History and Adventurers


The incredible Valerie Taylor (centre)  with her friend and documentary maker, Tina Dalton and me.


I hope this finds you all well and happy. It’s been a very varied week for me and therefore very interesting. Last Sunday I went to the launch of my friend Barbara Santich’s new book Eating in 18th Century Provence. She is Professor Emeritus at the University of Adelaide, a respected food historian, her research into food history and culture focussing on both France and Australia. She has authored many impressive publications and, while this book is not for everyone given it’s detail, her talk was fascinating. She  investigated the reasons for and background to the differences between northern and southern French cuisine, specifically in Provence. In the absence of cookbooks for the region in the 18th century, she used innovative methodologies relying on a range of hitherto unexplored primary resources, ranging from household accounts and manuscript recipes to local newspapers and gardening manuals that focus on the actuality of the 18th century Provençal table. I could listen to her for hours.

A friend has recently been elected to The Explorers Club and on Tuesday night he and his wife took me to The Explorers Club Evening of Adventure in Sydney. We had two incredible presentations from Antarctic Explorer Gareth Andrews (who with his brother-in-law trekked 1400km over 66 days to the South Pole) and Extreme Cyclist Dr Kate Leeming who has cycled the equivalent of 2 1/2 times around the earth, in all manner of remote places, always shining a positive light on the issues, cultures and geography of remote communities with her Breaking the Cycle charity. It was like nothing I have attended before. Needless to say, the room was full of interesting people and I was thrilled to have dinner with 87 year old Valerie Taylor, the pioneering scuba diver, filmmaker, author, painter, photographer and marine conservationist. She is planning more documentaries and still defending sharks as she always has as part of the formidable Ron & Valerie Taylor team, though sadly Ron is no longer with us.

Then I was honoured, if sad, to attend the funeral and farewell to Kevin Weldon AM, proud Australian, book publisher, philanthropist, inspirational entrepreneur and  founding president of the World Lifesaving and International Life Saving Federation. What a life he led and what a contributor to Australian life and business.

I have been in the presence of giants this week and am humbled by their achievements. It seems strange to be writing of more worldly matters but I hope there is something below to interest you. Next week I won’t be producing a newsletter as I will be visiting my daughter and family for an early Christmas in Singapore. As ever, keep up to date with me on Facebook and Instagram.  Please always feel free to email me with your requests or comments. 

Happy cooking, eating, drinking and travelling– Lyndey x

L : with Barbara Santich and her new book and R: an approximation of food we may have eaten in 18th century Provence: bread with tapenade and anchoiade; saucisson, caper berries, cornichons and olives

Recipes of the week

This is my favourite way to serve zucchinis – and the steak is good too.
This simple techique works for any fruit but I love it with mango

In the Kitchen with Lyndey


See how smoked salmon is hand-sliced + 2 quick recipes on location in Ireland

Here’s a flashback around 20 years ago when I was co-host of Fresh with The Australian Women’s Weekly and went to Wales and Ireland for a couple of weeks of stories. Here I interview Graham Roberts, one of Rick Stein’s Super Food Heroes, in the Connemara Smokehouse in Galway, Ireland  and then create two quick recipes using smoked salmon. Click on the arrow to see the video. Here is the written recipe for the Quick Smoked Salmon Pate.
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.

Things to Do, Read, Listen To and Share

Emiko Davies

In Sydney

23 – 26 November Emiko Davies launching her sixth book, Gohan, Everyday Japanese Food
An award-winning food writer and photographer, Emiko was born in Australia to a Japanese mother and an Australian father, but spent her adolescence in China, gained a Bachelor of Fine Art in the US and moved to Tuscany  two decades ago. In late 2010 she began writing a food blog, where she still documents regional recipes, travel guides and food stories and contributes to numerous publications globally. Gohan is her sixth cookbook.

The book is a collection of stories about Emiko’s Japanese family and the recipes they cooked at home, not her more usual Italian recipes. “This is the food I grew up with, the everyday dishes that my mother Sumie and grandmother Misako cooked for our family. It’s a book of memories and stories from my family’s kitchen.”
Guests attending Emiko’s events all receive a copy of the book.
10.30am Sunday, November 26 – Library talk, onigiri snack and Japanese tea.
Venue: Woollahra Library, 1/451 New South Head Road, Double Bay.
Cost: $90
Bookings and other events at Food and Words

Best Food Destination?

A comprehensive lifestyle study has ranked the cities with the most International food offering as well as the best foodie experience. It focuses on the amazing offering cities worldwide have to offer using all data available in the most complete study of its kind. It ranks London No.1 (though I note it is a UK publication), 2 New York, 3 Paris, 4 Tokyo, 5 Dubai. Singapore is 7, Sydney is 26. The methodology is explained so see if you agree by reading it all here.


Blueprint for Living Podcast including and interview with Stephanie Alexander on the virtues of vegetables, simplicity and culinary curiosity.

