Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Doing Lunch! in Melbourne

Following a hugely successful Sydney show, Lunch! lands in Melbourne on Monday 12 and Tuesday 13 August at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. 

Lunch! is a trade show, attracting a record number of buyers from the retail, foodservice and hospitality industries including: restaurants, cafes, pubs and clubs, hotels, delis and supermarkets, caterers and government.  It is also a unique opportunity for smaller, boutique producers to have a taste of a mainstream trade show in the Lyndey Milan Producers’ Showcase precinct within the show. 

In Melbourne, my area will feature:

Apthorpe Farm: delicious array of relishes from a fruit and vegetable farm in Hampton, Queensland.
Bondi Chai: sold around the world, this mix-with-milk premium blend is creamy and smooth and is low fat, low caffeine, gluten-free and contains no trans-fats or other artificial nasties.
Dovedale Bread: gluten free, wheat-free and dairy-free range of rice, fruit, rye, corn and grain breads from Wodonga, Victoria.
Hank's Jam: premium jam, chutney and condiments from this 20 year industry veteran, ‘just like Grandma used to make’.
Wymah Organic Olives: range of certified organic olive products includes table olives, tapenades, extra virgin olive oil and infused oils.

Come along, visit my producers and check in on these other interesting attractions:
  • Working Lunch! Theatre – panels featuring industry hardhitters discussing food trends, food merchandising and the business of food franchising.
  • Lunch! Table – with competitions such as Smoothie and Juice and Australian Sandwichship titles and a number of different senimars on one of my favourite liquids, coffee.
  • Menu Inspiration Academy – practical sessions with pricing and projected profit.
I look forward to seeing you at Lunch! in Melbourne.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Is it time to do Lunch!?

Seeking an event that exposes you to hundreds of buyers from small boutique cafes to major supermarkets? An event that lets you meet buyers face to face and develop long lasting relationships? Then Lunch! is for you. After a hugely successful inaugural show in 2012, Lunch! is back and will be in Sydney on 24 & 25 June.

Lunch! is targeted to Australia’s growing $20 billion food-to-go market. The show provides an opportunity for exhibitors to meet buyers from the retail, foodservice and hospitality industries including: restaurants, cafes, pubs and clubs, hotels, delis and supermarkets, caterers and government.
The Lyndey Milan Producers’ Showcase precinct will feature a number of outstanding Australian boutique producers. If you are looking for a show to exhibit your products, then it’s not too late. Click here for more details. Specialist producers already booked include:

Hank’s Jam
ABOUT: Hank’s jam is one of the leading companies in the jam market. Having started 20 years ago in Hanks own kitchen it has blossomed into an expanding jam business that is sold both in Australia and internationally. Hank’s Jam has all the texture and flavour of jams like Grandma used to make. However, they focus on attention to detail; source the best available ingredients, offer outstanding service and create unique and interesting products.

PRODUCTS: (sizes range from 285g-600g)
Hank’s Jam offers a range of jams, chutneys and condiments. The company is constantly coming up with new products that will excite the market, such as their new chilli jam and onion marmalade.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website; Facebook
Pure Pie

ABOUT: Pure Pie were a big hit at the recent Noosa International Food and Wine Festival.  They handmake artisan pies packed with flavour and innovative ingredients. The company places an emphasis on using fresh local produce and the best quality cuts of 100% Australian meat. As a result the pies are wholesome, fresh and individual to each customer.
PRODUCTS: (sizes range from individual 300g pies to 1000g family pies)
Pure Pie offers innovative flavors in their pie selection. Ranging from free range chicken, white wine, mushroom and tarragon to free range butter chicken. Designed to suit any taste bud.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website Facebook

The Other Chef Fine Foods
ABOUT: Family owned and award winning company, The Other Chef Fine Foods, offers a range of jams, relishes, sauces, oils and vinegar that are full of flavour. In each product they use as much locally grown products as possible and steer clear from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. With their products you have your own chef in the kitchen!

