February 2023
To celebrate the announcement of the 2023 Champions, anyone can join the winners, judges, and industry movers and shakers to feast on a mouth-watering menu featuring Sydney Royal medal-winning produce, accompanied by great wines, beers, and ciders. I will be MCing this event again and it is always such a fun night. Come along to meet some of Australia’s best producers and gain expert tips and knowledge from successful competitors as you listen to live music and entertainment.
Tickets are on sale via the RAS website until 2 February 2023 $85
Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm, Thursday 16 February 2023
Location: The Stables, Hawkesbury St, Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park 2127
Dress: Smart Casual

Australia Day 26 January
I know there are increasingly mixed feelings about Australia Day, but I like to view it in the broadest possible sense: as an opportunity to celebrate and also question our nation, and the people who make it up, while acknowledging past wrongs and showing respect and celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders survival, resilience and 65,000 years’ enduring culture. We freely elect our Government and it has the ability to change the date, or not. For me, changing the date will not change history, we need to change how we observe the day and discuss what happened. On Australia Day, we reflect on our past, accept the truth of our history and respect that we all have a contribution to make to the Story of Australia. We celebrate being part of a diverse and multicultural nation

As a sixth-generation Australian, I am incredibly honoured to be an Australia Day Ambassador for the 21st consecutive year. I always request regional Australia and this year I am off to Colleambally (from 8 am) and Darlington Point (from midday) where, as well as giving my Australia Day address and assisting with Awards presentations, I look forward to learning more about their stories. You can read more of my thoughts here in an interview I gave Wherever YOU are, I hope we can gather together in respect peace and appreciation for the wonderful land in which we live. You can learn more on the Australia Day website and each state has their own celebrations. And what pleases me greatly is that so many of them are free, making them accessible to all.

Orange F.O.O.D Week 24 March to 2 April 2023
Orange F.O.O.D Week is Australia’s longest-running regional food festival, with ten days to experience the whole region’s best. The offerings are numerous and diverse, all a collaboration between local chefs and producers to highlight the unique positioning of the region as both a dining destination and an agricultural food basket.
More information and tickets here.

Things to Share

VIRID’s food wall features an award-winning honeycomb design – from Eativity.

As I write this I am having my balcony renovated after 17 years, to bring it up to the standard inside my apartment. I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner, nor that it is looking so much better so quickly. I am lucky to have space but I am fascinated by vertical gardens which have become increasingly popular, the more so because of Covid isolations. Eativity writes Vertical gardening: the only way is up with lots of information on growing veggies and herbs in this way.

Have you noticed an increase in restaurants offering some menu items prepared tableside? Back in the day, it was all Steak Diane and Crepes Suzette but I have seen more modern offerings too. Fine Dining Lovers published a piece on The Restaurants Bringing Something Extra to the Table. The examples are all in the USA and it makes interesting points about the increased opportunity for communication between the staff and guests to learn about the produce, as well as enjoying the show.

Conversely, what do you think about this piece in Bon Appetit Fine Dining is Going Out of Fashion. As an Ex-Chef, I’m Relieved?

Wine of the Week

2022 Longview Macclesfield Grüner Veltliner $30

Grüner Veltliner (green wine of Veltlin in German) wine is made from the grape variety of the same name, most famously putting wine on the map in Austria (comprising 32.5% of total vineyard plantings), but it is also traditionally produced in Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia and increasingly in Northern Italy, the USA, New Zealand and Australia. Grüner Veltliner is usually all about bright citrus fruit of lemon and lime, though with ripeness, can move to grapefruit and apricot, minerality, acidity and even some herbs and white peppercorn spice.

It can offer great value for money and this 2022 Longview Grüner Veltliner  won a Trophy at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show 2022. Its flavours are all apples, juniper and dill, slightly spicy but with great texture, finishing dry. I drank it with a lightly spiced, aromatic pork stir fry while a classic match in its homeland could be Wiener Schnitzel.

Please feel free to email me by return with any questions, suggestions or comments.
I value them.