In Bennelong Restaurant in our glorious Sydney Opera House with Neil & Debra
Welcome, I hope those of you in Australia are surviving the challenging weather we are having at the moment? And those of you in the Northern Hemisphere not feeling too cold?
In honour of the Long Weekend in Australia I wanted to get a quick short newsletter out before I fly to Narrandera for Leeton on Thursday as Australia Day Ambassador. I am looking forward to learning more about the area and meeting up with friends old and new.
I had a very special dinner last Saturday night. My friends Neil and Debra generously took me to Bennelong Restaurant as my birthday present from last year. So lovely to have a shared experience in this world class location. We were there for daylight as well as sunset and fireworks! While the fabulous Peter Gilmore is the Executive Chef, the Head Chef, Rob Cockerill worked with him for 7 years at Quay and has been in Bennelong since the Fink Group took it over. He, too, is a fabulous chef and the food was superb, as was the service and the ambience sitting beneath those wondrous sails.
L: King George Whiting, scallop, asparagus, leek, kai-lan greens and R:Crème Caramel vs Mille-Feuille
Recipes of the week
PROSCIUTTO-WRAPPED STUFFED SUMMER FIGS Figs are bountiful right now so enjoy this summery dish GET MY RECIPE HERE
CELEBRATORY SLABLOVA I know, another slablova but this one is in green and gold to celebrate Australia Day GET MY RECIPE HERE
In the Kitchen with Lyndey
Baked Eggs with Capsicum, Pancetta and Mushrooms
Planning brunch over the long weekend? Try this easy recipe. You can prepare all but breaking the eggs in and baking the day before if you wish.
If you would like to see more of my videos on both food and wine, subscribe to my YouTube channel HEREor follow me onInstagram.
BBQs and Picnics
Picnic Tips Summer means outside dining. That means keeping it cool, and keeping it manageable so easy-to-eat finger and fork food is best. Keep it light with Mediterranean and Asian flavours working well but don’t do a multi-cultural mix as the flavours need to go together.Planning takes the pain out of picnicking so pack carefully. Remember to pack the heaviest food in the bottom of your esky – ideal for the muffaletta! Don’t forget the napkins and some garbage bags for rubbish and also to keep dirty plates and cutlery together. And put in a board and a sharp knife.
To drink- Keeping it cold It’s always a challenge to keep drinks cool, so choose them wisely (less alcoholic drinks work best) and preferably with a screw cap so you don’t have to worry about a corkscrew. Ensure they are well chilled before you leave home. Freeze a bottle of water to act as both an ice-block and as it melts, thirst quencher. Use freezer bricks or else a frozen sleeve to go around the wine like Vacu-Vin Rapid Ice. Otherwise wrap bottles of water and wine in a wet handtowel and pop in the freezer for half an hour before leaving. The damp cloth is great later for sticky fingers! If there are no little ones around, I always prefer glass to plastic for my wine.
Strawberries are actually not berries, but a fruit and belong to the rose family – well, they do have a wonderful fragrance. Their seeds are on the outside.
Good for you as well as delicious
The Ancient Romans believed they had medicinal powers and were used to treat everything from depression to fever and sore throats. Certainly they are are an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E and the B-complex group as well as minerals such as, potassium, manganese, fluorine, copper, iron and iodine. Vitamin C also contributes to formation of collagen and thus plays a role in healthy gums, teeth, bones, cartilage and skin.
They provide folate, a B vitamin needed for normal blood formation and dietary fibre, which is important for the normal functioning of the intestine.
They also contain lutein, one of the carotenoid family that is involved in normal eye health.
Select berries which are bright, red with an evening colouring. The calyx (leaves on top) should be vivid green and fresh, not wilted.
In their punnet in the fridge, or on a tray or plate lined with a paper towel to absorb moisture. Bring to room temperature to eat.
Make sure you wash them just before you want to eat them (to avoid speeding up spoiling) and only hull them AFTER they have been washed.
You can also freeze them by placing on a baking paper-lined tray and freeze until firm. Once frozen, transfer to an airtight container. Thaw in the fridge, again on a paper towel.
Strawberries go with
Yoghurt, chocolate, basil, balsamic vinegar, mint, goat’s cheese, cream, cinnamon, hazelnuts
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 & drop off ton 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
Drivers and guides gratuities
Bank transfer and currency fluctuation fees
Testimonial: “It was the most amazing experience – sights, smells, and sounds of Morocco still a wonderful memory. Beautiful accommodation; outstanding local guides; perfect host inLyndey Milan OAM; excellent meals of local delicacies; brilliant group camaraderie; and one-off experiences and all of this made easy peasy by booking thoughBy Prior Arrangement. Perfect organisation – nothing for guests to do, apart from imbibe and enjoy. Outstanding value.”
Brenda September/October 2022
Cost $10,000 per person (twin share).
More information HERE, full itinerary HERE or email me or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
L:herbs & spices in the souk and R: glorious hand-painted ceramics
Puglia Culinary Adventure
Monopoli and glorious sunshine
WE HAVE HAD A LAST MINUTE CANCELLATION TODAY – SO THERE IS CONFIRMED SPACE FOR A SINGLE OR A COUPLE There is possibly space for more depending on availability at our hotels.
Culinary Adventures in Puglia and Basilicata 11 – 18 May, 2024, 8 days, 7 nights
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.
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.
“My trip to Puglia in May 2018 was a fantastic experience. The trip was organized through Southern Visions Travel and Lyndey Milan was our host. Puglia is a wonderful region full of history and it has a rich tradition in wine and food. We were so fortunate to have Lyndey as our host as she had so much knowledge and interest in the area which made the the whole trip very entertaining. We were also fortunate to be able to experience all the things we did – visiting wineries, a cheese factory , an artisian bakery and an olive oil Masseria. We ate the most amazing food and drank fantastic wines. It really was a truly authentic wine and gastronomic experience. Our tour guide Max also had a wealth of knowledge about the region and kept the group amused and entertained with all of his anecdotes throughout the trip. The group size was small and everyone was friendly and very relaxed. It was certainly a trip to remember with thanks to Southern Visions Travel and to Lyndey Milan for their expertise in putting this all together – we couldn’t have been in better hands.”