PRODUCTS: They have an extensive selection of products ranging from jams to olive oil. With the majority of the Other Chef Fine Foods products having won a fine food medal, you can’t go wrong.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Website Facebook Twitter

Nicholson Fine Foods
ABOUT: Nicholson Fine Foods is a multi award-winning family company which tailors its products to suit the needs of both the home cook and professional chef. Each product is designed to simplify the cooking experience and enhance the flavor of every dish.

PRODUCTS: Nicholson Fine Foods has a unique product offering, in that they offer everything from sauces and vinegars to the ready-made bio burger and chocolate mousse. My personal favourite is their Euro Style Spiced Beetroot Finishing Vinegar

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Doing Lunch!, food-to-go

Lyndey Milan with Eliana Dona from Atticus & Max at 2012 Lunch!
Lunch! is the must-go-to show for producers keen to connect with the food to go market and after a hugely successful inaugural show in 2012, Lunch! is back!  This time, in Sydney [24 & 25 June] as well as Melbourne [12 & 13 August].
Modelled on the United Kingdom’s Lunch!, the show attracts a significant number of buyers from the retail, foodservice and hospitality industries including: restaurants, cafes, pubs and clubs, hotels, delis and supermarkets, caterers and government.
At both shows the Lyndey Milan Producers’ Showcase precinct will feature a number of outstanding Australian boutique producers – a great opoprtunity for them to ‘bite into’ Australia’s growing $20 billion food-to-go market.  Pardon the pun.
At the show there will also be a number of other attractions:
  • Working Lunch! Theatre – panels featuring industry hardhitters discussing food trends, food merchandising and the business of food franchising.
  • Lunch! Table – with competitions such as Smoothie and Juice and australian Sandwichship titles and a number of different senimars on one of my favourite liquids, coffee.
  • Menu Inspiration Academy – practical sessions with pricing and projected profit.
My stand, Lyndey Milan Producers’ Showcase, will also be a great attraction!  If you produce a premium Australian product and want to put your product, face and brand in front of over 3,600 professionals, contact me or my colleague Ann Kidd. The cost to be involved and package offered are below.

What does it cost and what is included?
  • An exhibitor fee of only $1200 +gst per show covers both days and includes:
  • 4m² (2m x 2m) shell scheme stand (see attached pdf) that includes:
  • 2m x 380mm deep fascia name board;
  • 2 x 150watt spotlights on a continuous track – NEW IN 2013;
  • Charcoal carpet tiled flooring
  • 2 x wall shelves – either flat or slated – NEW IN 2013
  • Counter and stool
  • Pre-show public relations and marketing support
  • Listing in printed show map
  • Listing on exclusive Lyndey Milan Producers’ Showcase web page with your product details, description and contacts
  • Complimentary invitation tickets
I look forward to seeing you at Lunch!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sydney Seafood School: a South American cooking adventure

Sydney Seafood School provides participants with the opportunity to learn new skills, taste different flavours and most of all have a bit of fun. I’ve been teaching at Sydney Seafood School for almost 20 years. Started to demystify seafood cooking for customers of Sydney Fishmarket, it is now a popular venue with all manner of guest chefs, food writers, celebrities and seafood demonstrators giving classes. I love face-to-face teaching. It keeps you real and the Seafood School is perfectly set up for this with a demonstration auditorium, spacious hands-on kitchen and dining room for clients to eat the fruits of their labour. I only teach three hour food and wine matching workshops, usually focussing on a different cuisine.

South American seafood
Each time I teach these classes I develop new recipes and work with different ingredients, especially different types of seafood, different cuts, whole fish and fillets and different techniques. Coming up on the 5th of June I have a completely new class South American seafood and wine matching workshop. South American food is so NOW,  brightly coloured, a blend of culinary techniques and until recently relatively neglected.  So I set about researching and worked on developing some different recipes with authentic flavours but with a little of my trademark simplicity.