The Spring edition of Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation Grow it, Cook it booklet is full of helpful sustainability tips, from how to use ALL the parts of veggies and the best ways to compost, right through to the ideal times for planting and picking your own fruit and veggies.

National Agriculture Day

A hamper of goodies in celebration of National Agriculture Day

“Grow you good thing!” is the catch cry for this year’s National Agriculture Day – or #AgDayAU – as the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) rallies all Australians to get behind our farmers on Friday 17 November.

I was delighted to receive this hamper of Australian produce to make a Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad today (recipe and photo to come). Regular readers will know that I am a big supporter of Australian produce and it’s good to focus our attention. It reminds me that two years ago, I participated in a zoom in celebration due to lockdowns. So lucky and happy not to be restricted now.

Farmers have to endure the vagaries of the weather in this great land of ours – from fire, to flood and drought so today is a good time to think of them and ensure we buy Australian produce in Australia. It’s as simple as checking labels when you shop.

An Extraordinary Meal at Izy.Aki

Hibachi grilled WA scampi, XO shiitake butter

I dine out for various reasons: first and foremost to talk and spend time with whomever I am dining and secondly usually to eat something I am not going to be cooking at home. There are exceptions to this – going for a casual dinner specifically not to cook, or to hear music, or indeed to go to an amazing talkfest like I did this week. But mostly it’s the former.
A friend and I who had not caught up in person for years, planned a special dinner at Darren Templeman’s relatively new Izy.Aki in The Rocks in Sydney. We knew we would be pushing to boat out a bit for this omakase menu ($160). It was worth every cent. Only four of them produce the whole experience including sommelier Aurelian managing the beverages. For this reason I am publishing the whole menu we had that night – it’s too much to describe here and is a joy to read as it is.

We chose to sit at the bar so we could talk to Darren and Aurelian throughout the evening. The background music was discreet and we could easily talk to one another and hear. Joy.

The Hibachi grilled WA scampi was the most perfectly cooked I have ever eaten: put on the grill and only cooked from the bottom up it was just set, yet still able to be removed from its shell with chopsticks, the XO shiitake butter the perfect finishing touch so we could taste the sweetness of the flesh. But I’m getting ahead of myself as the pictures below show.

L: Potato mochi, ebi tartare, Caspian caviar and R: Yellow fin tuna, crème fraiche, peas, wasabi, green apple

Marinated scallop, fermented cauliflower, white asparagus and R:Meredith farm goats curd, ume boshi, grilled pearl,oyster mushrooms, pea dashi 

MENU 08/11
Potato mochi, ebi tartare, Caspian caviar
Free range hen egg, smoked eel, foie gras, Yarra valley salmon roe
Marinated scallop, fermented cauliflower, white asparagus
Yellow fin tuna, crème fraiche, peas, wasabi, green apple
Meredith farm goats curd, ume boshi, grilled pearl,oyster mushrooms, pea dashi
Chawanmushi, king crab, Caspian caviar, ginger dashi
Hibachi grilled WA scampi, XO shiitake butter
Grilled Kinross station lamb sweetbreads
Grilled Kinross station lamb neck, shio koji, perilla salsa verde
Grilled Westholme mb9+ wagyu sirloin, Carrara wagyu tongue, black opal wagyu chuck tender mb 6, condiments
White kimchi, pickled woodear
Hojicha souffle, strawberry

Forgive my indulgence with all these photos though I have neither time nor space to put them all in, nor describe everything. However, who would think of pea dashi as a drink with the goat’s curd and mushrooms? It was stunning and the meat selection such a variety of textures and flavours.
Aurelian also introduced us to some fabulous wines from Small Forest by Atsuko, a female winemaker who began as a sake maker in Japan, then moved to the Upper Hunter.
We had the most wonderful stimulating yet relaxed night, learned a lot, enjoyed ourselves and certainly ate things we could never create, let alone even think of, at home. We’ll be back.

L: Grilled Westholme mb9+ wagyu sirloin, Carrara wagyu tongue, black opal wagyu chuck tender mb 6, White kimchi, pickled woodear and R: Hojicha souffle, strawberry

Moroccan Culinary Tour

Essaouria, the perfect place to end our tour

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.

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

“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 HERE, full itinerary HERE or email me or travel@bypriorarrangement.com with any questions.

L: herbs both culinary and medicinal in the souk and R: dying leather in the tannery

Puglia Culinary Adventure – May 2024

A hands on cooking class is always fun – especially at an organic estate where we stay

Culinary Adventures in Puglia and Basilicata
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
  • Lodging in authentic, family-run noble estates and palaces.

I was lucky enough to join Lyndey on her Puglia tour of 2022.  I thoroughly enjoyed my gastronomic
October 2022

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

L: Beautiful Monopoli and R: Burrata to enjoy