Things Are Happening 

Lunch with dear friends from the food world at Ursula’s


I am thrilled that my daughter arrived from Singapore last night (to be followed in about 10 days by her husband and kids). Therefore this newsletter will hopefully be short and sweet as we have lots to do and catch up. My renovation is limping to a close but sadly not quite there yet. sometimes things seem overwhelming.

However, I have enjoyed going out and catching up with friends, trying out Phil Wood and Lis Davies’ new restaurant Ursula’son the site once famous as Darcy’s. I went to an interesting champagne education dinner run by the Australia Champagne Bureau which was principally for WSET students and had great fun at a good old-fashioned nosy dinner party – the type we had before Covid. Thank you all.

See below for my hosted tour to South Australia. I’m thrilled that mentioning this last week this drew an instant response from some of you who have travelled with me previously. It should be a fun trip.

Please stay in the loop on  Facebook and Instagram or email me with any requests or comments. sorry for my brevity this week.


Now read on or scroll down, remember there’s something for everyone in this newsletter wherever you are in the world.

Jump ahead to see:
YouTube Video
Recipes of the Week

South Australian Tour 
Last Week and Next
Morocco Tour 2022
Puglia Tour October 2022

YouTube Video

Prawn & Asparagus Linguine with Chilli Pangrattato

Asparagus is always on the menu at my house when in season. It is so versatile. It is something you can shave to eat raw, steam, microwave, bake, BBQ, deep-fry for tempura and here, throw in a pasta as in this Prawn & Asparagus Linguine with Chilli Pangrattato. You can watch me make it on YouTube here. Here is the written recipe. Subscribe to my YouTube channel here for all my videos including recipes in a minute. Enjoy.

Recipes of the Week

Salad of Beetroot, Feta and Walnuts

Beetroot is another versatile vegetable, but it is not often served raw. I first saw that in Greece more than a decade ago, and this recipe for Salad of Beetroot, Feta and Walnuts is from my Taste of Greece cookbook.
An oldie but a goodie is Lemon Delicious Pudding. You can make it with limes and grapefruit too and I just call it Yummy Lemon Pudding.

Yummy Lemon Pudding

South Australian Tour 

Let Me Take You Behind the Scenes in Adelaide and the Barossa Valley 29 March – 3 April 2022

Join me on this tour for exclusive access to people, produce and places for a bespoke behind the scenes foodie trip which will be like no other. Together, over 6 glorious days, we will go behind the scenes and discover the real stories behind the people, the produce and the places that makes Adelaide and the Barossa Valley especially one of Australia’s most loved destinations.

Having a depth of experience on the culinary scene, I have called on friends old and new to help create a one-of-a-kind trip showcasing food, wine and cultural experiences that will not only give you a unique insight into top artisan producers in South Australia but also explore the traditions, histories and passions that make each experience special.

There are too many experiences to list here and they are all highlights for me. Regular readers will remember my writing a thesis on Teas and Wines Explored as a Match for Chinese Cuisine for which I received a distinction from the University of Reims and I am excited that on our first night we will have dinner at Bai Long Store, where the manager Jerry is a tea expert. So we will have three different teas tasted over three pours (with different brewing times) as well as wine. At the D’Arenberg Cube, 4th generation winemaker Chester Osborn will take us on a tour, in the Barossa you will meet Maggie Beer and David Franz (son of my friends Margaret and Peter Lehmann) will explain the tradition of Barossa smallgoods which he also makes along with his terrific wines. There will be food and cheese, wine and gin tastings and not at a hectic pace. I promise you’ll have time to breathe. You’ll love this trip for the exclusive experiences and inspiring personalities you’ll meet along the way as well as having fun.

I have worked with Insight Vacations on this to ensure that every detail is covered, confident that we will all be safe and secure. However, this tour is not going on general release through their website, rather it is only being promoted first here to my loyal subscribers and then to my personal database. I will follow up with social media and publicity but this is your chance to get in first. It will therefore be a very special group of like-minded people, no more than 22 (plus Insight travel host and me). Cost is $4,4495 twin share ($925 single supplement)  with lots of meals included as they are specially planned.

If you would like to join me in March 2022 on a close to home journey to explore behind the scenes in Adelaide and the Barossa Valley, follow this link for the brochure, email or PH 1300 780 283.

Last Week and Next

Deluxe Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Caviar
Photography Lionel Tregret

I have been very lucky in hosting tours and being able to introduce my guests to some very special experiences. One such one, several years ago, was to take my tour group to visit the biggest caviar farm in Italy,  Storione Ticino Farm in Cassolnovo near Lake Maggione is about 50 minutes south-west of Milan. It was fascinating to learn how the fish are raised and cared for. Here is a link to my story on Happy-Ali on the Joy of Caviar.

I always like to share a recipe, so here is Deluxe Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Caviar.For International Espresso Day I shared my recipe for Steamed Banana and Ginger Pudding with Coffee Ginger Glaze & Bruleed Bananas. It was Roast Turkey with Italian Sausage Seasoning and Vegetables for Thanksgiving – but a great preview for Christmas too if you like a hot meal.

I thought this chart (below) was a fascinating and easy to comprehend explanation of aromas in champagne.

Sri Lankan Christmas Cake

Morocco Tour 23 Sept – 4 Oct 2022

Colourful tagines on sale in Morocco

It is full steam ahead for my two overseas tours in 2022

Moroccan Culinary Tour begins in Rabat on Friday 23 September til Tuesday 4 October
This trip will see us travel from Rabat the capital, to spiritual Meknes and Fes, and to Marrakech the red city. On the way you will explore the archaeological site of Volubilis, visit a Berber village in the Atlas Mountains, and relax by the coast in tranquil Essaouira. You’ll discover the delicacies of Moroccan and French food, dine in local eateries through to upmarket restaurants, and experience the making and flavours of Moroccan dishes during cooking classes. Luxury accommodation is in charming, authentic riads. sometimes in exclusivity. Only 10 – 12 guests. There are only two spaces left but we will run another tour, probably in 2023. If you are interested please contact us? 

By Prior Arrangement is highly experienced and well-known in Morocco and I have confidence in working with them to bring this very special tour into being. Talk to them about the trip, or feel free to email me with any queries. I am excited!
Read Where to Eat Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner in Rabat.

Puglia Tour October 2022

Try your hand at making fresh mozzarella in Puglia

Puglia in the boot of the heel of Italy is still relatively unspoiled. A secret Italians tend to keep to themselves, it is a wonderful place to visit and so much less crowded than Tuscany. After Morocco I’m going on to host Culinary Adventures in Puglia and Basilicata 8 – 14 October 2022. Join me and share an unforgettable week of culinary and cultural exploration. Think hands-on bread, cheese making and cooking class; visits to wineries, olive farm, tours of UNESCO sites Alberobello & Matera & other cultural centres with local guides. All sensational meals and wines included. You only need money for the very inexpensive shopping you will find there.

Group size: an intimate 8-16 places only
Lodging in authentic, family-run noble estates and palaces
Operated by: Local Puglia specialist Southern Visions Travel: the leading experiential travel company in Southern Italy
Full brochure

Read more about my adventures in Puglia
Explore Puglia in House & Garden Magazine
Seven dishes you must try in Puglia, Italy in the Sydney Morning Herald
Puglia, the undiscovered heart in Selector Magazine

Stay safe, healthy and happy. Keep up to date  on all my social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter Pinterest and my YouTube channel.

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