Things to consider when developing recipes
A priority is always seasonality, both in terms of seafood and other fresh produce. This makes sense from a flavour and financial point of view.  Then  I always consider using different cooking techniques, to facilitate using a range of skills and showing the variety of methods used in a particular cuisine.  Finally I like to use a mix of different types of seafood, using the opportunity to show something whole before cleaning and preparing it for cooking. With these recipes I tried to incorporate authentic South American flavours, remembering that sharing food is a very social event: about celebrating, enjoying food with friends and family. So the recipes must be fun, achievable and taste great. These is what I finally chose:

Ceviche is typical of the area and was a must.  The fish is marinated in lime juice, which changes the protein to 'cook' it until it becomes opaque and softens. While keeping to the traditional method of making ceviche, I wanted to make it pretty to serve and so added some salad ingredients. The combination of the cucumber, radishes and red onion give it crunch in contrast to the soft fish. 

Churrasco prawns with aji sauce
This dish is often served with a Chimichurri sauce, but when I preferred to make the less well-known Peruvian Aji sauce. This is a sweet onion and jalapeno combination, a sweet and spicy combination which brings the prawns to life.

Moqueca with mussels and clams (pictured above)
Moqueca is a Brazilian coconut stew, usually made with white fish. However, I decided to use shellfish as well, all of it only taking 2-3 minutes.

Tuna empanadas
Empanadas tend to made of meat, but because I love them I wanted to do a seafood version. I chose tuna for flavour but I found my first attempt a bit dry, especially when coupled with puff pastry. I tweaked the recipe, increasing the roma tomatoes and adding some cream cheese (surprisingly quite authentic) giving it a richer finish. I also used shortcrust pastry.  Left-over Aje sauce went well too.If you are feeling inspired by these ideas, why not come down and join me at Sydney Seafood School on 5th June 2013. It will be a bit of fun.

Click here for more information.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Putting an end to food waste

Foodies love food. How devastating that what we take so much pleasure in preparing, cooking and sharing is denied to one in ten people each night? OzHarvest works to right this wrong.  Founded in 2004, Ronni Kahn channelled her astonishment at the amount of food wastage there is in Australia and decided to put it into action.

OzHarvest rescues unwanted food from restaurants, cafes, hotels, retailers and food outlets and delivers it to those in need. Over the course of seven years this charity has saved over 4,400 tonnes of food from landfills and delivered over 15 million nourishing meals to 380 charities.
OzHarvest is about reducing food wastage and that applies not only on a commercial level but in domestic kitchens too. It has launched its first ever cookbook featuring recipes from 44 of the country’s most celebrated chefs focussing on just that; new ways to create a fabulous meal using leftovers already in the fridge.

This is just my thing, so I was delighted  to contribute recipes among other friends including Maggie Beer, Neil Perry, Matt Moran and Christine Manfield. One recipe I contributed is my Risotto Bianco (see below). A risotto is the perfect vehicle for almost any food and a great technique to master.  You are only limited by your imagination (and fridge) in terms of contents which can include anything from leftover roast meat, vegetables, fresh herbs to whatever you can muster!
For more fabulous mouth-watering recipes, this beautiful cookbook contains more than 120 recipes that will reduce your food wastage, save money in grocery bills and impress family and friends alike. What’s more, for every book purchased 60 meals will be delivered to those in need - doesn’t get much better than that!

For more information or to purchase the book, please visit

Risotto bianco with anything you like
Serves 4
Risotto bianco is the most basic of all risottos. Master the technique
and you can make any risotto you like. It’s the perfect vehicle for using
up leftover roast meat and vegetables or any of the variations below.

1.25 litres (5 cups) chicken, beef or veal stock
3 tablespoons (14 cup) extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
440g (2 cups) arborio or other risotto rice
125ml (12 cup) white wine
4 tablespoons (13 cup) chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil and sage 
100g (1 cup) freshly grated parmesan

Put the stock in a saucepan and heat to boiling. Reduce the heat and maintain at a simmer.

Heat the olive oil and half the butter in a large heavy-based frying pan over moderate heat. When the butter has melted, add the onion and fry for a minute or two without browning. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent. Add the rice and stir well to coat with the oil and butter (it will take on a glassy appearance). Add the wine and stir until it has evaporated.

Reduce the heat to low and add one ladleful of hot stock. Stir constantly until the liquid is completely absorbed. Keep adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring and waiting until it has been completely absorbed by the rice before adding the next ladle. Keep it cooking at a low simmer. After about 15 minutes taste a few grains of rice: it should be tender, not soft, yet still a little firm to the bite. It will probably take around 20–25 minutes to reach this point. When the risotto is ready it should still be a little liquid, not dry like fried rice.

Fold in the herbs, remaining butter and parmesan. If you have any leftover roast chicken or vegetables such as pumpkin, add them now. Even sliced cooked sausage is good. Taste for salt and pepper. Usually the stock and parmesan make the risotto salty enough and ground black pepper is better left to the individual. Spoon into warm bowls and serve at once.

Note  To make a mushroom risotto, use beef stock and replace the herbs with 500g mushrooms. Wipe the mushrooms clean with kitchen paper; never wash them. Leave button mushrooms whole and slice larger varieties. Saute in butter for a few minutes before adding to the risotto.

For asparagus risotto, use chicken stock and replace the herbs with cooked chopped asparagus.

Or use chicken or veal stock and replace the herbs with 250g chopped ham or cooked, crumbled bacon or pancetta and 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Attention travel and holiday lovers!

Are you looking for something fun to do this Sunday?  Do you love holidays and travel?  And the flavours of European cuisines?

The free Holiday & Travel Show is on again this weekend at the Hordern Pavilion, Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park, Sydney from 10am to 4:30pm.

I’ll be there on Sunday on the Flavours of the World Cuisine Stage talking about my two critically acclaimed television series: Lyndey & Blair's Taste of Greece and Lyndey Milan's Taste of Ireland (currently screening on 7TWO on Sundays at 12noon).  As well as discussing my travel in these two beautiful countries, I’ll be cooking a couple of my favourite recipes.  Presentation times are:  

11:30am - 12:15pm
Tales and tastes from the historic heart of Greece served with a side of much-loved tzatziki and a nibble of grilled haloumi and flat bread

1:00pm -1:45pm
More than potatoes ... my stories of Ireland's abundant produce, charming characters and majestic scenes.  I'll be cooking Irish classic treat, drop scones with berry compote

After both sessions I’ll be signing copies of my latest cookbooks which will be for sale at special prices:

Lyndey & Blair’s Taste of Greece – book to accompany the series
RRP $50 Special price $40

Lyndey & Blair’s Taste of Greece 7-episode DVD
RRP $30 Special price $25

Just Add Spice
RRP $50 Special price $40

Lyndey Milan The Best Collection
RRP $50 Special price $40

Balance Matching Food and Wine. What Works and Why.
RRP $35 Special price $30

Entry to the show and my sessions are free!

Hope to see you there

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Blair Milan Scholarship and The Blair Milan Touring Fund – an update

My son Blair Milan was a talented and enthusiastic actor and all round joyful human being. We lost him to Acute Myeloid Leukaemia on 17 April 2011. I’ve previously written about the fund my partner John and I set up with Blair’s close friends in conjunction with Blair’s alma mater, Charles Sturt University Foundation to ensure his legacy will live on for years to come.

Blair graduated as a Bachelor of Arts (Communication –Theatre/Media) at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst with Distinction in 2003.  The Blair Milan Fund seeks to pass on Blair’s enthusiasm for the arts to future Theatre/Media students.  The two inaugural awards have now been made:

The Blair Milan Scholarship
About: A scholarship of $3000 will be awarded annually to one second year Theatre/Media student who exemplifies the generous artistic spirit and attitude of Blair. The student will be carefully selected by the academic staff of the Theatre/Media course with input from Blair’s family and peers. Selection will based on the student’s community involvement, academic and on stage performance as well as goals and motivation. The scholarship aims to encourage students studying Theatre/Media to demonstrate optimism, enthusiasm and a passion for their chosen field.

Recipient: Angus Wilkinson received this scholarship in May last year.  We were impressed with his written submission and even more impressed when we met him in person.  He reminded me of Blair and gave a magnificent thank you speech on behalf of all the award winners.  We have stayed in touch and he thoughtfully posted a photo of himself in his cap and gown, with his degree and wearing his “Good times” badge at his graduation. The “Good Times” badges were made for Blair’s funeral by his friends from CSU and their parents. I gave Angus one at the awards ceremony. He is doing well as he has got straight into the directing course at NIDA.

The Blair Milan Touring Fund
About: A $7,000 fund provides financial support for the presentation of work of final year theatre/Media students before metropolitan and/or regional communities.  The recipients will be selected by academic staff of the course with input from Blair’s peers and the Milan family. Profits realised from this presentation will be returned to the Blair Milan Touring Fund.

Recipient:  The group performing Sticky Feet are the deserved winner.  They were unanimously chosen by the CSU staff, including one who is an alumnus from Blair’s year. The team will take the show to ‘Higher Ground Inc’ at the Adelaide Fringe Festival from 27 February to 4 March 2013. This enterprising group have also secured a residency with Tamarama Rock Surfers (TRS) from 4 to 8 February.  The residency includes a performance at Bondi Pavilion which they are making a fund raiser for The Blair Milan Fund. They have asked me to speak, especially as entry is FOC but they ask for donations. I am so gratified they want to give back to the fund – reassures me they are the very best of winners. There are no allocated tickets so it’s first in best dressed for the 230 seats.  

The details
7:30pm on Friday 8 February
Bondi Pavilion Theatre
Bondi Beach
No booking required
Donation entry
All proceeds go towards the Blair Milan Touring Fund

About Sticky Feet
Have you ever found yourself in an awkward social situation? Gone in for a handshake when someone else goes in for a hug? Waved at someone who wasn’t looking or even called someone by the wrong name? We know you have. We all have.

‘Sticky Feet’ is the brainchild of a group of like-minded and often socially awkward young Sydney-based theatre makers. The show, two years in the making, is a short 30-minute physical comedy jam packed with cringe-worthy, bladder-pushing, side-splitting moments that will leave you wanting more.

‘Sticky Feet’ debuted at Charles Sturt University’s annual creative arts festival, ‘Sprung Festival’ in September 2012. It was awarded the inaugural Blair Milan Touring Fund, which is enabling the team to take the show to ‘Higher Ground Inc’ for Adelaide Fringe Festival from the 27th February to the 4th March 2013. Sticky Feet Productions is privileged to receive such a prestigious award and would like to kindly thank the Milan family for their support. The generous touring fund will ensure Blair’s legacy continues forever through the work and creativity of new Australian artists.

‘Sticky Feet’ came to life through an 8-week devising process, involving students from all three years of the Bachelor of Communication (Theatre/Media) course at Charles Sturt University, Bathurst. The story follows three unique strangers; Mel, Phil and Geoff, and their journey towards overcoming communication faux pas, fears of being judged and accepting that everyone has a little weirdo inside them.

In preparation for Adelaide Fringe Festival, ‘Sticky Feet’ are undertaking a second development of the show with Tamarama Rock Surfers who have offered the company a residency. The residency will culminate in a public showing in the iconic Bondi Pavilion Theatre on Friday 8th February 2013 at 7:30pm. All proceeds from the showing will go back into the Blair Milan Touring Fund.

‘Sticky Feet’ has something for everyone and is great for all ages, young and old. The set beckons you, framed in a 3x4 metre box that makes you feel like you are peeping into a wacky and wondrous offbeat world. The colours and crazy faces keep you glued to your seat. The supreme awkwardness drags you to the edge and then throws you back again with cathartic laughter.

More information
Visit their website, facebook page or send an email.